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CHICAGO -- At local independent Potash Bros. Markets, as cashiers ring up sales, shoppers are ringing up savings -- on their cell phones -- in a new loyalty program that turns mobile phones into marketing, loyalty, and payment devices.
The retailer is using the MobileLime, Boston, which has developed a technology solution that allows consumers to get rewards and pay for purchases by waving their cell phone over a contactless reader at their favorite merchants.
"We were looking for a cardless program, so our shoppers wouldn't have to add another card to their wallet or keyring," Art Potash, owner and v.p. told Progressive Grocer. "Plus, it fits the lifestyle of our market. Our clientele have an active lifestyle, and are on the go, and they are all carrying cell phones. So if we're having a wine tasting on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., we can send them an email or text message at two to let them know."
In addition to targeted messages such as the wine tasting example, messages can be sent automatically by the system when customers make purchases, or respond to coupons. Messages can also be sent to announce special events and promotions.
The functionality Potash is really looking forward to deploy is the cell phone payment, in which registered users can pre-authorize a payment before entering the store and then just need to have their cell phone near the checkout to process the transaction. "I did a test transaction and it was very fast," said Potash. "This is perfect for our customers, as speed through checkout is our No. 1 issue."
-- Joseph Tarnowski