App-etite: Air Miles app takes off

The incentive rewards program landed on smartphones this week, giving collectors a more convenient way to access account info and location-based offers.

The new Air Miles smartphone app for iPhones and Blackberries helps mile collectors find sponsors and special offers no matter where they are. Released this week, the free app is being promoted through transit wraps, print ads in Metro newspapers across the country, as well as mobile and online ads. It’s also being featured in Air Miles’s Living magazine, via email blasts, and on

MiC caught up with Emmie Fukuchi, senior director and GM, digital and new media, Air Miles, to find out more about the app.

Tell us about your app: What does it do and why did you develop it?
The Air Miles app is the first of its kind for a loyalty program in Canada, and it’s really all about making it easy for our collectors to earn the most Air Miles reward miles possible.

The app enables collectors to find Air Miles sponsors wherever they are using a smartphone’s GPS. It also provides access to exclusive bonus offers and, with check-in, provides collectors with exclusive mobile offers in-store. It’s also a handy way to check your account balance on the go and ensure you always have your collector card number so you never miss out on an earning opportunity.

Most industry experts agree that it won’t be long before more people are accessing the web from a mobile device than from a PC. Part of the rationale behind developing the app was to make sure that we cater to the changing and evolving needs of our collectors. Giving them the ability to take advantage of mobile technology translates into a better collector experience.

Who is your target demographic?
With more than 10 million active Canadian Air Miles collectors and the number of smartphone users quickly rising, we’re looking to engage all Air Miles collectors who want to get the most reward miles and value out of every dollar spent. The app allows our customers to get this information at the touch of a few buttons. We’re also targeting those who might not have realized how easy it is to collect Air Miles reward miles. This app is an example of one of the innovative ways we’re making it easier for our collectors to stay highly engaged in the program.

Why did you think an app was the best way to reach your target audience?
Many of our collectors were telling us they wanted to have easy access to their account balance and sponsor deals on the go. With the app, collectors can find the closest sponsor locations and best deals at a glance, wherever they are. With a growing number of collectors using smartphones, an app was a natural next step for Air Miles.

How do you see this app evolving going forward?
Much of the success of Air Miles is our ongoing dialogue with collectors. We’ll always work to make this app as useful to them as possible. We’re listening to the feedback from users who have already downloaded the app. We take collector feedback and suggestions very seriously and strive to continue to make the program a relevant part of their everyday shopping experience.