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How to launch an Uber-style loyalty program with Voucherify?

Why is the Uber Rewards program successful? Top features of Uber-style loyalty program. How to launch a loyalty program similar to Uber Rewards with Voucherify?

How to launch a loyalty program similar to Uber Rewards?

In this post you will learn not only why Uber Rewards loyalty program is an example of a jaw-dropping loyalty scheme, but also:

  • How to recreate Uber Loyalty Program features with Voucherify.
  • What are the features of a successful loyalty program.
  • Why catering to the highest spenders is a smart business move.

If you are looking for some inspiration to improve your loyalty program, look no further.

Let's dive in.

Table of contents

  1. What makes Uber Rewards successful?
  2. Flexible promotional engine.
  3. Customer tier levels.
  4. Earning loyalty points.
  5. Rewards catalog.
  6. Notifications.
  7. Tracking of the loyalty points and tier level.
  8. Summary.

Uber Technologies Inc. has a successful history of gaining new customers with its referral program. By introducing the Uber Rewards loyalty program in 2019, the company started focusing on customer retention. By March 2020, Uber Rewards had more than 20 million subscribers and was available in the US, Australia, Mexico, France, Brazil, and New Zealand.

Uber Rewards Loyalty Program
Uber Rewards, Source: Lili Tawil Design

20 million subscribed customers in 6 months after the roll out spell great results and Uber is planning to roll it out in most of the countries where they are already present.

Uber Rewards combines many of the best practices of loyalty programs. We are going to explain in detail how to implement all these in your rewards program.

What makes Uber Rewards successful?

Focused on highest spenders

The loyalty program of Uber is developed for customers who spend much above average on Uber services. The program has 4 tier levels, and it rewards customers who collect a minimum of 500 loyalty points (in the US) every 6 months. The tiers are as follows::

  • Blue membership: up to 500 loyalty points/6 months.
  • Gold membership: up to 2499 loyalty points/6 months.
  • Platinum membership: up to 7499 loyalty points/6 months.
  • Diamond membership: over 7500 loyalty points/6 months.

Uber Rewards is targeting quite a narrow audience. The rewarded user base is clearly narrowed down to the highest spenders. Customers who want to enjoy the advantages of the loyalty program have to spend around $500/6 months on basic Uber services like Uber Pool and Uber Eats or use regularly more expensive services like Uber XL or Black. In the USA, Uber users fulfil these requirements only in 3 cities (New York: $84/months, Boston: $95/month, San Francisco: $110/month), while the average spending in other cities of the US is approximately $50/month.

Exclusive perks and rewards for members

The perks and rewards that the program provides: 

  • For Blue members: customers can exchange every 500 points for different rewards.
  • For Gold members: customers have access to priority customer service and flexible cancellation of trips.
  • For Platinum members: airport priority pickup and price protection between 2 favourite places make the customer experience more comfortable.
  • For Diamond members: complimentary upgrades, access to highly rated drivers, premium support and free UberEats delivery (3 times/6 months) make travelling easier with Uber.

These perks provide the users with exclusive services, focusing on the most common needs of these customer segments and giving them a “VIP” feeling.

Uber Rewards Loyalty Program – different levels
Uber Rewards tiers, Source: Techcrunch

Safe marketing budget

The loyalty program is focused on the most profitable customers. The value of the rewards for the entry-level members is limited to $5 after spending $500 (1%). For higher tier levels that include more business travellers, exclusive services and perks are introduced. These services do not increase Uber’s costs significantly but they raise the customer experience to a higher level.

Practically, members of the higher customer tiers can use Uber similarly to a taxi company or even a private driver’s service:

  • Priority and premium phone support to solve customers’ issues in no time.
  • The highest-rated drivers arrive on time in the cleanest and most exclusive Uber cars.
  • Priority airport pickup provides an extremely comfortable experience for regular travels.
  • Price protection between 2 favourite places (e.g. airport and office, home address and office, etc.) help with calculating the travel budget.

Simple loyalty point earning rules

The earning rules are visible on the following table. Uber introduced rules that are straightforward and easy to understand for all members.

Earning rules of Uber Rewards Loyalty
Earning rules of Uber Rewards in the US, Source: Uber

Simple and intuitive UX design of the mobile app

The mobile app is an essential part of Uber’s existence. The same clear and practical design is used for the Rewards program.

