Making loyalty-programs accessible.

BluCard is a loyalty brand that offers a mobile app to make loyalty programs accessible to small businesses.

The app helps customers make informed decisions and support local businesses. The approach aims to level the playing field for small businesses and combat retail chain saturation while encouraging the local community to support each other. The person speaking is the principal product design and creative director who leads the design team.

My Role
User research, ui design, high-fidelity prototype building, loyalty program architecture, business development, art direction, and branding
Kynite Inc. Development
Project Details
Duration: May - December 2020Scope: Proof of concept

Code Broker's 2018 survey found that 82% of customers enrolled in loyalty programs do not use them.

The focus of our loyalty brand was to create a program that small businesses and customers would consistently use. This was because we understood that small businesses may not have the financial resources to invest in a loyalty program with low success margins.

We conducted surveys and interviews with potential customers to better understand why they don't use their loyalty programs.

According to a recent study by McKinsey, immediate benefits such as discounts or exclusive access can increase loyalty program adoption rates by up to 85.5%, higher than point-based rewards programs. The issue with rewards programs is that the reward is often too far removed from the initial purchase, making it difficult for customers to develop a habit of using the service.

Top issues
with loyalty programs

  1. Lack of perceived value
  2. Lack of awareness on where to collect and redeem points
  3. Forgetting to redeem points before they expire
  4. Too much email marketing
  5. Bad user experiences on apps

“ Habits are formed by the repetition of particular acts. They are strengthened by an increase in the number of repeated acts. ”
- George Henry Lewes

Establishing a habit through frequent usage is crucial for the success of loyalty programs, as demonstrated by the Starbucks Rewards program. The program's app incentivizes users to spend more, with 80% of interview participants stating that they downloaded the app primarily for its mobile booking feature, with the rewards program as an added bonus. Given this, we understood the significance of designing an app with more features than just rewards tracking.

home screenLocation info screenAsk blu chatProfile dashboard

Our Loyalty Program

To provide an immediate upfront reward, we choose a discount-based loyalty program.

A study by McKinsey revealed that discount-based loyalty programs can increase transaction size by up to 70%. The study also found that paid membership tiers resulted in 62% more purchases compared to free tiers, which supported their own research. To balance customer attraction with profitability, we considered industry retail markup rates and offered a 15% discount for the entry-level free tier and a 20% discount for the paid tier. This provided sufficient incentive for customers to sign up while ensuring the costs remain manageable for small businesses.

Product Features

During the app design process, we added helpful features to create a positive user experience that encourages frequent app use, promoting habit-forming.

Improvement Opportunity

  • Notify users upon entering partner locations
  • Allow easy customization of marketing material
  • Simplify discount acceptance
  • Help users locate partner locations
  • Enable users to track and save money

Individual Store App Experience

Each home screen is customize with the companies logo and backsplash along with any area for them to run promos.

Geo Location

Get notified when you enter partner store.

E-Wallet Access

Just tap or scan your card at check out.

Blu Assistant

Blu acts as your guide throughout the app, providing suggestions on places to go and new activities to try. As your personal assistant, Blu helps you connect with local businesses.

Simplified Log in & Sign-up

There are two ways to sign up for the service. You can either download the app and enter your name and phone number there, or you can provide your information to the cashier at the point of sale when you check out.

Home Screen

The app detects the store you're in and updates your home screen with its branding and promotions. Additionally, you'll receive a notification about the Blu Discount offered by the store.

App Navigation

Navigating through the app is incredibly easy. To access the menu bar, simply pull it down. If you'd like to access our map view (called bluCommunity), just swipe up.

Dynamic Island

Upon entering a partner store, you will receive a notification informing you that you are eligible for savings. By tapping on the dynamic island, you can view the store's reviews and access your reward bar code, which can be easily scanned or tapped without having to unlock your phone.

POS Interaction

At checkout, access your client card via the notification with NFC, display your QR code by rotating your phone if NFC is unavailable, or through your phone/smartwatch E-Wallet.

Access QR Code by titling phone into portrait.

blu Community

The "bluCommunity" tab features your main map menu, along with some search options and unique categories like "Vibes." It also includes a list of the nearest retail stores that offer BluCard discounts.

blu Suggestions

Blu Suggestion is an AI chatbot recommending local businesses and attractions based on your interests and preferences. It uses data from the Blucommunity and Blu-partner locations to provide personalized suggestions like "fun date ideas for thrill-seekers" or "exotic food markets to visit".

User Profile

You can view your membership status, access your account details, and see how much you've saved on the account page. The awards section displays milestones you can achieve based on your interactions with the bluCommunity and usage.

Dark & Night Mode

BluCard comes in both light & dark modes to fit you own personal preference.

Smooth Scrolling