The influence of Blockchain Technology on Loyalty Reward Programs: A Multiple Case Study Research on the Loyalty Reward Programs Industry

Alejandro Gatica Garcia & Elia Bottega

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

In recent years, blockchain technology has received considerable attention. All around the world, several industries with completely different backgrounds are now investigating the technology in order discover the potential applications that could improve their businesses. This is due to the potential of blockchain to drastically modify the way on which existing systems deal with any kind of transactions, by introducing new procedures. The Loyalty Reward Program industry, dealing with transactions of loyalty points may be able to seize the potential of blockchain technology. However, the Loyalty Reward Programs industry is characterized by different Loyalty Reward Program models. Hence, the research in hand explores how blockchain technology can influence the creation of a new Loyalty Reward Program archetype. An exploratory multiple-case study was used to tackle the research. The companies selected as case studies represent different Loyalty Reward Programs typologies, namely, the Stand-Alone Program and the Multi-Vendor Loyalty Program. The case studies data was extracted with a qualitative multi-method analysis based on in-depth interviews and documents. Additionally, in order to evaluate the technical aspects of the potential blockchain application in the LRPs context, a blockchain expert was consulted. From their investigation the researchers present the LRPs archetype extracted from the analysis of the two case studies, which is composed by six common dimensions, namely level of interoperability, program speed, IT infrastructure complexity, depth of data collected, customer freedom of choice and customization level. Then, an archetype matrix displaying the difference of the two LRPs typologies is presented. Thereafter, the researchers present the potential application of blockchain technology in the LRP industry. Consequently, the blockchain application is evaluated in regards to the potential impact on the presented LRPs archetype. The resulting LRP archetype based on blockchain technology, is then added to the LRP archetype matrix. Consequently, this matrix can be used as a reference guide for businesses on the LRP industry interested in exploring the potential of this technology.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages155
SupervisorsMichel Avital