Loyalty programs, according to a 2009 report from information commerce provider First Data, are struggling to find a foothold in the quick-serve arena, but zpizza is hoping that the implementation of a new mobile loyalty program will defy the odds.
The Irvine, California–based pizza chain announced a partnership with Mocapay, a Denver-based company that created a mobile platform for zpizza to use for loyalty and gift-card efforts.
“As zpizza grows, we continue to search for ways to differentiate the brand and engage with our customer base,” said Amir Sabetian, vice president of operations for zpizza, in a statement.
“By working with Mocapay, we now have a new, targeted channel to reach our customers while supporting our marketing and sales efforts and ultimately building customer loyalty.”
The Mocapay service is initially going to be offered to zpizza stores in Colorado and Southern California, with the intention of eventually serving the entire chain.
The platform allows customers to use mobile phones in place of plastic loyalty or gift cards. They can pay at point of sale and check card balances simply by using their phone.
“What you’ll find is that physical piece of plastic, or that piece of paper, is an obstacle to having the people actually carry [a loyalty card] around,” says Kevin Grieve, CEO of Mocapay.
“We remove that obstacle so now there’s no paper and no plastic, [and] you always have your cell phone with you. So you can always accrue points.”
Grieve used to work as the global head of pre-pay business for First Data, which in 2009 reported that quick serves had the second-lowest usage of loyalty programs in the retail sector.
Customers, Grieve says, generally balk at adding another card to their wallet, making loyalty programs in the quick-service industry difficult. With mobile platforms like Mocapay, he says customers have a digital wallet that simplifies the process.
“This eliminates that friction so you could easily carry, essentially, an infinite number of cards in your wallet,” he says.
“My thesis over the next decade is, gift and loyalty, and probably loyalty faster than gift, will go mobile.”
For more information on the implementation and benefits of a loyalty program in the quick-service industry, click here
By Sam Oches