WO2016039646A1 - An electronic interactive loyalty reward system and method - Google Patents

An electronic interactive loyalty reward system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2016039646A1
WO2016039646A1 PCT/NZ2015/050141 NZ2015050141W WO2016039646A1 WO 2016039646 A1 WO2016039646 A1 WO 2016039646A1 NZ 2015050141 W NZ2015050141 W NZ 2015050141W WO 2016039646 A1 WO2016039646 A1 WO 2016039646A1
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loyalty reward
customer
system
electronic device
loyalty
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PCT/NZ2015/050141
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French (fr)
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Donald Robert FRAMPTON
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Frampton Donald Robert
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0207Discounts or incentives, e.g. coupons, rebates, offers or upsales

Abstract

An interactive loyalty reward system comprises at least a first electronic device, a loyalty reward module application which on execution on the first electronic device, presents a customer interface on a display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device in communication with the first electronic device via a network. The loyalty reward module application is operative to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface. The loyalty reward function allows the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal. The loyalty reward application then generates a loyalty reward based on the loyalty reward signal. The loyalty reward generated may or may not be calculated in dependence upon the values of a purchase associated with the loyalty reward.

Description

AN ELECTRONIC INTERACTIVE LOYALTY REWARD SYSTEM AND METHOD Field of the Invention

This invention relates to an electronic interactive loyalty reward system and method and in one example, the invention relates to such a system and method for use with an electronic and/or online purchasing system.

Background

It is known to provide an electronic and/or online purchasing system in which a customer can interact with a customer interface, such as a website or the like displayed on the screen of an electronic device, to purchase a product or service displayed on the customer interface. The customer interface is linked to a database of products and/or services, and to an electronic payment system either directly on the electronic device, and/ or via a telecommunications network to a remote server. The customer interface allows a customer to select a product and/or service from the database, and to pay for the selected product and/or service via the electronic payment system.

It has also been proposed to provide a loyalty reward system in which a customer may be rewarded for making a purchase. Typically such a system would allocate a reward in dependence upon the value of the purchase made. For example, the loyalty reward system may allocate a point or token for each dollar spent.

Object of the Invention

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved loyalty reward system and method which overcomes or at least ameliorates one or more disadvantages of the prior art, or alternatively to at least provide the public with a useful choice of interactive engagement allowing the final level of reward to be influenced or increased.

Further objects of the invention will become apparent from the following description. Summary of Invention

Accordingly in one aspect the invention may broadly be said to consist in an electronic interactive loyalty reward system comprising at least a first electronic device, and a loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, and which cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.

The system may further comprise an electronic purchasing application operating on the first electronic device, wherein the electronic purchasing application comprises instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on the display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, via which customer interface a customer can purchase a product and/or service.

A product/service database may be provided on the first electronic device, or is provided on a second electronic device in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, the customer interface being arranged such that a customer can select and purchase a product and/or service stored on the database.

The system may be further operative to generate a purchase value signal indicative of the value or adjusted value of a purchase made by the customer, the loyalty reward module being operative to generate the loyalty reward in dependence upon the Purchase Value signal.

The loyalty reward module may be operative to display the interactive loyalty reward function in response to an activation signal provided by the customer via the customer interface.

The system may be operative to generate the activation signal automatically in response to a purchase of a product/service being made by a customer.

The system may be operative to activate the interactive loyalty reward function automatically in response to generation of the activation signal. The system may be operative to request input of the activation signal by the customer, via the customer interface, the loyalty reward function being activated in response to the activation signal having been activated.

The activation signal may comprise a secure key.

The interactive loyalty reward function may be operative to generate the loyalty reward signal from a selection of loyalty reward signals generated by the loyalty reward module application.

The interactive loyalty reward function may comprise a probability controller arranged to generate the loyalty reward signal in dependence upon a probability calculated and/or predetermined by the probability controller. In one example, different areas of the display may be linked to different probabilities, each area of the display therefore being linked to a different loyalty reward or a different probability of achieving the same loyalty reward, the customer generating a loyalty reward signal by selecting one or more different areas of the display.

The loyalty reward module may be arranged to generate multiple loyalty reward signals, each indicative of a respective loyalty reward.

The multiple loyalty reward signals may be generated sequentially, following sequential interactions by the customer with the interactive loyalty reward function.

The multiple loyalty reward signals may be generated simultaneously, following a single interaction by the customer with the interactive loyalty reward function.

The system may be further operative to allow the loyalty reward(s) to be adjusted by an operator of the system, but not by the customer.

The system may be further operative to control the generation of the loyalty reward(s) in dependence upon a signal indicative of a time period in which loyalty rewards can be generated.

The system may be operative to control redemption of any loyalty rewards generated in dependence upon a time period in which a loyalty reward can be redeemed. The first electronic device may be a server, arranged to communicate with the second electronic device via a telecommunications network.

The telecommunications network may, for example, be selected from the group comprising: the internet, a wired network; a wireless network, a Bluetooth® network; and a RFID network.

The first electronic device may itself comprise a display on which the customer interface is displayed, the system therefore being a self-contained, stand-alone system.

In another aspect of the invention there is provided a loyalty reward module application for an electronic interactive loyalty reward system comprising at least a first electronic device, the loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, and which cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.

In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a method of generating an electronic loyalty reward using an electronic interactive loyalty reward system comprising at least a first electronic device, the method comprising steps of:

a) executing instructions provided on a loyalty reward module application on the first electronic device to present a customer interface on a display of the first computing device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network via which an interactive loyalty reward function is presented to the customer via the customer interface;

b) controlling the interactive loyalty reward function to allow the customer to interact with the interactive loyalty reward function;

c) generating a loyalty reward signal corresponding to the interaction; and

d) controlling the loyalty reward module application to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated. In another aspect of the invention there is provided a first electronic device for use with an electronic interactive loyalty reward system, the first electronic device comprising a loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, and which cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.

In a yet further aspect of the invention there is provided an interactive loyalty reward console comprising a housing for location in a shop or business, the console comprising at least a first electronic device comprising an electronic purchasing application and a loyalty reward module application, the first electronic device further comprising, or arranged to be in communication with via a telecommunications network, a product/service database, wherein the electronic purchasing application comprises instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the electronic device or on the display of a second computing device that is in communication with the first computing device via a telecommunications network, via which customer interface a customer can select and purchase a product and/or service stored on the database, wherein the loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the computing device, cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.

Further aspects of the invention, which should be considered in all its novel aspects, will become apparent from the following description. Drawing Description

A number of embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a schematic view of a first embodiment of an electronic interactive loyalty rewards system in accordance with the invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic view of a first computing device for use with the system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a more detailed schematic view of the system of Figure 1 , showing example data/signal flows;

Figures 4a and 4b are schematic views of an electronic interactive loyalty rewards system in accordance with the invention, as a separate module which interfaces with a client website;

Figure 5 is a flow diagram, corresponding to Figure 4;

Figures 6 to 14 are example display screens of a customer interface provided by the system of Figures 1 to 5;

Figures 15 to 24 are example display screens of another embodiment of a customer interface provided by the system of Figures 1 to 5.

Detailed Description of the Drawings

Throughout the description like reference numerals will be used to refer to like features in different embodiments.

