Facebook Let Users Unlock Discounts Via QR Codes For Offline Purchases

What Happened
Facebook has quietly added a feature in its flagship app that enables users to unlock digital discounts for offline purchases at partnered stores. With the Rewards feature nested under the More tab in Facebook’s main app, users can scan a personalized QR code to score discounts or bonuses when they make a purchase at a participating store.

Different from the Offers feature that Facebook launched in 2012, which gears towards coupon collecting and redeeming, this Rewards feature works more like a Facebook-operated loyalty program, allowing customers to scan their personalized QR codes every time they visit a store and rack up the “stamps” for certain rewards.

Facebook says this is a test feature that is currently only available to select users. There is no word on when or if this feature will become widely available.

What Brands Need To Do
For retailers and QSR brands, this Rewards feature gives them a new promotional channel to reach customers via Facebook and incentivize store visits. Other brands can also use this feature for customer acquisition and fostering repeat customers. For brand marketers, this feature could also give Facebook more behavioral data on shopping history and habits, allowing brands to improve the relevance of ad targeting and News Feed content. Down the road, brands should also be able to advertise their Rewards on Facebook to drive store traffic and promote sales event.


Source: TechCrunch

Coke Refreshes Digital Loyalty Program With March Madness-Themed Rewards

What Happened
Coca-Cola has launched a new digital promotion called NCAA March Madness Bracket Refresh in support of its long-standing sponsorship of the college basketball tournament. As part of the promotional campaign, the company is offering limited-edition bottles customized with team names exclusively on ShareACoke.com. Fans enrolled in Coke’s loyalty program can unlock an NCAA team on Coke’s NCAA tournament brackets when they scan a Coca-Cola or Powerade product code by using their phone’s camera or by manually entering the code online. Fans with the winning teams on their brackets can unlock rewards such as digital content, movie gift cards, online retailer gift cards and an entry into a sweepstake for $25k cash.

What Brands Need To Do
In January, Coca-Cola announced it is phasing out its My Coke Rewards loyalty program and promised to replace it with a more “digitally focused” loyalty program, which is set to debut on Coke.com this July. This March Madness-themed promotion, therefore, seems to be positioned as a transitioning program to tide over the fans till the new loyalty program arrives. Nevertheless, this promotional campaign puts a personalized spin on NCAA brackets challenges by allowing fans to purchase customized bottles to show support for their team and earn rewards. It demonstrates a clever way to devise a sports event tie-in promotions, an approach that many other brands can apply to make their loyalty programs more engaging.


Source: Business Wire


Retail Emotion Recognition Rolls Out In Russia

Emotion recognition analytics technology in the retail arena has been a touchy topic in America due to privacy concerns, but major Russian cosmetics chain Ulybka Radugi is rolling out a system by Synqera to offer customers specially tailored discounts and promotions.  At the point of payment, sensors read the customer’s facial expressions and run them through Synqera’s software, targeting shoppers with text messages offering discounts or ads as soon as they leave the store.  Synqera is set to expand to North America through their recently-opened New York office, and has focused their pitch to American companies on pulling customers away from online retailers and the well-documented habit of showrooming.  The FTC is open to this form of innovation, and it seems very likely it will be rolling into American retailers soon.