Loyalty in the Age of Bots: Navigating Human and AI Preferences in Customer Programmes

In a time where artificial intelligence (AI) permeates almost every aspect of our personal and business lives, loyalty strategists face a unique set of challenges. The integration of AI assistants like Alexa, Siri, and ChatGPT into daily routines has transformed how customers interact with brands and make purchasing decisions. How can loyalty programmes remain appealing not just to customers, but to the AI bots they frequently use?


The Rise of AI in Consumer Decision-Making

AI has revolutionised the way people access information and make decisions. With just a voice command or a few keystrokes, customers can use AI to research products, compare brands, and seek out new services. This shift towards AI-assisted shopping means that loyalty programmes must evolve to catch the attention of both human users and their digital assistants.


Understanding AI's Role in Loyalty Programmes

AI bots are programmed to seek out the best options based on a range of variables including price, quality, user reviews, and, increasingly, personalised factors that align with the user’s preferences. To stay relevant, loyalty programmes must optimise their content to be easily interpretable by AI. This includes using clear, concise language and highlighting key benefits that an AI can quantify, such as discounts, points systems, or exclusive offers.


Enhancing Visibility to AI Assistants

One practical step for loyalty strategists is to ensure that AI assistants can easily access and understand the value of loyalty programmes. Have you ever asked Siri or Alexa about your loyalty programme? What do they know, and how do they communicate its benefits to users? Optimising for AI requires more than just visibility in search results; it involves structuring data in a way that AI systems can understand and evaluate. This could mean integrating schema markup on web pages that detail loyalty programmes or collaborating directly with companies like Amazon or Apple to ensure AI systems have the most current data.


The Human Touch in a Digital World

Despite the rise of AI, human-centric approaches remain crucial. The emotional connection, a sense of belonging, and personalised experiences often drive loyalty more effectively than transactional benefits alone. Therefore, while it's necessary to adapt programmes for AI compatibility, retaining a strong human element is essential. This could involve customer service initiatives, personalised offers based on user history, or exclusive events for members.


Future-Proofing Loyalty Programmes

Looking forward, loyalty strategists must continuously adapt to technological advancements while keeping an eye on emerging AI trends that could affect consumer behaviour. This might include the rise of augmented reality shopping experiences or AI-driven personalised shopping assistants. By staying informed and flexible, brands can ensure their loyalty programmes continue to engage both humans and their AI counterparts effectively.



In conclusion, as AI continues to influence how consumers interact with brands, loyalty programmes must evolve to meet the needs of both human customers and the AI bots that assist them. By enhancing the visibility of these programmes to AI and maintaining a strong human connection, brands can craft loyalty strategies that succeed.


About the Author

Melanie Parker

Melanie Parker

Stream’s co-founder, Melanie, became the first British woman to become accredited with the CLMP from The Loyalty Academy. Passionate about all things loyalty, Melanie cuts through the technical jargon and gets to the real business issue. Melanie loves to develop engaging digital solutions that appear simple whilst creating long lasting partnerships that add value to all.


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