Referring initially to Figures 1 to 3, an electronic interactive loyalty reward system 1 comprises, in this example a first electronic device 3 being a server on which a product/service database 5 is stored in a memory 7 of the electronic device 3. An electronic purchasing application 9 is also stored on the memory 7 of the electronic device 3 or may be stored elsewhere and accessed by the electronic device 3, and is arranged to be executed on the first electronic device 3 via a suitable data processor 1 1 of the electronic device 3.

The electronic purchasing application 9 comprises instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device 3, present a customer interface 13 on a display 14 of the first electronic device or, in this example, on the display 15 of a second electronic device 17 that is in communication with the first electronic device 3 via a telecommunications network 19. A customer can, via control signals sent to the customer interface 13 from a data processor 21 of the second electronic device 17, select and purchase a product and/or service stored on the database 5.

The system 1 further comprises a loyalty reward module application 23 comprising instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device 3, cause the loyalty reward module application 23, in this example, to interface with the electronic purchasing application 9 such that an interactive loyalty reward function is presented to the customer via the customer interface 13, the customer interface 13 in this example, being displayed on display 15 of the second electronic device 17.

The loyalty reward module application 23 may be stored on memory 7 of the electronic device or may be stored elsewhere (such as in cloud storage for example) and accessed by the electronic device 3 or other devices. In one example, the loyalty reward module application 23 may comprise a software application or 'app' stored on the electronic device.

The interactive loyalty reward module application 23 is operative to allow the customer to interact with the interactive loyalty reward function, via the customer interface 13 such that a corresponding loyalty reward signal is generated, the loyalty reward module application 23 being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.

In this way, a customer may purchase a product or service using for example his smartphone (second electronic device 17) which is in communication with a control server (first electronic device 3). The customer selects and pays for the product or service using the electronic purchasing application 9. Once the purchase has been made, or at least once the product/service has been selected but not necessarily paid for, the loyalty reward module presents the customer with a function that enables the customer to interact with the loyalty reward module and generate a loyalty reward. The customer can thus make purchases, and generate loyalty rewards, remote from the control server 3, using communication via a suitable telecommunications network such as the internet for example. Parts of system 1 may be stored in cloud storage whereby multiple customers can access the above described functionality which is provided by a single control server or servers 3.

In another example, the control server (first electronic device 3) may itself comprise a standalone unit incorporating or connected to its own display on which the customer interface 13 is displayed. Thus the system could comprise a self-contained console to be located in a shop or business, for direct access by the customer. If necessary, further electronic devices may be provided, and located in different locations in the shop or business, which further electronic devices are in communication with the control server 3 in the main console.

In another example, the purchasing application need not be provided, that is, the loyalty reward module application 23 may operate independently and may not be a module added onto an existing on-line shop for example. In this example, the loyalty reward module application may be accessed by a customer independently of a purchase of goods/services made elsewhere. For example, the customer may purchase goods/services on another online shop, or in a bricks and mortar shop or restaurant. That purchase can be used by the customer to separately, and subsequently, access the loyalty reward module application 23 to generate the loyalty reward. The purchase may be used to generate an activation code required to generate the loyalty reward. The activation code may be generated automatically at the time of the purchase, for example via a code printed on the receipt for the purchase. The activation code may alternatively / additionally comprise any other indication of the purchase transaction having taken place.

Referring to Figures 4 and 5, in a further example, the loyalty reward module application 23 is arranged as an application which interfaces with, but is separate to, a client website 25. The loyalty reward module application 23 receives basic information from the client website 25, and this data may be relatively minimal and comprise, for example, customer name, customer ID, and purchase transaction value. The loyalty reward module application 23 may include a language converter 27 arranged to convert data received from the client website 25 into the language used by the loyalty reward module application 23. This enables the loyalty reward module application 23, in a single language, to interact with multiple client websites 25, in a wide range of different languages.

The loyalty reward module application 23 in one example comprises a contents management system 29, a shop administration configurable values system 31 and any number of control algorithms 33. These systems are used to control the loyalty reward module application 23, to calculate the loyalty reward for a given customer, and to calculate the outcome or outcomes of each possible input signal from the customer. For example, the percentage of a given input signal leading to a loyalty reward can be set by the shop administration as a percentage in shop administration configurable values system 31 , this percentage being used to determine a loyalty reward using control algorithms 33. Contents management system 29 can be used to provide a wide range of information to the shop administration, such as: usage of the loyalty reward module application 23, the loyalty rewards earned and spent, time spent using the loyalty reward module application 23, a customer's account details and unredeemed Rewards balance, individual and group customer spending history and product preferences plus cross checks against particular "payout" % variables over given time periods to detect algorithm functionality and possible gaming fraud.

The loyalty reward module application 23 may be provided in cloud storage, as a downloaded application on a client server, or as an application stored on a server of the administrator.

The loyalty reward module application 23 is arranged so that the modifications to, and the data inputs to/from a client website, are minimal. The loyalty reward module application 23 may be arranged such that only the information provided in example view-pages 35, 37 and 39 need be displayed on the client website 25.

An example system is described in more detail below, but broadly, the interactive function comprises functionality requiring the customer to interact with the system by making an input to the loyalty reward module application, separate from, and additional to, any purchase made of goods/services. Indeed the purchase itself may not be used at any stage of generation of the loyalty reward or used as only one of a number of stages. So rather than a loyalty reward being generated solely on the basis of the purchase, additional input is required from the customer to generate the final level of loyalty reward or prize.

The additional input may, as an example only, comprise a game of chance reward or the like displayed via the customer interface, which requires the customer to interact with the system, with the loyalty reward generated by a probability controller which uses predetermined control algorithms that determines the rules of the game and/or how the loyalty reward is generated in response to game outcomes linked to the input(s) from the customer. Thus, the loyalty reward is generated in dependence upon how the customer interacts with the system and the underlying control algorithms. Customer interactivity with the system relates to and affects the level of loyalty reward achieved.

In one example, the loyalty reward is generated in dependence upon a predetermined algorithm which calculates the desired probability of a customer achieving a given loyalty reward before the customer begins interacting with the system. The customer may then make their interaction with the system, which outputs the loyalty reward in accordance with the probability calculated from the algorithm. In this example, a customer may therefore choose to click on one of a plurality of potential icons. However the probability of the customer receiving a loyalty reward has already been predetermined by the algorithm and that probability would apply regardless of which icon the customer chose to click. In another example, the customer might be presented with a plurality of icons (for example three) each of which is associated with a different predetermined loyalty reward. The customer interacts with the system by selecting one of the icons which reveals the predetermined loyalty reward associated with the chosen icon. So in this example, the control algorithm is not calculating probability as such, as the system operator as already identified a specific loyalty reward associated with each icon. In all cases this may be instead of or in conjunction with any multiplication effect which increases the loyalty reward based upon a starting reward value related to the size of a customer's purchase.

The underlying control algorithms may be predetermined and/or may be controlled and/or adjusted by an operator of the system. The control algorithms may be used to determine probabilities of the customer achieving a given reward or rewards and customers overall achieving an average level of given rewards.

The loyalty reward module application may be activated in dependence upon a purchase of goods/services having been made, or in dependence upon a selection of goods/services for purchase having been made, ie before or after a "pay now" (or "credit given and accepted") function.