Mobile app for the loyalty program
Clear UX Design of Uber Rewards in France, Source: SiecleDigital

Fraud-proof loyalty program

Uber managed to construct a fraud-proof loyalty program. To learn more about what makes a loyalty program fraud-proof, read our blog post: How to stop loyalty program fraud in 8 simple steps.

Uber Rewards is fraud-proof because of the following reasons:

  • Fraudsters aim at quick and high-value rewards. The Uber Rewards program is safe as customers need to spend a significant amount of money and time (in the US: $500 spent in a 6 months long period) to get access to rewards, special services, and perks.
  • The economical value of rewards is low (approx. 1% in the case of $5 Uber Cash), while services and perks improve customer experience by non-monetary means.
  • Collected loyalty points and redeemable rewards have expiry dates that exclude the possibility of selling rewards (e.g. Uber Cash) on the black market.
  • Uber users need to verify their identities, therefore it is not possible to cheat the system by multiple enrolments or email aliases.

All in all, Uber Rewards is a thoughtful loyalty program that incorporates the best practices of the market. Later in this article, you will find more technical and practical information on how to create your own Uber-style loyalty program using the tools provided by Voucherify.

Flexible promotional engine

Uber is present in 70 countries and more than 700 cities. Different locations mean different languages, currency, purchasing power, customer needs. Therefore, Uber is providing different services (and promotions) based on the region. The great number of variables means that the flexibility of the promotional engine has been crucial to successfully run the Rewards program.

How can it be done in Voucherify

Voucherify provides all the flexibility that you need for such a rewards program. With Voucherify’s flexible promotional engine it takes only a couple of days to implement a similar program and minutes to modify, update or customize any setting or rule in the program. You can find more details about all the flexible and necessary options later on in this article.

Customer tier levels

Uber introduced customer tier levels in the Rewards loyalty program. There are 4 tiers, namely Blue, Gold, Platinum, Diamond. For each tier level, there are different benefits available. The higher the tier, the more exclusive benefits are available for the customers.

The customer’s tier level is updated every 6 months based on the number of points they collect in this period. When a customer joins the loyalty program, his/her tier level is based on the previous 6 months of purchases.

How can it be done in Voucherify

Once in the Voucherify Dashboard, choose the Customers menu. Here you can set up your loyalty program’s customer segments. Now, with Voucherify you can set up two types of customer segments:

  • A static segment is set up manually and it does not change once it’s created.
  • An auto-updated segment (dynamic) is set up manually but it is automatically updated and new customers are included immediately to the segment when they meet the criteria defined by filters.

Uber updates customer tiers every 6 months based on the points collected in that period. This specific option is under development by our developers and will be available soon. If you want to know more about our developments in progress, visit our Product Portal.

Customer Segments can be created with the following filters:

  • Profile (name, email, phone, created date, postal code, city, state, country)
  • System attributes (source ID, source, source metadata, consent)
  • Custom attributes & Events (metadata, event)
  • Activity (e.g. the total amount of customer orders, the total count of customer orders, the last purchased order, the last order total amount, redeemed gift cards, referred customers, accumulated loyalty points, etc.)

To set up a segment similar to “Gold” for example in Voucherify, all we need is to define the following rules, also visible on the screenshot below:

  • Loyalty points, All campaigns, more than, 499
  • Loyalty points, All campaigns, less than, 2500
Building customer segments in Voucherify
Setting up customer segments in Voucherify Dashboard, Source: Voucherify

More detailed information about customer segments is available in our manual: How to group my customers with customer segments?

In Uber Rewards, customer activity that determines the Customer tier is considered from the n-6 months, n=day of joining Uber Rewards. In Voucherify’s system, this option does not exist at the moment but it can be done with small custom development. Please contact us for further information.

Earning loyalty points

Customers collect loyalty points in the Uber Rewards program. The number of points depends on the amount of money spent for Uber, the service used and the customer tier. As services offered by Uber vary by country, there are slightly different rules everywhere. In the US, 1 point is collected after $1 spent on Uber Pool, Pool Express and Uber Eats. 2 and 3 points are offered for using more expensive services like Uber X, XL or Black.

How can it be done in Voucherify

Earning rules define the scheme of how loyalty program members can collect loyalty points. Different Earning Rules can be set up for Customer segments and Customer events.

