CINCINNATI, Oct. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- LOC Enterprises, LLC today introduced the first truly universal loyalty card system that eliminates the need for consumers to carry multiple loyalty cards to receive merchant rewards and benefits.
The LOC Card Solution is a "universal" loyalty card that provides an "all of the above approach" (wallet card, a key fob, and a smart phone app) to allow customers to easily participate in any merchant loyalty program. The LOC Card® is simple, convenient, and provides consumers with a solution that they have been demanding for many years.
Consumers obtain the card and key fob free at participating merchants and then enroll in the LOC program through the LOC Card website. The LOC Card is then activated, and with one swipe of the card through any participating merchant's system, the customer is automatically enrolled into the merchant's loyalty program – no applications, no forms, no hassle.
"Consumers are refusing to enroll in customer loyalty programs because of privacy concerns, cumbersome enrollment processes, and no room to carry additional cards," said Jack J. Kennamer, president of LOC Enterprises, LLC. "The LOC Card addresses all three of these concerns."
Consumers want a universal loyalty card
Consumer research has shown that 52 percent of Americans prefer a single card for all of their loyalty accounts while 32% prefer a single key fob and 16 percent want a smart app. (Source: Global Association for Marketing at Retail, March 2011.) Of the 112 million households in the United States, the average household is enrolled in 14-18 different customer loyalty programs.
In addition to eliminating the need for multiple cards and multiple enrollments, LOC allows consumers to monitor all participating merchant loyalty program points/offers from a single, secure website.
The LOC Card was introduced in Dallas today at the Loyalty 360 Engagement and Experience Expo.
"For years, consumers have been asking for a solution to relieve them of carrying eight-plus individual loyalty cards everywhere they go," said Erin Rease, COO of Loyalty 360, the trade association for merchant loyalty programs. "Now there's a solution that will greatly enhance the customer's experience. We're honored to have LOC Enterprises launching their universal LOC Card solution at the Engagement and Experience Expo."
Inspiration came while standing in line at a sporting goods store
Kennamer, LOC's president and a highly-successful business entrepreneur, came up with the idea of a universal loyalty card last November – Black Friday, to be exact -- while waiting in a line to purchase Christmas gifts for his 10-year-old son at a local sporting goods store in Cincinnati.
"While I was standing in line, I started hearing this cadence: 'Do you have a Rewards card? No. Do you want one? No.' I kept hearing it over and over again. Finally, a lady in the next line over answers, 'Sure, I'd like one,' and a guy behind her lets out a big sigh as she starts providing information to the cashier for the application. The guy behind finally says, 'Come on already, I've got to go.'"
"Then the cashier asks the guy in front of me the same question and he holds up a key ring brimming with what looked to be a hundred key fobs, and he says 'No room for you.'"
Research showed no universal loyalty card existed
After his shopping experience, Kennamer researched the issue for more than a month and discovered that no truly universal loyalty card was available even though consumers had demanded one. Kennamer surmises that a universal loyalty card had not been created in the past because the cost of computer servers and hardware needed to handle such an endeavor was prohibitive. However, computer virtualization and cloud computing have changed that dynamic.
Teaming with Logicalis and VMware, LOC Enterprises has created an IT infrastructure that allows consumers to use the LOC Card all over the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Logicalis is an international IT solution and managed services provider with expertise in communication, collaboration, data center and cloud services. VMware, based in Palo Alto, California, is a global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure.
"With our partners, Logicalis and VMware, we have the infrastructure in place to accept the LOC card anywhere in the world," Kennamer said. "The next step is to have merchants start accepting the card."
LOC is now signing up merchants to participate in the program
Kennamer said that LOC Enterprises has hired a national sales force to work throughout the United States and Canada to sign up merchants to participate in the LOC program.
"We think consumers will be our greatest ambassadors since they have made it abundantly clear that they want a universal loyalty card," Kennamer said. "Much like they did with the early credit cards, we think consumers will push merchants to adopt a universal loyalty card because of its convenience."
Kennamer said that the company is encouraging consumers to visit its website, www.LOCcard.com, to recommend merchants that they believe should accept the LOC Card and to 'Like' and 'Follow' the company on its Facebook page and Twitter feed to show support for the new product.
LOC facilitates enrollment in existing merchant loyalty programs
Once merchants understand the LOC program, Kennamer thinks they will be quick to embrace it.
"LOC is not a loyalty program," Kennamer said. "Instead, the LOC Card facilitates customer enrollment in existing merchant loyalty programs, and thus, encourages merchant loyalty."
This is important, he said, because a "loyal" customer is 15 times more likely to patronize a business than a customer without a loyalty tie to the business. (Source: Research and market data in The Loyalty Effect, a study of loyalty programs by major U.S. retailers and restaurant chains.)
Merchants are very protective of their customers' information, and whenever possible, they want to have complete control over that valuable information," Kennamer said.
"For merchants, the LOC Card is simply a universal enrollment vehicle into their loyalty/rewards programs," Kennamer said. "The merchants maintain complete control over their sales data and the LOC system has no access to any of that information."
By structuring the system this way, there should be no reason for any merchant not to want to participate in LOC's universal loyalty card program, he said.
"The benefit is that merchants will receive greater consumer participation, and at the end of the day, that's what everyone -- consumers and merchants alike -- wants," Kennamer said. "LOC allows any loyalty system provider to participate and still provide its same services without the fear of competition -- truly a win-win for the entire industry."
Merchants can continue to accept their "branded" cards in addition to the LOC card, should they wish to do so, Kennamer said. The LOC program also allows small businesses with no existing customer loyalty program to start such programs with much less risk and cost -- knowing that it will be much easier to enroll customers through LOC than a stand-alone loyalty-card program, he said.
About LOC Enterprises, LLC
LOC Enterprises, LLC, based in Cincinnati Ohio and with offices in Atlanta, GA and Wichita, KS, is the parent company of the LOC Card Solution®, providing the most effective, cost efficient, privacy protected, independent way to connect consumers with merchants' rewards and loyalty programs. LOC Enterprises' management team consists of industry veterans from HP, Motorola, major retailers, and proven entrepreneurs in the fields of technology, start-up development, marketing and retail, bringing extreme depth and experience to the new brand. The company has raised venture capital to develop and market the product.
For more information, visit www.locenterprisesllc.com
Jack J. Kennamer
LOC Enterprises, LLC
888-963-6320 ext. 150
SOURCE LOC Enterprises, LLC