Physical Store Embodiments

The loyalty reward application may be used in relation to a physical store, instead of via an online store. The loyalty reward application may therefore be used in the following possible scenarios: a): A customer visits a physical store and can buy that store's products on line via a physical store console (as an alternative to paying at the counter). The customer is able to interact with the loyalty rewards system in the same physical store console. In this example, the loyalty reward system is provided in a physical store console located in the store. b) : A customer visits a physical store and makes a purchase. The customer receives a receipt on which is printed a barcode for scanning (or other code or identifier for manually entering) into a physical store console or other physical store device or portable or remote device such as a mobile phone, home pc, or notebook/tablet, laptop, to access the loyalty rewards system. In this example, the customer makes a purchase in a physical store using known payment methods, such as EFTPOS for example, and can subsequently access the loyalty reward system in the physical store, or later on via the internet, using the acquired code. For example, the customer may after the physical store purchase, visit the website of the store, or of a related third party, enter the identifier generated from their purchase, and interact with the loyalty reward system via the website. c) : As per a) and b) physical store scenarios above, or following any other type of purchasing transaction, for example via an online shop, the customer may instead visit or be directed to an on-line loyalty rewards system and content management system that may be centrally operated on behalf of a third party rewards system operator (or the participating shops it represents) to apportion rewards to the right customer and shop. This allows all redemption entitlement to be recorded on a customer specific basis even though the corresponding redemption may be either attributed to a specific store or any one or all of a number of participating stores in a collective. Alternatively, depending on structure and fee-paying arrangements between shops and the owners of the loyalty reward system, a different redemption regime may operate whereby "non-shop-specific" rewards or prizes may be partly or fully redeemable directly through a centralised "head franchise" operated loyalty reward system website. d) : As per b) or c) above but the means of connectivity to the loyalty reward system may be automatically integrated into third party in-store payments solutions providers hardware and/or software allowing (for example) their receipts to show the necessary manual codes or barcodes enabling the loyalty reward system to be accessed.

Overview

In one embodiment, the current invention is an on-line customer-interactive loyalty rewards system for use by on-line stores. In another embodiment the loyalty rewards system may be adapted for use by land-based stores. The loyalty rewards system is designed to financially reward a "paying" customer both generally in proportion to the amount that the customer spends, and further by way of entertaining the customer through a gaming element involving additional interactive chance rewards meaning, altogether, the loyalty rewards system provides a unique mix of customer reward, experience and engagement while engendering increased store loyalty. All reward levels are variables that may be adjusted and set from time to time.

Following completion of the customer's purchase of singular or plural goods and/or services as one transaction the loyalty rewards system will deduct the value of certain excluded components of the transaction such as related shipping costs - so determining a net Purchase Value attributable to the transaction. In other embodiments, the transaction may be considered the Purchase Value without being subject to deduction.

Based on the Purchase Value of the transaction and after customer payment by credit card, or in other embodiments any form of payment (or credit if provided for) the corresponding customer will:

• Automatically earn, for example, a loyalty reward in the form of a Christmas Voucher, which may be valued as a proportion of the Purchase Value. In other embodiments the loyalty reward may comprise a prize that is sometimes or always substituted for the Christmas Voucher and such prize may not always be in proportion to the Purchase Value, and;

• In addition, receive an opportunity to interact with the loyalty reward system by playing a specified number of free games-of-chance in a Games Session whereby additional corresponding loyalty rewards of the same value may be won. In other embodiments, randomly occurring loyalty rewards in the form of prizes of greater or lesser value than a corresponding Christmas Voucher may alternatively be won by way of one or more games within a Games Session; and

• Be obliged to complete a Games Session or other act that is an interaction with the loyalty rewards system, before logging out. If the customer accidentally or purposely logs out or is timed out or is affected by a power interruption for whatever reason; any games or actions not fully completed at such time will be lost. In other embodiments it may be possible to retrieve such unfinished customer interaction steps or games for playing at a later date. The loyalty rewards system will provide for a number of inputs to be set and varied from time to time. These may include those inputs listed below:

• The % of Purchase Value used to determine loyalty reward values;

• The number of free games constituting a Games Session;

• The % of Purchase Value used as the average winning chance attributed to Games Sessions;

• Game win value displays;

• Relative game-win-type frequencies always totalling 100%;

• Current Cycle and Next Cycle together with the corresponding Redemption Periods as referenced in Table E

• In other embodiments; the game win value displays may fully or partly embrace alternative prize indicators that may, or may not, also include stand-alone prize values.

• In other embodiments; some or all of the variables may be fixed values rather than variable values.

A date range will be set during which Redemption Period a loyalty reward may be redeemed. Such period may span any date range but usually fall across the last few months of a Current Cycle finishing a week or so prior to, for example, each Christmas Day. Each New Cycle will usually be set at approximately 365 days long. In other embodiments a New Cycle may be of any length and not necessarily be connected in any way to Christmas Day or the Christmas period generally.

The customer may earn, win and accrue new loyalty rewards relating to transactions undertaken during a Current Redemption Period and these may be redeemed during the same Redemption Period. Such new loyalty rewards earned or won will only be determined in relation to that part of the Purchase Value paid for by normal means (in other words; any part of the Purchase Value "paid for" by way of redeeming earlier loyalty rewards, shall not qualify as Purchase Value in respect of any new loyalty rewards).

The loyalty rewards system contains a contents management section to display various types of reporting. Other embodiments may include additional collation and reporting in areas such as: individual or group customer buying preferences and turnover and other similar group-customer or customer-specific attributes. Such contents management system shows the customer their total loyalty reward winnings, redemptions and accrued balance for the Current Cycle and, for example, a voucher number that allows the voucher balance value to be redeemed in full or part within the store or an associated store that offers corresponding loyalty rewards system redemption. In another embodiment, such voucher balance might be shown as a list of individual voucher values or a balance value with particular vouchers shown redeemed voucher by voucher - which may or may not also be shown as debits against a voucher balance. In another embodiment, the contents management system may additionally display any prizes that were not included within the voucher balance for redeeming in other abnormal ways. In another embodiment, any loyalty reward may be redeemed fully or partly within, or external to, the loyalty rewards system, or the store or associated store that displays the loyalty rewards system.

All loyalty rewards not redeemed by midnight on the last day of the corresponding Redemption Period shall become void. In another embodiment, the redemption of such loyalty rewards may be permitted during the Next Cycle or subsequent cycles or at any time corresponding to different redemption rules or limitations that may apply. In another embodiment, loyalty rewards may become redeemable immediately after they are earned at any time.

Overview of Process Steps

The customer by way of credit card (or in other embodiments, by some other payment method) pays for a stand-alone "shopping cart" consisting of singular or plural goods and/or services inclusive of any shipping costs.

The loyalty rewards system immediately attributes this particular transaction to the Customer to allow all aspects of the LRS to be applied specific to a particular customer and their particular transaction.

The loyalty rewards system immediately calculates the customer's Purchase Value by deducting certain component parts of the transaction such as shipping and any rural or special delivery surcharges. In other embodiments the transaction value free of any deductions may be deemed to be the Purchase Value.

The loyalty rewards system immediately calculates the value of a Christmas Voucher by multiplying the Purchase Value by ACV-001 , see Table E below. In another embodiment; a prize may substitute for a Christmas Voucher which in turn may, or may not, be further amplified in value or number off through association with ACV-001 . Such Christmas Vouchers (and/or prizes in another embodiment) will be attributed to the customer and shown listed in the loyalty rewards system Content Management System.

