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This Season’s Pass(book) to Mobile Loyalty

This Season’s Pass(book) to Mobile Loyalty

With a quiet launch, Apple’s Passbook has been slowly gaining momentum (particularly with airlines) and has recently received some positive commentary from first-trialing retailers who are looking to cash in on location-based offers, increased customer loyalty and retention.
A few months ago  I blogged about the importance of Aussie retailers to get on board with mobile marketing (Local Plus Mobile, sorting out the quick… from the dead). In the blog I also quote some impressive statistics for local mobile searches driving footfall into stores. Capitalising on in-store visits or better still, snatching a sale from a local competitor is where you can run at the front of the pack.
If you aren’t familiar with Passbook (and let’s admit that Apple really haven’t promoted this well – yet), here are the things to know:
• Passbook keeps things like passes, tickets, and gift cards that contain a digital 2D barcode all in one place, or wallet (well, an app!).
• When you are ready to redeem your pass, you simply retrieve it from your Passbook app and scan it at the point of redemption on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can add passes and cards to Passbook in several ways, such as Passbook-enabled apps, Mail, Messages or weblinks. Passes can contain time or location-based information too. For example, you arrive at the airport and your boarding card appears or you visit your local shopping centre and receive a reminder of your gift card/loyalty bonus or special offer. (Note that there isn’t a large range of location-points available via Passbook – you need StreetHawk to enable you to trigger push notifications for multiple locations).
The benefits are already being reaped by some retailers in the US, a great case study is Sephora beauty. After adding the Beauty Insider card to Passbook, they achieved 82,000 downloads of passes in one week. Passbook also helped their own app downloads (Beauty Insider) which was created to enhance customer experience in-store and at home – product reviews, account information, wish list creation as well as news on trends and product recommendations.
Downloads are one thing but Passbook is, importantly getting people to spend money. Starcard, a digital gift card company in the US, is claiming steady growth and millions in digital gift card spend.

The main benefit of Passbook would have to be a “Call to Action” for gift cards. It could almost eliminate lost and forgotten gift cards and when combined with location based alerts a prompt for customers to step in store and redeem on those revenue dollars. Reminders can drive higher redemption rates. Making the shopping experience easy, the information relevant and offer well timed for customers is a loyalty jackpot.
The beauty about Passbook is that you can still start trailing today with users that don’t have your app downloaded or, even if you don’t have a branded app. As mentioned before, passes can distributed via email or downloaded on the web. It’s also great for retailers who have apps – any gift certificates or coupons can be loaded straight into passbook by the user so they’re not easily forgotten.
Mobile marketing and payments are here to stay. It’s time to get onboard and trial new initiatives, or improve your current offerings to give customers a great experience. It’s not next season’s pass to the game – it’s this seasons.

Natasha Rawlings is the CEO of StreetHawk, a total location-based marketing solution for retailers, brands, venues and apps that want to create real-world utility.


Artile by Natasha Rawlings and Jennifer O’Donnell, StreetHawk -For more information, call  0431 317937 or write to
Four reasons why Apples’ passbook is growing on retailers
Erica Ong 26th June 2013, Gigacom

Delay in Passbook adoption hurts retailers in long run
Rimma Kats 26th June 2013 Mobile Commerce Daily

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