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TMCNet:  Reimagining the Retail Loyalty Landscape, GE Capital's Retail Finance Business Brings New Integrated Loyalty Solution to Market

[January 14, 2014]

Reimagining the Retail Loyalty Landscape, GE Capital's Retail Finance Business Brings New Integrated Loyalty Solution to Market

STAMFORD, Conn. & ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. --(Business Wire)--

As the retail industry dissects 2013's holiday shopping results, GE Capital's Retail Finance business and Kobie Marketing are introducing a new Integrated Multi-Tender Loyalty (IMTL) solution this week that leverages GE Capital Retail Finance's 80 years of expertise and a leading customer engagement and loyalty technology platform from Kobie Marketing. The IMTL solution brings together credit and non-credit programs, so they no longer compete with each other or exist in parallel.

At a time when retailers look to differentiate themselves and deepen their relationships with their customers, GE Capital Retail Finance and Kobie's solution aims to bring to market a fresh approach to retail loyalty for all types of merchants.

"Many retailers struggle with a lack of unified loyalty branding and seamless integration between multi-tender and credit programs, resulting in lower engagement levels," said Toni White, Chief Marketing Officer, GE Capital's Retail Finance business. "Our integrated multi-tender loyalty solution can help retailers improve their customers' experience and achieve what consumers are looking for by analyzing the right data and using those insights to personalize offers that create the right emotional connections. Loyalty data-including store-level, SKU, and demographics-can capture the preferences of up to 80% of a retailer's total shopping base.

GE Capital's Retail Finance business has developed loyalty programs around credit, which, despite the economic downturn, have helped produce attractive results for retailers. However, many retailers weren't experiencing the same results with their traditional, standalone loyalty programs. A study of two retailer loyalty programs found inverse results: the retailer with an integrated approach and a strong credit focus had year-over-year growth in member accounts and credit penetration for four years; while the retailer with a standalone loyalty program in isolation from credit had annual decreases in both categories. "Many of our retail clients were asking us to manage "both sides of their loyalty programs," prompting us to bring an integrated approach and deliver one seamless experience that engages all customers, regardless if it's through credit," said White.

Mobile has also changed the way consumers shop and interact with brands, with 40% of Millennials researching products on mobile devices compared to 17% of Boomers. Millennials want to be engaged via their mobile device and are more receptive to messages delivered on this channel (60% visit social sites daily), while customers engaged across multiple channels spend substantially more than in-store only shoppers*.

Powered by Kobie's Alchemy® technology platform, the IMTL solution delivers a unified credit and loyalty experience to engage the digitally adoptive and mobile-enabled Millennials, as well as traditional credit loyalty card shoppers. By optimizing economics and leveraging smarter customer insights, GE Capital's Retail Finance business believes the new solution can help brands inspire customer trust and loyalty by delivering personalized offers and great experiences.


"Traditionally, retailers collect data from dozens of sources, but many don't combine these sets of data to guide their marketing campaigns. If they're not creating accurate customer profiles or compiling all behavioral insights and data in a central place, retailers are missing opportunities to drive incremental behavior and deliver on customer expectations," said Michael Hemsey, president of Kobie Marketing. "The Alchemy® platform is scalable and flexible within different POS environments and enables retailers to create better experiences for their customers. We've integrated the technology to be available to all of GE Capital Retail Finance's clients and provide a 'single view' of their portfolio," continued Hemsey.

"As a customer-centric organization, our innovations are designed to put the customers' needs first," said White.

GE Capital Retail Finance and Kobie see their integrated solution - a significant advancement in multi-tender loyalty program unity - as delivering a better way for retailers to maximize customer reach, engagement and profitability, while broadening their customer base and overall member satisfaction. Retailers have the opportunity to democratize their loyalty programs while still providing a powerful, visible and integrated credit-holder experience.

"Together, we're reimagining the future of loyalty, which is about choice, flexibility and personalization," added Hemsey. "The platform provides the nation's retailers with a powerful tool that can enhance the value of their loyalty proposition to consumers and change the way they engage and retain customers."

About GE Capital's Retail Finance business

GE Capital's Retail Finance business is one of the country's leading retail lenders, with 80 years of experience in consumer financing. The business, with its lending entity GE Capital Retail Bank, provides customized credit programs to retailers and consumers in the United States that help drive sales. This includes private label and bankcard credit programs to major national, regional and independent retailers in the U.S., as well as private label credit card programs, promotional and installment lending, bankcards and financial services for consumers through dealers; contractors; manufacturers; healthcare practices; and service providers across nearly 20 industries. More information can be found at www.gogecapital.com and twitter.com/GoGECapital.

GE Capital is one of the world's largest providers of credit. For over one million businesses, large and small, GE Capital provides financing to purchase, lease and distribute equipment, as well as capital for real estate and corporate acquisitions, refinancings and restructurings. For its 100+ million consumer customers, GE Capital offers credit cards, sales finance programs, home, car and personal loans and credit insurance. For more information, visit www.gecapital.com or follow company news via Twitter (News - Alert) @GECapital.

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.

About Kobie Marketing

Kobie Marketing is a global leader in loyalty marketing and an industry pioneer, delivering end-to-end strategy, technology and program management solutions. For nearly 25 years, Kobie has provided innovative loyalty experiences to the world's most successful brands, helping clients receive incremental revenue, product and household penetration and brand advocacy. Kobie drives results and ROI through Kobie Alchemy®, a leading loyalty marketing technology platform. To learn more, visit www.kobie.com.

*GE Capital Retail Bank Annual Mobile Shopper Study - Rise of the Omni-channel Shopper, November 2013

©2014 General Electric Company, All rights reserved.


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