The loyalty rewards system simultaneously displays such Christmas Voucher on a customer view page corresponding to the specific customer's transaction.

With reference to Figure 4, the customer view 37 will for example typically show the loyalty rewards system branding together with the: customer's name, Christmas Voucher value, last date in the Current Cycle during which Christmas Vouchers can be earned, the Redemption Period applicable to Christmas Vouchers and the number of free games which provide the chance of winning additional Christmas Vouchers. This customer view page is shown in Fig 6 and is typically the format that will head up the top section of all subsequent customer view pages used throughout the Games Session. This format may be worded differently to suit the specifics of other embodiments and the format shown in Fig 7 or Fig 15 may substitute for a Fig 6 prior introductory page of reduced format.

With reference to Fig 77 or Fig 15 this is a typical customer view games board page that shows basic game instructions and a further optional click-on "pop-up" link may exist to displays-more detailed game instructions enabling the customer to understand how the free Games Session works. Christmas Voucher value and number of free games will also be displayed. With the exception of certain buttons appearing and disappearing at the bottom of the page as variously referred below, this is the general layout of all the customer view pages used throughout the Games Session prior to a game play.

Upon commencing a game play through initiating the first click on the game board of face down square or other shaped or icons (or similarly taking the first step of any other type of game in another embodiment or as a game play finishes) the "games remaining" display box will reduce by 1 .

The first clicked icon in the first game within a Games Session will be revealed in accordance with the workings of the "1 st Algorithm" within the loyalty rewards system games engine. The second and third clicked icons in the first game within a Games Session will be respectively revealed in accordance with the workings of the "2nd Algorithm" within the loyalty rewards system games engine.

Figure 7 illustrates an example customer view page, upon revealing the third clicked icon.

The fourth and final clicked icon in the first game within a Games Session will also be revealed in accordance with the workings of the "2nd Algorithm" within the loyalty reward system games engine.

Once the fourth and final clicked-icon has been revealed in the first game within a Games Session the customer view-page may look like Figure 10 or Figure 19 (in these cases showing a typical losing game). Such game-completed customer view page will differ from the previous uncompleted game display as shown in Figure 9 or 18 through the addition of: a) : "Near Miss" icon reveals showing a different or lighter or grey colour and/or struck out format (the number of such Near Miss icons limited to only those icons directly adjoining each of the 4 game icons revealed;

b) : a post-game updated total Christmas Voucher value;

c) : a "PLAY AGAIN" or "RESET for NEW GAME" button to allow the next game to be reset ready for playing;

d) : a "QUICK PLAY" button with a corresponding "pop-up" below it explaining how the QUICK PLAY option works, see Figure 10 or 23;

e) : a button allowing the customer to check that Christmas Vouchers have been accrued to his account in the CMS;

f) : a button allowing loyalty rewards system rules to be read.

g) : a log out button or a link to an area with a log out means (after the last game has been completed)

The customer may now select either a the PLAY AGAIN (or RESET for NEW GAME) button or the QUICK PLAY button to play the second or final game, as the case may be, within the Games Session. In another embodiment, there may be a different design of Games Session consisting of one or more games which, in the case of a multi game configuration, a Quick Play option may or may not exist. When either the PLAY AGAIN (or RESET for NEW GAME) or QUICK PLAY button is pushed; whether or not both such buttons immediately disappear the gaming board will reset enabling the game to be played, or automatically played, as the second or final game within the Games Session as the case may be. The customer view page will appear as shown in Figure 97 or 18 except that such pages shows a typical game situation after the 3rd click.

Upon completion of such second game in a Games Session; the customer view page will be updated, for example to show a winning game and the running total value of Christmas Vouchers won in this Games Session will be updated to include any post game winnings. If this game was the QUICK PLAY game any winnings update will include the "value increase effect" of a win under QUICK PLAY conditions as typically explained in Fig 1 1 or 23.

If upon completion of any game some un-played games remain; the PLAY AGAIN (or RESET for NEW GAME) or QUICK PLAY options will be displayed and upon clicking on the PLAY AGAIN button, the next game can be played in similar fashion to the way the second game was played. In the event the QUICK PLAY button is pushed; the next game will be the last game in the Games Session and it will be played under the QUICK PLAY rules. Provided the QUICK PLAY button is not activation at any time during a Games Session, each next un- played game in the Games Session will be played as a stand-alone game under the normal games rules until completion of the last game in due course.

Upon completion of the Games Session, a message may appear advising the customer that the Games Session has ended or the games display may through indicating zero games remain, be intuitive enough to indicate the Games Session has finished and various link buttons at the bottom of the customer page view may typically be visible as shown in Fig 10.

If the customer pushes the "CHRISTMAS VOUCHERS IN YOUR A/C" button (other embodiments may label this button differently, such as "VIEW MY VOUCHERS" and different contents management section functionality may be linked to such button) the customer will be taken to their A/C where they may directly or indirectly view all the details relating to their Christmas Vouchers or prizes. There, the customer may see a "RETURN TO GAMES PAGE" link or button to enable the customer to return to the Games Session page to complete any un-played games or, if the customer has no further games to complete, he may not be able to return to the games page but may be able to continue to browse or make a new transaction in the on-line store or log out from the on-line store or contents management section in the normal way at any time or-log out via any LOG OUT button on the games page in the event the customer returned to that page. Other embodiments may provide for different means of log out.

If the customer pushes the "CHRISTMAS VOUCHER RULES" button (other embodiments may label this button differently - for example "VIEW MY VOUCHERS") then the appropriate loyalty reward system rules will be linked to such button.

When a customer wishes to redeem part or all of their Christmas Voucher balance, such customer will upon shopping in the usual way need to enter their customer-specific Christmas Voucher balance number into the entry field provided for. Such balance voucher number will be displayed in the customer's own A/C area under a heading named "Christmas Vouchers".

Alternatively, the loyalty rewards module may ask a customer if they wish to apply any unused Christmas Voucher balance in full or part against a current purchase, where not outside the corresponding Redemption Period, and such redemption if accepted may happen automatically without the need for the customer to enter any Voucher number.

When a New Cycle within the loyalty rewards system commences, the loyalty rewards system will adjust all displays and records in accordance with necessity and in particular the customer view page - see Figure 13. This displays how New Cycle details are shown to customers via the top section of each loyalty rewards system customer view page.

At any time, the entity that operates/offers the loyalty rewards system may enter the loyalty rewards module contents management system and view reports not accessible by a customer - for example reports such as those shown in Tables A, B and C below (other embodiments may allow such reports to be more expansive and interactive).

Overview example of a Christmas Voucher Electronic Loyalty Reward System and Method.

Checkout Process After-checkout changes

The checkout process will remain the same and will only introduce changes after a customer has successfully completed "payment" for their cart purchase. They will then be taken to a page which displays the outcome of their purchase such as shown in Figure 6, 7, or 15. Parts of the script will need to automatically change whenever a): an-admin configurable variable ("ACV") is adjusted, or b): a cart-purchasing customer initiates the loyalty rewards system. Typically, such changes will be:

• The customer's first name.

