It's easy for retailers to get swept up by the appeal of new technology to connect with customers. With every new product promising to increase sales, it can be difficult to tell what is really worth investing in - and what will be a long-term solution rather than a fad.
This is difficult for both retailers and consumers alike, except that the chance of it not catching on comes with a much bigger financial risk for a chain of high street stores than the buyer of a Betamax.
Because of the excitement around new technology, it can be tempting for retailers to splash out on new systems, believing that a high-tech shopping experience is what drives loyalty in 2015.
The trouble is that there is a danger of creating solutions that, although highly advanced and capable, are off-putting to customers.
What businesses must remember is that the rules of marketing are the same as they always have been. What has evolved is how customers prefer their communication, the options available for it and the ability to engage in real-time.
Trying to make a loyalty programme work by interacting with customers through every available channel could generate so much data that it can't be processed to profile customers effectively - so the offers they receive are no more relevant or targeted than before.
Multiply this by the number of brands that the average shopper might interact with, and it could force them to tune out completely, desperate to get away from the marketing noise. By trying to target people through direct marketing emails, apps, in-store tablets, iBeacon alerts and social media, it does not necessarily mean that the solution will be successful.
In this respect, the use of technology would become more of a hindrance to any loyalty programme's success.
Retailers' race to offer a fully integrated omni-channel shopping experience will only yield a strong return on investment if it can be made palatable to the vast majority of customers, rather than just a tech-savvy niche. The success of loyalty programmes, and the collection of data to generate customer insight, is reliant on this.
Certain data collection methods will suit different sectors more than others, so retailers must consider how their shoppers will react to each type of communication. It also depends whether the objectives of the business are to stretch spend or to increase footfall.
What is crucial is to provide a consistent in-store, online and mobile experience across all platforms, to both minimise confusion and retain trust in the brand. This is what retains engagement and increases the quality of the data that drives a loyalty scheme. Get the technology and communication balance right, and the complete process will work hard to increase profit.