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Loyalty NZ uses AWS cloud to boost CX

Providing a good customer experience is essential for your business. Loyalty NZ uses AWS cloud services to create a customer-centric approach to how they run their business.

Loyalty NZ’s Fly Buys program consists of 2.5 million Fly Buys cardholders in 74 per cent of New Zealand households.  On average, each day, the Fly Buys card is swiped more than 300,000 times and every 38 seconds a New Zealander buys a reward with Fly Buys points.

Working with more than 50 industry-leading brands, the company helps merchants know more about their customers, what they want, and how they can deliver it. It supports this work through its Lab360 end-to-end analytics consultancy business, which deploys robust, high-quality data sets and a suite of innovative analytical products to allow customers to gain even more value from their data.

Card-holders meanwhile can easily manage their accounts across any platform, check their points balance and engage with Fly Buys and receive special offers targeted to their needs. They can pay with points via their phone in certain stores, and received personalised offers when they’re getting close to a participating outlet.

A company focused on customer experience

These innovations are the result of an ongoing strategy to transform Loyalty NZ into a completely customer-centric company – with an ever improving cardholder and client offering. Loyalty NZ has worked with AWS to make these innovations possible, and realise the company’s customer focused strategy.

“Our partnership with more than 50 industry-leading brands is dependent on our ability to connect them with customers on a meaningful level. By creating greater customer value, utility and choice, we maintain our connection with a broad section of New Zealand consumers, thereby creating value for our clients,” says Hamish Mitchell, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer at Loyalty New Zealand.

“Innovation at Loyalty NZ is about keeping abreast of the ever-changing demands of customers and clients. It’s about making sure we still mean the right thing to the right people. In this rapidly evolving world we need the flexibility and agility to offer a vast array of solutions seamlessly integrated into our customers lives,” says Mitchell.

Traditional models are preventing innovation

Historically the company relied on proprietary, one-size-fits-all legacy systems for Fly Buys transactions, customer relationship management and rewards management, but the limitations of this approach began to show. Being stuck in a two decade-old system paradigm of offline and over-night batch processing simply couldn’t support the customer and merchant experiences it sought to deliver.

With a desire to launch new applications and platform features, Loyalty NZ found that doing so on its traditional outsourced IT partner model was simply too sluggish. Changes could take months.

Driven by a desire to delight its customers and partners, the company decided to rewrite and redeploy its core loyalty systems on a modern architecture of public cloud infrastructure and services, application programming interfaces (APIs), and multi-tenancy. After close evaluation of two leading public cloud providers, Loyalty NZ selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2014.

“In this rapidly evolving world we need the flexibility and agility to offer a vast array of solutions seamlessly integrated into our customers’ lives.” “We saw the opportunity as the best way of ensuring our technology could meet the Software as a Service (SaaS) requirements of Fly Buys partners,” explains Paula Keane, acting CTO, Loyalty NZ

“Our biggest considerations were around speed. This included how quickly we could execute our plans to transform our business, how quickly we could deploy technology, and how quickly we could scale,” says Keane.

“The result of this approach is a highly configurable, modern, and multi-program, multi-currency loyalty platform we call LoyaltyCloud. Using AWS Cloud, we can implement improvements to our systems a lot faster than we ever could. It enables complementary programmes for clients to offer customers alongside Fly Buys, giving customers access to even more rewards.”

Since the launch, Loyalty NZ’s technology team has continued to upgrade and enhance LoyaltyCloud through its commitment to Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) and its DevOps team. Instances of the platform are now deployed in minutes, not months. In parallel, Loyalty NZ’s operations team has on-boarded numerous Fly Buys merchants directly onto LoyaltyCloud, including and glasses and contacts retailer Clearly Contacts.

“We’ve already migrated several partners and all their interactions are in real time, making a huge difference in the experiences customers have with Fly Buys,” adds Keane.

The business anticipates that by this year, it will increase the number of annual transactions captured in AWS from a few million to 100 million, and is confident that AWS can scale to support the rise.

“The fact the AWS cloud helps LoyaltyCloud to vastly improve speed and agility means Loyalty can provide real time experiences and easily scale up or down to handle changes in the retail spend environment, such as spikes in spending at Christmas. This reflects their customer-centric approach and we are excited to be enabling it,” says Keane.