• The $ value of the customer's (automatically) earned Christmas Voucher

• Voucher redemption-period start date (Figs 6 or 7 only)

• Voucher redemption-period end date (shown in 2 places} (Figs 6 or 7 only)

• The number of free games

Christmas Voucher timings

Christmas Vouchers can, if so configured by shop administration, be earned every day in every year. Each New Current Cycle will start at midnight on a commencement date that will closely follow (possibly abutting) the last date shown in the ACV-007 values (see listed in Table E below). For example the 2015 Christmas (Next Cycle) will start on the 18th December 2014 as shown in the ACV-009 values.

The cut-off point for which Christmas Vouchers can be earned for any Current Cycle period will usually be set as midnight on the last day of the corresponding Redemption Period (which period for the 2014 Christmas Current Cycle is shown in the ACV-006 values). For example, the last day that customers will be eligible for Christmas Vouchers for Christmas 2014 will be 17th December 2014. Christmas Vouchers can also be earned during the Redemption Period in which corresponding Christmas Vouchers are being redeemed.

Free Christmas Voucher (loyalty reward - Part A)

Every customer who completes a purchase through the website will automatically earn a free Christmas Voucher (in other embodiments this may be differently named or not be named or exist in a different form including an invisible form in the "back end" or within an algorithm), which will be a % of the total Purchase Value for that corresponding cart purchase. Such % value is a variable set by shop administration - see AVC-001 in Table E below. Such earned Christmas Vouchers will be credited to corresponding customer accounts immediately after related cart payments (or other payment arrangements) are satisfactorily completed. Customers will not be able to spend such vouchers until the beginning of the first day of the corresponding Current Redemption Period - see ACV-006.

Free games (loyalty reward - Part B) Every customer who earns a free Christmas Voucher as above referred will be eligible to win further Christmas Vouchers of the same cart-specific value through playing a set number of free games. The number of free games per customer per Games Session is a variable set by shop administration - see ACV-002 in the Admin Configurable Values table.

The customer is entitled to, and must, play these games directly after their corresponding cart purchase before any new cart purchase (either game-by-game or, in respect of any un- played games at the time, as a single Quick Play game). There are no means for a customer to return to the website to play any un-played games in the event that: their session times out, they log out or a power interruption occurs. Any such un-played games will be lost. Other embodiments may preserve such games for later play.

Game Play

This section details the rules and requirements around how the game is played. Individual games within a customer's Games Session are independent and unrelated. This section will outline the process leading to and governing a customer playing a single game, taking into account all the input variables relating to such game.

Database

The contents management system will include a database to record and track every detail of every game, which will allow auditing and reporting functionality. The database will track information such as:

• Game ID - Every played game will be assigned a unique ID. In the case of any

disputed game outcomes, there may be provision for audit and dispute determination in reference to such ID.

• Game results - These will be recorded, as may any necessary relevant details such as which icon on the game board was clicked (for example x, y co-ordinate) and the value of such clicked icon.

• Customer ID - The customer who played the game

• Game Start Time - The time that the game started.

• Game End Time - The time that the game ended.

• Christmas Voucher value - The value of the (base) Christmas Voucher applicable to each particular game.

• Anything else considered necessary to allow the loyalty rewards system to

reasonably and verifiably function as herein described. Content Management System - game setup

The loyalty rewards system requires certain variables to be entered in by shop administration in a content management system area. Some such configurable values have already been mentioned and all such values are listed in Table E below. These variables correspond to those shown at the top of the spreadsheet shown in Table F below.

The average value of a particular Games Session win is proportionate to a customer's corresponding cart Purchase Value. Such average win % rate is configurable and is referred to as ACV-003.

ACV-003 also represents the total value of all Christmas Vouchers won through gaming as a % of all customer's total Purchase Value (which similarly applies to any significant repeat Customer) across any given date range during which the configurable ACV-003 value is not varied by shop administration.

Shop administration will also be able to specify all the different icon values and the relative % probability of each game-type win they represent occurring. These probabilities must always total 100% which shop administration must have visibility of as part of the contents management section when adjusting such variables. The attached Table F spreadsheet shows seven different possible icon values that a click can reveal (+1 , +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7) and these numbers represent the number of extra customer cart-specific Christmas Vouchers (over and above the base Christmas Voucher a customer automatically earns through simply purchasing) that a corresponding customer can win by way of a single winning game - a win resulting when all four clicked icons match. These icon numbers are specified as ACV-004. The probabilities for each icon being revealed depends on whether it is a 1 st click, or a 2nd 3rd or 4th click, or an automatic Near-Miss reveal. Alternatively, as shown in Figs 16 to 21 such clicked icons may be displayed differently - for example as dollars and cents to represent (say) the product of ACV-004 multiplied by the value of the base Christmas Voucher.

Game Board

The game board is essentially a field of play that consists of a fixed number of near-touching icons. The exact number and shape may vary to suit particular aesthetic and "reveal- practicality" design requirements. Customer interactivity may incorporate sounds or moving visuals such as a "card-clicking" (or more exciting sounds) and/or win-related congratulatory sounds and visuals that may correspond to each or any of the 4 Icon clicks per game or completion of a game or Games Session.

First Click - The "1 st Algorithm" applies

For a particular game this is the starting point for a game-playing customer who will choose an icon from the blank game board. Upon such first icon click, the game engine will determine which icon from the list of possibilities as specified in ACV-004 to randomly choose using the corresponding proportional % probability specified in ACV-005. For example if icon +1 corresponds to a proportional probability of 41 % then icon +1 will, upon the first click, be revealed 41 out of every 100 first-clicks.

Subsequent Clicks (2, 3 & 4) - The "2nd Algorithm" applies

For the three game-clicks that in turn follow the first game-click, the probability of the ACV- 004 icon numbers being revealed are adjusted. The game engine will know the value of the icon revealed in the first click and will adjust the probability of that icon number being revealed at each of the subsequent 3 game-clicks in accordance with the mathematical workings of the Table F spreadsheet below, taking into account that shop administration can change any ACV value.

Post game Near Miss revelation

After the 4th and final game-click, the game engine will instantaneously reveal all hidden game board icons immediately adjacent to (surrounding) the four icons the customer has clicked on during that game play (the "Near Misses"). The game engine will use the 1 st Algorithm to reveal such Near Misses surrounding the 1 st clicked icon and it will use the 2nd Algorithm (or any other suitable algorithm) to reveal the Near Misses around the 2nd, 3rd and 4th clicked icons.

The 2nd Algorithm not only calculates the probabilities of the first-clicked icon repeating upon the 2nd, 3rd and 4th clicks, it also (for the purposes of revealing all the Near Misses post the 4th click in each game) apportions odds to the various icon types that need to share the balance of the 100% odds pool that remains after such pool is first reduced by the % odds (as referenced in the Table F spreadsheet as 'X" odds) set aside for the first-clicked icon being repeat click-revealed at the 2 , 3 and 4 click stage. By way of example, if the first-clicked icon had a 30% chance of being click-revealed through the 2nd Algorithm for any of the 3 subsequent game play clicks, then the Near Miss revealed icons would all need to share a 70% odds pool between them pro-rata to their relative proportionality set out in ACV-005 (see Table E).

After game

After each game has been played, the customer will be shown whether they have won or not. If the customer manages to achieve four matching icons; the total number of customer- specific Christmas Vouchers they win for that game will correspond to the number shown on any one of the revealed four matching icons. For example if a customer had earned a (base) Christmas Voucher of $4.00 as a result of his cart Purchase Value and subsequently such customer reveals four matching +3 icons as a single game result, then he will win another three (base) Christmas Vouchers each worth $4.00.