Earning rules define the actions that can earn loyalty points for the customer:

  • customer order history (e.g. the amount of $ spent, the amount of products bought, type of products bought in a specific time period),
  • a customer segment the customer belongs to,
  • action performed on your website/app (example: writing a review, reading blog posts, liking social media posts, following your social media profile, filling out a survey). 

How to set it up? On the Voucherify Dashboard, go to Campaigns/New campaign/Loyalty program. After filling out your loyalty program details you can set up the Earning rules. Set up the name of the action, the number of points and the trigger. In the Order structure you can set up the product to be purchased (e.g. Pool, Express Pool), then in the Order volume you can set up the total amount (e.g. $1). This way it is possible to create rules for earning points whenever customers use different services.

Building earning rules with Voucherify
Setting up Earning rules in Voucherify Dashboard, Source: Voucherify

More detailed information is available in our manual: How can your customers earn points in a loyalty program

Rewards catalog

Uber Rewards members can exchange loyalty points for different rewards. Each 500 accrued loyalty points is worth $5 in Uber Cash (credits on your Uber accounts) or can be exchanged for another reward (e.g. lottery ticket with which you can win $100, a voucher at a partner company, free delivery for an Uber Eats order). Whenever members collect 500 loyalty points, they have 28 days to choose one of the rewards. Rewards and Uber Cash come in the form of vouchers valid during 12 months.

How can it be done in Voucherify

After defining the Earning Rules of the loyalty points, you need to create the rewards that the loyalty program members can get. Thanks to the flexibility of our system, rewards can be added and modified later on, anytime. It is possible to define the name, type, and cost of the reward in the following way:

Rewards catalog for the Uber Loyalty program
Rewards catalog in Voucherify, Source: Voucherify


Setting up Rewards
Setting up Rewards catalog in Voucherify, Source: Voucherify

Once rewards are set up, they are visible in the catalog, including the most important details.

Rewards Catalog loyalty Uber program
Coupons and gift cards in the Rewards catalog, Source: Voucherify

As mentioned before, each 500 loyalty points can be exchanged to rewards in 28 days. These options will be soon possible with Voucherify thanks to the Points expiry mechanism that is planned to be released in June 2020. You can find more information on our Product Portal.

Notifications

Members of the Uber Rewards program receive customized notifications from Uber whenever:

  • The loyalty program is available in their country.
  • 500 points are collected and the customer can choose a voucher.

Notifications in the form of email and push notifications are a great way to maintain the connection with the customers, to attract their attention to specific events and to keep their engagement at a higher level. 

How can it be done in Voucherify

Voucherify provides the option to design and send notifications about the number of available points or redeemed rewards. Setting up these notifications is possible anytime in the following way:

Loyalty notifications
Setting up notifications in Voucherify, Source: Voucherify

While setting up the notifications, you need to select the communication channel. In the case of emails, you can use your email address or any other service provider like Mailchimp. The sender, the title and the design of the message are customizable. An example of a customized email notification:

Notification design
Customized email notification in Voucherify, Source: Voucherify

Tracking the loyalty points and tier level

In the Uber mobile app, it is easy for the customers to track the number of loyalty points. On the following screenshot, it is visible that both the overall points collected and the points you need to get the next reward are visible.

Loyalty points tracking
Uber Rewards points in the app, Source: Uberzone blog

How can it be done in Voucherify

In Voucherify’s solution, collected points and redeemed coupons are visible in the customer cockpit. All the data that is related to the loyalty program and each customer’s member status can be integrated to a mobile application or website through Voucherify API.

Our API provides you with limitless options on how to design and construct the user interface of your loyalty program. If you want to know more about Voucherify API, visit Voucherify Developer Hub.

Customer cockpit
Customer cockpit view in Voucherify, Source: Voucherify

Summary

Uber has 75 million users, and 25% of them have already joined the Uber Rewards loyalty program. The rewards program targets the most profitable audience and gives the exclusive feeling of “VIP” to members through a clear interface and simple program rules.

Uber introduced several loyalty program best practices that are possible to replicate with Voucherify:

  • Different customer tiers are available for the highest spending users.
  • Members collect loyalty points when purchasing services.
  • Uber provides valuable rewards for the loyalty program members while keeping the marketing budget safe.
  • Users are notified about important events of the loyalty programs (e.g. new rewards available) through email and the mobile app.
  • Customers are always aware of their customer tier, points, rewards, and perks.

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