A Peek Behind the Cartera Commerce Curtain with “View from the Wing”

Are you curious about how loyalty-based advertising and offer programs work? Interested to hear about how consumers shop on offer-based portals and how mobile devices will impact this behavior? Are you curious about how they maximize their rewards earning experiences with your brand?

View from the Wing blog editor Gary Leff recently caught up with Cartera CEO Tom Beecher to ask him how merchants, airlines and banks benefit from these programs, and how consumers are using them to earn miles, points and cashback, and save money. If you’re interested in learning more, read the article “Secrets of Cartera Commerce Revealed: Inside the Company that Brings You Miles for Online Shopping.”

Three Mobile Retail Trends That Are Shaping 2014

In 2013, we saw consumers utilizing more mobile devices for their loyalty programs and shopping activities. In fact, according to Forrester’s “Predictions 2014: Mobile Trends For Marketers,” merchants may see as much as 50 percent of their traffic coming from mobile devices this year. Is your loyalty program poised to engage with and deliver offers to mobile-centric consumers?

Here are three mobile trends that merchants should consider this year:

1. The use of mobile wallets will increase in the U.S.

China is already seeing mobile wallets catching on with 100 million users for the AliPlay Wallet application. We’d argue that the adoption rate for mobile wallets is much slower in the US, but merchants must brace for this change and consider what is driving the interest in these applications. That is, consumers want access to fast, easy transactions that make their lives more convenient. Regardless of whether the term “mobile wallets” ultimately translates into an app housing multiple credit card or account numbers, or a merchant-specific app that enables quick transactions, consumers are on the lookout for simple ways to engage with merchants. The loyalty play here is that, in addition to making that shopping experience more convenient, merchants should also offer customers a benefit – or added value – for using this app to do their shopping. One way to do this is to link mobile payment applications to loyalty and rewards programs that help track usage, while offering other deals and discounts

2. Consumers are channel and platform agnostic

Like the use of mobile wallets, the ways in which consumers interact with your brand are all matters of convenience. On any given day, a consumer could research a brand or product on multiple devices and through multiple channels. The only determining factor is where they are and what device they have at hand. Merchants must ensure that they’re prepared to engage with consumers – and optimize their experiences – across all possible channels. Online shopping and loyalty sites must be configured for all possible viewing and interaction scenarios to ensure the best customer experiences at all times. Furthermore, all of these experiences must be linked to provide a seamless progression from one channel to another. This may seem like old news, but few merchants are doing this successfully for their product catalogs. It’s even more challenging to ensure that marketing and loyalty initiatives are incorporated into this omni-channel approach – especially since these programs involve third-party vendors and developers.

3. Mobile is a long-term investment

In order to be nimble and innovate freely enough to remain relevant to tech-savvy consumers, merchants need to invest long-term in mobile mindshare and applications. Whether merchants hire internally or work with an outside party, the mobile initiative is never over. It’s an ongoing evolution of new experiences and expectations, and it cannot be considered a “one and done” effort. Successful merchant marketers will continue to push the mobile envelop, deliver new modes of engagement and continually look for new ways to differentiate shoppers’ experiences across a number of channels, devices and platforms.

As shopping trends continue to evolve, retailers will need to stay in front of the latest technologies and adapt them to an array of consumers’ shopping and situational experiences. What mobile retail trends are you watching this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Employee Spotlight: Meet Anne M.

We have smart people working at Cartera Commerce and they have each contributed greatly to the success of the company. Each month, we plan to feature one team member who can offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our company culture and the people who power our business.

This month we’d like to introduce you to Anne Morelli, a senior manager of relationship management who loves to strategize with clients, explore the city of Boston and volunteer. Anne_M

Alma mater: University of Vermont for undergrad and Boston University for business school 

Why did you join Cartera? I joined Cartera in July 2011 because I love entrepreneurial environments. I love how business strategy can be informed by technology strategy, and vice versa; and I knew each day would present new and exciting challenges. All of these pieces were apparent to me as I learned more about the company. I have stayed at Cartera because the people I work with are smart, passionate about what they do, and a lot of fun.

What do you love about your job? I love solving problems for clients and strategizing about how to grow programs. Every day is new and different. I am constantly learning.

What’s it like living and working in the Boston-area? I love Boston. There is a huge technology and intellectual scene; the city itself is so rich in history and tradition – it makes for an interesting juxtaposition.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work? I volunteer for my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, at the MIT chapter. I am also involved in the Junior League of Boston and enjoy contributing my time to this organization of trained women volunteers. Outside of my extracurricular activities, I love finding new restaurants and hanging out with my friends.

What is your all-time favorite movie? Clueless. No question.

What’s on your DVR right now? I am constantly streaming classic (and not so classic) movies on Netflix. Clueless, The Notebook, and Troop Beverly Hills are definitely favorites.

Where’s your favorite place to vacation? I spend a lot of time with my family in the mountains of Colorado. I always feel like I am getting away from everything while I’m there. As far as new adventures, I have always wanted to go on Safari in Africa. I’ll do that one day!

If you could choose one person to sit down and have coffee with, who would it be? Steve Jobs. Without a doubt. I would love to learn more about his thought process and how he approached problems and challenges that he faced. 

What book are you reading? Fall of Giants by Ken Follett and anything else historical fiction.

Interested in joining the team at Cartera Commerce? Check out our current job openings here.