Every winning game result will be recorded in the content management system database and all such game wins will be totalled as a "Games Session win" to enable listing as a single line entry credit into the corresponding customer's Christmas Voucher area (see Table D below).

If, after any winning or losing game, the customer has un-played games remaining; such customer will be prompted to play again and/or see a number of games remaining as a prompt - in which case of the customer initiating a new play, the game engine will start again. If the customer has no games remaining; they will not be prompted to play again and may see no games remaining and the Quick Play and Play Again (or RESET for NEW GAME) buttons may disappear and be replaced by a "Games Session completed" statement or simply no more prompts or opportunities to play again. The customer will still be able to see their total winnings for the Games Session plus other button options on the page such as a link to return back to the shop website home page and/or a link to the customer account area and/or log out and/or other options.

At any time during a Games Session; if a game-playing customer pushes a button taking him to his account area, he will have the ability to return to his uncompleted Games Session page. The customer may be curious to look at his account after earning or winning his first Christmas Voucher to verify such benefits have been appropriately lodged. And, the shop needs that customer to be able to easily find his way back to the games page to minimise the likelihood of any mid-Game Session issues arising. Also, some customers or the system operator may feel the game page is the appropriate place to log off as a final action - especially when there are no more games to play. Additionally, the shop may want a chance to capture the customer again through offering the Home page button as an alternative or addition on the games page.

Quick Play

A customer (say being short of time) may choose such a condensed option at any time in lieu of playing all his remaining games individually. The game engine will upon the customer clicking the Quick Play button:

1 . Count the number of un-played games (the "Number").

2. Multiply the value of the customer's base Christmas Voucher by such Number - only for the purposes of the next single and what will become final game (this does not alter the value of the base Christmas Voucher already earned that will accrue to the customer's account regardless),

3. Reduce the number of un-played games to 1 to represent this final game in the

Games Session and display zero un-played games (as is normal) upon the

commencement or completion of the final game.

4. Determine if such single Quick Play game is a winning game. If so, include this game result in the Christmas Voucher content management system. For example: if a customer condenses 19 un-played games into 1 game and achieves a win, then the win of 19 times normal value is still simply added to the customer's Games Session final winning Christmas Voucher value.

"During-and-after-game" visual displays generally remain the same for all final games whether or not they are ie-being played normally or as a QUICK PLAY game.

Redemption

Christmas Vouchers earned or won will only be redeemable during the Redemption Period corresponding to the Christmas-end Current Cycle to which the Christmas Vouchers relate. The Redemption Period is specified as ACV-006. During such period, correspondingly eligible Christmas Voucher holdings can be used to pay for purchases made through the shop website to cover the full amount of a cart purchase, or if such customer's Christmas Voucher holdings total more than such cart purchase; then only a portion of such holdings will be used to settle such cart purchase and the remaining holdings balance can be used by the customer for a further separate purchase/s during the corresponding Redemption Period. If the total cost of a customer's cart purchase during the Redemption Period exceeds that of the customer's Christmas Voucher holdings balance; then the customer will be expected to settle the remainder of the total transaction value using one of the shop's other payment options. All Christmas Vouchers will typically lapse at midnight on the last date of their corresponding Redemption Period.

Reporting and Auditing - visible to shop administration only

Shop administration may have the ability to create reports. Reports will be generated on screen and export functionality may exist. Reporting functionality visible to shop administration only is shown in Tables A to C below.

Report of changes to shop administration % inputs ("payouts" to customers)

Table A

Figure imgf000026_0001

Table A exists as a visible self-generated report as a reference for shop administration. This report provides guidance as to an appropriate date range for purposes of generating the report shown in Table B below (allowing shop administration to avoid entering misrepresentative periods during which the shops ACV percentages were changed midstream). Combined customers and individual customer reports

Table B

Figure imgf000027_0001

This report shown in Table B above will generate upon shop administration entering a date range together with a required number of largest variances from the expected "payout" %s.

Combined customer reporting is shown at the top of the report.

Individual customer reporting is also shown but below the combined customer section in the report - automatically sorted to display customers with the highest overall "% paid game wins" at the top. This report will firstly enable the shop to easily detect any abnormal deviation from the expected configured overall values ACV-001 and ACV-003 while also allowing the sorted individual %s to be viewed alongside each customer ID. Most of the year, in the unlikely event of fraud, the shop will be able to detect and react before the next corresponding Redemption Period begins.

Such reports may show much more information. Table C - Balance value of all un-redeemed Christmas Vouchers

Figure imgf000028_0001

This Table C report will generate upon shop administration entering into the balance date input field.

Shop administration can view (as at any entered date) visibility of the total $ value of unredeemed Christmas Vouchers. This is useful information at any time of year because it is a future liability against stock values. However it is particularly relevant at each financial period end in helping to determine forward liabilities.

Reporting in customers section - visible to customers and shop administration

Table D - customer's Christmas Voucher holdings (automatic report)

Balance value of unredeemed Christmas Vouchers Voucher Number

$3.20 10652

To spend all or part of your Christmas Voucher balance, you must enter your above Voucher Number

No. of

Koop Christmas Value of

Purchase Vouchers each Received Total value

Date received Christmas or Spent per Christmas Voucher

Voucher transaction Redemption Period

10-09-14 2 $1 .35 Received $2.70 1 -11 -14 to 17-12-14

1 1 -09-14 1 $2.00 Received $2.00 1 -11 -14 to 17-12-14

21 -09-14 3 $3.50 Received $10.50 1 -11 -14 to 17-12-14

15-1 1 -14 n/a n/a Spent -$12.00 1 -11 -14 to 17-12-14

Note:-negative value red emptions may be shown in red. Reporting functionality visible to shop administration and customers is shown in Table D above - which is a self-generated report.

Intrinsic to the loyalty rewards system is the collation and processing of Christmas Voucher or other prize details. Within the customer's user information area (or area otherwise accessible to a Customer) a new section titled "Christmas Vouchers" will be set up to utilise and display certain details. A link button is also shown on the bottom of each game page to direct to this area.

When a customer wishes to redeem all or part of their Christmas Voucher balance (the corresponding Redemption Period having commenced) such customer will need to enter a single constant customer-specific Voucher number (as shown in Table D below) or other code that will be linked to their un-redeemed Christmas Voucher balance. Alternatively such voucher number or code may be automatically entered by the system upon ascertaining the customer's ID. Such redemption details shall be recorded in date order in the same table as Christmas Voucher details are recorded except that the redemption amounts may be shown and will be processed as minus values.

At midnight (or such other time set by the shop administration) on the last day of a Redemption Period; each customer's unredeemed Christmas Voucher balance (if any) shall become null and void and all details shown in Tables B and D relating to the Current Cycle then just ended shall automatically delete and/or move to an archive section in content management system invisible to customers but viewable to shop administration. Such archives may not need to store more than typically 2 previous Cycles at any time. Simultaneous to the above archiving, Tables B and D shall refresh to show zero entries that reflect the start of a new Current Cycle.

Table E: Shop Administration Configurable Values

Code Description Example Value

ACV-001 The % of the Purchase Value of a customer's

individual cart purchase - used to calculate the 3%

$ value of a base Christmas Voucher such

customer will correspondingly and automatically

earn.

ACV-002 The amount of free games a customer will be

eligible to play having paid for their individual 20

cart purchase.

ACV-003 The % of the total Purchase Value of all

customers combined - that is on average 3%

returned across all customers by way of their

total free gaming wins.

ACV-004 A list of possible game-win values. The number • +1

• +2

shown is the number of Christmas Vouchers

• +3

that will be won in the event all four icons • +4

clicked upon show the same Icon. • +5

• +6

• +7

ACV-005 The relative game-win frequencies • 41 %

corresponding to the win values in ACV-004 • 20%

• 12%

which must always total 100% within a contents • 9%

management section visible to shop • 7%

• 6%

administration.

• 5%

ACV-006 The Christmas Voucher redemption date-range

applicable to the "Current Cycle" 01/1 1/14 to 17/12/14

(Day/Month/Year)

ACV-007 The Current Cycle date range (Day/Month/Year) (say 07/09/14) to 17/12/14

ACV-008 The Christmas Voucher redemption date-range

applicable to the "Next Cycle" (Day/Month/Year) 01/1 1/15 to 17/12/15

ACV-009 The Next Cycle date range (Day/Month/Year) 18/12/14 to 17/12/15 The table above details all of the variables which will be editable by shop administration in the content management system. If a value relating to the loyalty reward system is not included in this table it will not be available for configuration through the content management system, except that the range of configurables may be added to or reduced as the system is modified from time to time.

ACV-008 & ACV-009 are fields that allow the content management system to know where to look for information on a timely basis. In other words, shop administration is not required to wait until the Current Cycle expires before the Next Cycle details can be entered - which could lead to a system failure if shop administration forgot to enter such info at the exact right time.

Stand Alone Embodiment

The system may function as a separate stand alone module rather than the version described above that has a high level of integration into an e-commerce store.

The system may therefore be adapted to effectively operate as a separate self contained "module" that would be almost or fully external to the client's existing e-commerce store.

The system may be configured to allow it to be stored in the cloud or on a remote server or on a client's own server (but in all cases the level of any integration into the customer's own e-commerce store would be minimised).

The type of limited integration in this external scenario would mean:

Separate loyalty reward system activation commencement through a customer pushing a typical "PAY NOW" button already existing in a customer's store (or a bespoke type button located just before the final PAY NOW button that is downloaded to the customer's website.

The loyalty reward system would typically collect little more information at the beginning than 1 : customer's name/ID; 2: the Transaction Value and 3: the Shipping component. The content management system and workings of the loyalty reward system could then effectively function external to their website - see Fig 5 as an example. There would be a need for the loyalty reward system to run a time and date clock for all the normal functionality of the loyalty reward system and such clock would be checked against in respect of every customer leaving the shop website so that the loyalty reward system would (conditionally) know what customer view screen to produce (dependent upon the Redemption Period) asking if customers wanted to use their rewards balance to pay or help pay for the current transaction. In most customer response cases and always where the corresponding Redemption Period has not begun, the customer would end up at a typical PAY NOW button leading to payment processing or credit provision as the case may be.

Following this "payments" step, the updated data would then be stored in the external loyalty reward system content management system and the loyalty reward customer view pages including Games Session pages could begin.

After completion of a Games Session, the external loyalty reward system would update the customers A/C area in the separate loyalty reward system module for next time.

In a further embodiment, the above described loyalty reward system could be adapted for use in a bricks and mortar store. For example the loyalty reward system may be linked with an "eftpos-type" provider who might have the capability to offer the loyalty reward system to a wider number of land-based store customers either automatically or through a code on a customer's receipt (eg as they leave a restaurant) which could be later entered into an online rewards website site owned by such "eftpos-type" provider or a third party such as a head owner of the loyalty rewards system. That rewards website could link the customer's loyalty rewards back to a particular store or back to a group of stores, in the event that a group of stores were paying for the loyalty reward system offerings based on (say) a turnover or flat fee or other basis.

With additional reference to Figures 15 to 24, alternative customer views are shown, generated using a similar loyalty reward module application 23 as described above, which uses similar operating principles and control algorithms. In this embodiment, with reference to Figure 15, a customer view games board page is displayed immediately after completion of a transaction. The value of the transaction determines the value of a starting voucher which may be increased via the customer interacting with the loyalty reward module application 23. In this embodiment the games board page displayed comprises a plurality of discrete regions denoted by dollar signs. The user may click on one of these to reveal a dollar value for the discrete region selected, as per Figure 16. With reference to Figures 17 and 18, the user may subsequently sequentially select additional discrete regions, each of which reveals an associated dollar value.

With reference to Figure 19, after a predetermined number of selections, for example four, the game ends and a game completed customer view page is displayed which highlights the dollar value associated with the discrete regions selected by the user, together with the dollar value of the discrete regions adjacent those regions selected by the user. The user can therefore view the dollar value associated with other discrete regions which the user could have chosen, and can assess how close the user was to choosing four matching values and therefore increasing the value of their starting voucher.

The customer view page may also indicate the total number of interactions or games remaining. This counter increments every time a game is played such that the number of available games decreases after each game played. With reference to Figure 20, a subsequent game completed customer view page is displayed.

With reference to Figure 21 , a completed customer view page may be displayed after a user has selected 'quick play' whereby all remaining games are combined and played in a single game. When this option is selected, the dollar value of each discrete region is multiplied by the number of games remaining before quick play was selected. Thus, if 13 games were remaining, each dollar value would be multiplied by 13 to give a larger value than if each remaining game had been played individually.

Each completed customer view page may be configured to highlight any discrete region which has a particularly high dollar value, to incentivise the user to play further games, and/or make further purchases so as to be able to play further games in the future.

With reference to Figures 22 to 24, the system may be configured to display one or more pop-up screens, providing information to the user. The information provided may be information on how to control the loyalty reward module application in terms of the rules of the game in the above examples, how to use the 'quick play' function, and/or how to redeem any vouchers won through the interaction. It will be appreciated that the loyalty reward module application may be configured to generate any kind of loyalty reward following the interaction with the user. In the examples above, the loyalty reward is in the form of a monetary voucher redeemable during a Christmas period. However, any other type of loyalty reward may alternatively be provided, such as vouchers redeemable during any other desired time period, or at a particular store for example.

In a preferred embodiment, the loyalty reward module application generates an initial loyalty reward in dependence upon a property or characteristic of the transaction made by the user. In one example, the initial loyalty reward may have a monetary value calculated from the monetary value of the transaction made by the user. The loyalty reward module application subsequently controls the initial loyalty reward based on the nature of the interaction by the user with the loyalty reward module application. For example, if the user wins a game or games, the initial loyalty reward increases. If no games are won, the initial loyalty reward may remain constant.

In one example, the content management system may be configured to enable shop administration to control the probability of the interaction by users with the loyalty reward module application generating a loyalty reward, or an increased loyalty reward. This probability may be specific to each user, that is, the probability may be varied from user to user and/or may be independent from one user to another. The probability may also be configured such that the overall percentage likelihood of a win is controlled. Thus, rather than the probability being controlled per user, an overall probability is calculated for a given number of players, meaning that the potential loyalty reward that could be generated by a single player could be relatively high, provided any loyalty reward generated by other, earlier players is relatively low.

The icon displayed by each discrete region could be chosen to include any desired indicia appropriate to the user or loyalty reward system concerned. The icon could be a monetary value or currency symbol as outlined above, or could be any other pictorial or alphanumeric indicia.

