With over 50 reward options for the Ness Card, it was difficult for customers to find relevant redemption options for their points. We iterated through several designs and feature concepts to improve discoverability and drive redemptions.
As customers spend money on any rewards credit card, they accumulate points. Naturally, the next question is what they’re going to do with those points? Generally, redemptions come in three flavors:
- Redeem for cash back at a set rate (or erase a purchase) – Depending on your interchange rates and point accruals, this can be cost-prohibitive.
- Redeem for value at a third-party brand – This is the option we chose to start with!
- Transfer to another partner – This is time-consuming to build because you need a third-party partner to collaborate with you. This likely isn’t feasible for startups that don’t have the scale to make an integration appealing to other companies.
At Ness, we held a core assumption that health and wellness-focused customers wanted a curated marketplace to shop and explore. We could use this marketplace as a redemption option (customer exchange points for gift cards at specific merchants) and to direct spend (by suggesting specific brands, we could guide how you use your Ness Card). We called this feature “Explore,” and it was foundational in our app. If you open any other credit card app, you land on financials first; with Ness, you landed on Explore.
As we added more partners and card benefits though, we hit a challenge. How do you surface 50+ benefits and rewards in a way that’s easy for customers to navigate? Specifically, we heard the following from customer interviews:
- I can’t find brand XYZ.
- I have no idea what’s being added to the app.
- I redeem Chipotle every week, but I always have to scroll to find it.
We iterated on several designs but eventually landed on a horizontally scrolling navigation bar and card-based format for rewards and benefits. When customers tapped on a reward or benefit, they would open the detail view where they could read more about the brand and discover products (with our affiliate links). Each card featured beautiful imagery from our Design team that highlighted the brand or product in action.
We addressed the customer feedback in several ways:
- We introduced a What’s New tab that featured the latest rewards (customizable number). Now, customers could always open the app and find something fresh on the first tab.
- We introduced custom filters in addition to reward types. Now, customers had Rewards, Benefits, and Services, but they also had “Eat” and “JVN Picks”. These acted like marketing tools. For example, when we launched the Whole30 partnership, we had a Whole30 filter in the app with Whole30-approved brands.
- We introduced Favorites. Now, customers could favorite items and keep them top of mind in a special “Favorites” filter.
- We integrated with Sanity (headless CMS) so our Partnerships team could seamless add and remove rewards.
Notably, we did not add the ability to search by merchant. I felt this would be time consuming to build, and we didn’t have solid evidence this would get extensive use.
Explore (and broadly, Redemptions) were a big focus of my time at Ness. I led all aspects of our Explore revamp from start to finish including discovery, design, implementation, and ongoing monitoring after the fact.