At the height of the pandemic, travel restrictions highlighted the vulnerability of the travel and hospitality industry and the need for change. The traveler loyalty industry was already in a race for relevance in addition to fighting for consumers’ share of minds and wallets. The restrictions sparked the global experiment to be productive from home and, for a time, put local travel in the spotlight, making the industry ripe for change.
As the industry navigated the turbulent times to survive in the short term, its leaders charted a new course and broadened their vision to prepare for what was to come. One such leader, Loylogic, a provider of points commerce solutions for loyalty programs, was not sitting in the wings waiting, but rather creating a new track with the accelerated introduction of many new features in Pointspay, a new affiliate marketing platform that is changing the way frequent flyers shop online and earn or use their points.
Of all the industries that have been negatively impacted by COVID, travel and hospitality certainly feel like they’ve been hit the hardest, with many stopping and going. And in a post-COVID world, where consumers seem to be more aware of where, why and how they spend their money, travel and accommodation providers are going to have to navigate their way out of the COVID vacuum and back into the individual. and business budget.
“For so long, loyalty programs were specifically tied to business travellers. We know it will take some time for FFPs to return to normal,” acknowledges Gabi Kool, Commercial Director at Loylogic. Kool believes Loylogic’s enhanced Pointspay product will change the world of loyalty programs, saying, “COVID has shown us that there are so many alternative meeting options, so travel budgets may have been scrapped and reallocated by businesses and individuals. There have been significantly fewer miles earned on flights and travel in recent months. So one of the business issues we had to solve for travel and hospitality brands was how do you keep members engaged when loyalty programs aren’t a priority? »
What consumers were most concerned about was day-to-day expenses. The e-commerce space was one of the sectors that didn’t seem to have a problem with engagement, and Kool seized the opportunity in this space for FFPs. “We see that for 2022, one of the only ways to increase mileage issuance is through e-commerce. We needed to make sure our customer programs were part of this e-commerce earn and burn cycle. .
This is certainly not the first attempt by FFPs to land in this space. The affiliate market landscape is quite crowded and there is no shortage of retail partners that FFPs have signed up to enter the daily spend categories. But Kool reflects that the market is ripe for change and it’s time to diversify beyond traditional affiliate models and languid co-branded credit cards. Enter Pointspay.
“We are now working with our partners and merchants to bring FFPs back to the top and once again part of consumers’ everyday lives.says Kool, referring to Pointspay’s motivation to change the customer experience. “The user journey is interrupted in the affiliate market. No one really starts shopping from their FFP landing page. We wanted to create a more natural experience that does not break down or add friction for the customer because it earn or use points and miles balances when shopping online – whether it’s because they have even more credential sets to remember or transfers between websites.”
Kool refers to the establishment of a new payment experience that allows users to pay securely and conveniently, and where they feel rewarded with the ease of purchase and the experience of earning and exchange. With Pointspay, the integration of mileage and point balances extends the customer’s buying power without friction so they can then influence market sentiment. “Previously, FFPs were trying to do it backwards. They were trying to manage a lot of retailers within their own customer experience instead of figuring out how to be a better, more responsive partner for retailers.” There is a mindset shift that’s happening for FFP operators in this loop, where being part of the online payment process, instead of creating a new affiliate mall, is actually going to be a lot more productive for airlines, hotels and operators of these programs.
There is also a change in what can be offered for purchase, which benefits both members and program operators. For operators, it is about optimization and revenue maximization. Instead of expending energy building and nurturing myriad relationships, trying to find products and services that feel like natural extensions of the travel and accommodation experience, FFPs – as payment service providers – can align any product and any service. In this model, FFPs and their overworked teams no longer have to source hundreds of logos on their own in order to offer a wide enough selection of brands and products that match their brand values, within the framework of their program experience.
“It’s MarPay,” says Kool, speaking of this industry transformation towards a significant portion of consumers’ daily online spending, so that ambitious, occasional one-day spending feels closer and more achievable. kool faucets the overlap of affiliate marketing and payment systems as a new system that engenders more loyalty from program members who will have even more choices for earnings, rewards and redemptions – unrestricted by what corresponds to the specific experience of the loyalty program, rather expanded by the extended portfolio of members.
Kool sees Pointspay succeeding when it matures in the vision of members as payment mark so that members can spend their miles and earn miles in a very seamless experience:
“To win, we made sure to onboard major payment service providers and affiliate networks and work with them to activate many relevant online merchants so that a new merchant can be activated almost immediately in our network, while leveraging existing negotiated affiliate marketing commission.In addition to these strategies, we also work with our program customers to leverage direct relationships with select large merchants to bring them into the network.This allows us to be more nimble and nimble. We can get our FFP customers to market faster and get to scale faster. That’s the model that works.”
There are new heights to which MarPay strives to take the travel and hospitality industry forward. Kool seeks strategic global partnerships that will increase member choice and program reach. As Pointspay takes its position as the world’s leading affiliate marketer to drive new revenue for travel programs through accelerated earning propositions, the question of whether there is enough space comes to mind, but Kool is convinced that he is in good and intelligent company.
“There is a lot to be gained by working together to improve our industry,” he thinks when asked this question. “We look forward to working and growing with our partners, and I support our collective success as we evolve our industry and better serve our members and enable them to benefit more from loyalty programs. Affiliate marketing has never been a strong revenue generator for our collective industry, and it’s time we took matters into our own hands as loyalty experts and helped members, programs and retailers the most of this rapidly growing and very important market.