Retailers: We have a holiday gift for you. Unwrap the new loyalty and digital engagement tool
- Consumers spent $38 billion online during Thanksgiving weekend, an almost 8% jump year-over-year, far outstripping expectations.
- Now, by offering personalized rewards and flexible payment options, brands can reap the benefits of greater customer loyalty without impacting their bottom line.
Thanksgiving weekend was a blockbuster weekend for shoppers and retailers – according to Adobe Analytics, consumers spent $38 billion online, an almost 8% jump year-over-year, far outstripping expectations and driven by stronger than expected Buy Now, Pay Later volumes. At Marqeta, we also saw a 33% year-over-year increase in BNPL spending for the week between Tuesday, November 21, 2023, and Cyber Monday, and processed 23% more BNPL transactions in 2023 than last year.
For many retailers, historically the holiday shopping season meant a strategic rollout of deals and slashing prices throughout the months of November and December. Now, by offering personalized rewards and flexible payment options, brands can reap the benefits of greater customer loyalty without impacting their bottom line. Our recent 2023 State of Credit study found that 62% of consumers aged 35-50 see credit solutions, like credit cards or BNPL, as vital for making ends meet this holiday season, and nearly a quarter (22%) of US consumers surveyed said they planned to use BNPL to pay for their holiday shopping. To meet consumers where they are and keep up with demand for new digital payment methods, retailers can turn to new innovations in payments and credit.
When it comes to co-branded credit cards, brands can turn to credit to be an extension of their brand, going beyond just relying on it as a payment tool. New technologies enable brands to offer personalized rewards based on individual spending habits and preferences, creating unique incentives that foster customer loyalty and significantly increase digital engagement. Our recent study found that 36% of US consumers plan to apply for a new credit card in the next 12 months, with that number booming to 55%
among 18-44 year olds. And there is demand for this type of personalization, with 74% of cardholders citing there is more room to personalize rewards based on individual habits.
Brands that want to launch their own cards should aim to fully own the customer experience by embedding the card, rewards/incentives and program management within their own branded digital experience. If customers don’t need to log in to a third-party website to manage their card, retailers will have more touchpoints with their customers.
Additionally, by offering flexible payment options like BNPL at the point of sale, brands will be able to cater to customers that are looking for these newer types of payments. By spreading out payments via BNPL, brands will also garner more touchpoints with their customers than a traditional sale, and can take advantage of this additional brand exposure by offering other rewards and incentives for repeat purchases.
What’s holding brands back from implementing these solutions? Many retailers are accustomed to legacy approaches to co-branded credit that can take several months to launch and treat each cardholder the same when it comes to rewards and incentives. There’s also misconceptions that branded credit cards are only for large retailers, when in fact embedded finance makes it possible for companies of any size to launch new card programs and embrace BNPL.
Customer loyalty, especially during the holiday season, is not something that can be taken lightly by brands. Shoppers are being torn in many different directions, and the businesses that provide more flexible ways for people to pay and engage with their brand will be positioned to not only come out on top this season, but will earn the lasting trust of their customers for years to come.