Special offers are a huge help to most any retailer of most any size. The idea of offering customers free stuff in exchange for buying large quantities of a product is an idea that's been around for some time, mostly because, on the whole, it works. The concept gets a little more refined as Bank of America merchant services gets access to First Data's OfferWise solution as part of its 2Go Media iDeals marketing platform.
Essentially, thanks to the addition of First Data's OfferWise solution, Bank of America merchant services can now attach eCoupons, loyalty programs and other similar promotional deals to a consumer's mobile wallet or payment card, which will allow them to be automatically redeemed at the point of sale. The iDeals marketing platform already offered some of this, but bringing in OfferWise expanded its scope, according to some reports.
This in turn also allows more local businesses to appear on daily deals sites, which are understandably popular given the down economy. Plus, those deals will also start showing up more on smartphones, tablets and PCs alike, where progressively more customers are spending large amounts of their time. Additionally, since the customers using these particular platforms have to opt in to the deals offered, the merchants have no need to keep track of them. They're simply offered, and accounted for, right at the point of sale.
Basically, not only does the addition of OfferWise make the whole process a lot simpler, it also makes it sufficiently automated to the point where all merchants have to do is keep the thing in question available, or prepare their own deals of interest. Bank of America's executive vice president of strategy and emerging products, Trevor Rubel, described the process, "In addition to providing prepaid offers, we're introducing a new kind of card-linked service which frees merchants and their customers from the restrictive pay in advance model."
This combination of maximum ease of use and maximum efficiency to match should go a long way in helping at least some retailers shore up their declining fortunes. Plus, it's also a good move to roll out something like this now, as soon, back to school shopping is going to get started up with its accompanying burst to retailers, and not too far behind is the upcoming holiday shopping season, which will include sales for those celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa alike, among others.
Making it easier for consumers to take advantage of special offers should lend at least a little help to a flagging retail market, and in turn, should help give retailers a little extra footing to try and hold out through the down economy.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey