When people started printing on plastic cards it was a new industry that started off slow and then took off. Consumers loved that they were saving money, stores loved the renewed loyalty and consumer retention, and companies making them enjoyed the extra business. It was a boon for everyone and showed no signs of slowing down at all.
These programs started years ago with a single chain of grocery stores. They were looking for a way to retain their customers and get them to spend more. People were noticing that they could go to four grocery stores for their weekly shopping instead of one for all their needs. They found that they saved money buying things wherever they were the cheapest.
After earning a certain number of points the consumer could redeem those points for rewards. These rewards came in the form of coupons sent to the home, instant savings at the store, and sometimes free gifts. The programs were a resounding success and people everywhere wanted to get in on the act. But the most astonishing thing about the program was not the points.
So the plan was to offer customers saving for their loyalty and call them rewards. They would give them a store branded plastic card that would signify them as a shopper of that company and scanning this card would give them a cheaper price versus someone who did not have such a card. It made people feel like they were a part of something. Like they were members of an exclusive club.
Once they did it would not be long before other ideas started coming to the forefront. Someone got the idea of printing little quarter card size ones that a person could put onto their key chain. By doing so they ended up advertising for the retail outlet everywhere they had their keys out of their pockets or purse. It was a great idea.
It was perfect because now it was always with the consumer no matter where they went and it acted like a moving billboard for the retail location. Everywhere the consumer was and had their key chain out on a table or in their hands, people could see and read the card that was hanging from it. They could see that their friend shopped at a particular store.
The savings were noticed by more than just customers too. Other businesses noticed that people were shopping differently and they knew why. They saw the loyalty cards and wanted in on the action. They wanted the same rewards that the other retail outlets were enjoying. They quickly realized that you do not have to be a grocery store to make these programs work.
Printing on plastic cards was booming for everyone. The stores loved it because it was helping them make money by retaining their consumers and generate loyalty. Customers loved it because they saw it as a great way to save money on expensive items. Everyone got into the action and everybody was reaping the benefits. After a few years it seemed you could not go anywhere without seeing these on someone’s keys.
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