The system may be configured to-generate and/or display other pertinent information before, during or after the user interaction with the loyalty reward module application, such as a total value of any loyalty reward generated, or a total value of any money in a user's account for example. Such information may be displayed automatically-or when requested by a user. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description, the words "comprise", "comprising", "such as", "for example" and the like, are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense, that is to say, in the sense of "including, but not limited to".

Although this invention has been described by way of example and with reference to possible embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that modifications or improvements may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention. The invention may also be said broadly to consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated in the specification of the application, individually or collectively, in any or all combinations of two or more of said parts, elements or features. Furthermore, where reference has been made to specific components or integers of the invention having known equivalents, then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth.

Any discussion of the prior art throughout the specification should in no way be considered as an admission that such prior art is widely known or forms part of common general knowledge in the field.

Table F: Loyalty reward Scheme Example Variables & Probabilities

Figure imgf000036_0001

Figure imgf000036_0002
Figure imgf000036_0003

Claims

1 . An electronic interactive loyalty reward system comprising at least a first electronic device, and an electronic loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, and which cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.
2. The system of claim 1 further comprising an electronic purchasing application which comprises instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on the display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, via which customer interface a customer can purchase a product and/or service.
3. The system of claim 2 wherein a product and/or service database is provided on the first electronic device, or is provided on another electronic device in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, the customer interface being arranged such that a customer can select and purchase a product and/or service stored on the database.
4. The system of claim 1 further operative to generate a Purchase Value signal indicative of the value of a purchase made by the customer, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate the loyalty reward in dependence upon the Purchase Value signal.
5. The system of any one of the preceding claims wherein the loyalty reward module application is operative to display the interactive loyalty reward function in response to an activation signal provided by the customer via the customer interface.
6. The system of claim 5 wherein the system is operative to generate the activation signal automatically in response to a purchase of a product/service being made by a customer.
7. The system of claim 5 wherein the system is operative to activate the interactive loyalty reward function automatically in response to generation of the activation signal.
8. The system of claim 5 wherein the system is operative to request input of the activation signal by the customer, via the customer interface, the loyalty reward function being activated in response to the activation signal having been activated.
9. The system of anyone of claims 5 to 8 wherein the activation signal comprises a secure key.
10. The system of claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the interactive loyalty reward function is operative to generate the loyalty reward signal from a selection of loyalty reward signals generated by the loyalty reward module application.
1 1 . The system of any one of the preceding claims wherein the interactive loyalty reward function comprises a probability controller arranged to generate the loyalty reward signal in dependence upon a probability calculated and/or predetermined by the probability controller.
12. The system of any one of the preceding claims wherein the loyalty reward module application is arranged to generate multiple loyalty reward signals, each indicative of a respective loyalty reward.
13. The system of claim 5 wherein the multiple loyalty reward signals are generated sequentially, following sequential interactions by the customer with the interactive loyalty reward function.
14. The system of claim 5 wherein the multiple loyalty reward signals are generated simultaneously, following a single interaction by the customer with the interactive loyalty reward function.
15. The system of any one of the preceding claims being further operative to allow the loyalty reward(s) to be adjusted by an operator of the system, but not by the customer.
16. The system of any one of the preceding claims being further operative to control the generation of the loyalty reward(s) in dependence upon a signal indicative of a time period in which loyalty rewards can be generated.
17. The system of any one of the preceding claims being further operative to control redemption of any loyalty rewards generated in dependence upon a time period in which a loyalty reward can be redeemed.
18. The system of any one of the preceding claims wherein the first electronic device is a server, arranged to communicate with the second electronic device via a telecommunications network.
19. The system of any one of the preceding claims wherein the telecommunications network is selected from the group comprising: the internet, a wired network; a wireless network, a Bluetooth® network; and a RFID network.
20. The system of any one of claims 1 to 17 wherein the first electronic device itself comprises a display on which the customer interface is displayed, the system therefore being a self-contained, stand-alone system.
21 . A loyalty reward module application for an electronic interactive loyalty reward system comprising at least a first electronic device, the loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, and which cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.
22. A method of generating an electronic loyalty reward using an electronic interactive loyalty reward system comprising at least a first electronic device, the method comprising steps of:
a) executing instructions provided on a loyalty reward module application on the first electronic device to present a customer interface on a display of the first computing device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network via which an interactive loyalty reward function is presented to the customer via the customer interface;
b) controlling the interactive loyalty reward function to allow the customer to interact with the interactive loyalty reward function;
c) generating a loyalty reward signal corresponding to the interaction; and d) controlling the loyalty reward module application to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.
23. A first electronic device for use with an electronic interactive loyalty reward system, the first electronic device comprising a loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the first electronic device or on the display of a second electronic device that is in communication with the first electronic device via a telecommunications network, and which cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.
24. An interactive loyalty reward console comprising a housing for location in a shop or business, the console comprising at least a first electronic device comprising an electronic purchasing application and a loyalty reward module application, the first electronic device further comprising, or arranged to be in communication with via a telecommunications network, a product/service database, wherein the electronic purchasing application comprises instructions that, upon execution on the first electronic device, present a customer interface on a display of the electronic device or on the display of a second computing device that is in communication with the first computing device via a telecommunications network, via which customer interface a customer can select and purchase a product and/or service stored on the database, wherein the loyalty reward module application comprising instructions that, upon execution on the computing device, cause the loyalty reward module application to display an interactive loyalty reward function to the customer via the customer interface, the interactive loyalty reward function being operative to allow the customer to provide an interaction signal to the loyalty reward module application via the customer interface such that the loyalty reward module generates a corresponding loyalty reward signal, the loyalty reward module application being operative to generate a loyalty reward in dependence upon the loyalty reward signal generated.
25. An electronic interactive loyalty reward system substantially as described herein and as shown in the accompanying drawings.
26. A loyalty reward module application of an electronic interactive loyalty reward system substantially as described herein and as shown in the accompanying drawings.
27. A method of generating an electronic interactive loyalty reward using an electronic interactive loyalty reward system, the method being substantially as described herein and as shown in the accompanying drawings.
28. A computing device comprising an electronic purchasing application and a loyalty reward module application substantially as described herein and as shown in the accompanying drawings.
29. An interactive loyalty reward console substantially as described herein and as shown in the accompanying drawings.
PCT/NZ2015/050141 2014-09-12 2015-09-11 An electronic interactive loyalty reward system and method WO2016039646A1 (en)

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NZ700736 2014-10-06

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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20020112236A1 (en) * 2001-02-14 2002-08-15 Hiroko Sukeda Smart card, method for loyalty program using smart card, and smart card system
GB2493806A (en) * 2011-08-19 2013-02-20 Paternoster Holdings Llc Store-based apparatus
US20130346170A1 (en) * 2011-01-10 2013-12-26 Bozuko, Inc. Customized Customer Loyalty Rewards Program Enhanced Rewards Distribution System and Method

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20020112236A1 (en) * 2001-02-14 2002-08-15 Hiroko Sukeda Smart card, method for loyalty program using smart card, and smart card system
US20130346170A1 (en) * 2011-01-10 2013-12-26 Bozuko, Inc. Customized Customer Loyalty Rewards Program Enhanced Rewards Distribution System and Method
GB2493806A (en) * 2011-08-19 2013-02-20 Paternoster Holdings Llc Store-based apparatus

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