An Inside Look at How Miles Delivers Value for Brands and Their Customers in the Moment

Customer happiness starts with reaching the right audience at the right time, right place

Every company and marketer knows the key to customer happiness is “delivering the right product or experience to the right person at the right time”. And yet, despite giant leaps forward in technology, major brands, retailers and merchants struggle to capture consumer attention while mobile – especially given more than half of consumers actively block ads.

In today’s on-demand, shared economy, consumers can order whatever they want with nearly instant gratification or 24-hour shipping. The way people travel is also rapidly transforming, with Uber, Lyft and other ride-share services now increasing in the share of all miles driven on the road.

In this environment, how do brands, local merchants, cities and transportation providers offer more value to consumers in the moment, improve customer loyalty, while rewarding alternate or more sustainable forms of transportation?

Our vision is the same today as it was when we launched… To make every mile count

In April 2017, I left my role as VP of Morgan Stanley’s auto and mobility practice to join Jigar Shah and Parin Shah to build Miles. Our vision was to deliver value for every mile traveled, across every mode of transportation, anywhere in the world.

We fundamentally believe that mobility is a universal behavior that should be rewarded. We also saw an opportunity to apply AI and data science to help brands, cities and transportation providers find a better way to discover, engage and deliver value to customers while mobile. Fast forward to today and our vision for Miles continues to resonate.

Available on Android and iOS, Miles allows anyone with a smartphone to earn rewards for all their travel, across any mode of transportation. Since our initial launch in July 2018, Miles users have earned more than 270 million miles, redeeming approximately 40,000 rewards –  with average value now $20 per reward.

More than 120 exclusive rewards now available from 75 brands

As additional brands and merchants accept miles as a form of payment, the value of miles continues to increase. In essence, we’ve created a new currency and marketplace, where brands compete to present users with relevant, local rewards in the moment.

New reward partners we’re announcing this month include Amazon Audible, Ray-Ban, Getaroom, Getaround, Harry’s, Home Chef, illy, Oakley, Postmates, Saucy, Rhone, Rockport, TOMS, Thrive Market, Vudu, among others. Miles also continues to expand its partnerships with transportation providers including Getaround, Silvercar, TravelCar and Zipcar.

“Miles is an exciting new face in the marketing space. Their business model provides opportunity to earn reward miles for every mode of travel. Their ability to drive revenue online and in-store is fascinating.” -Luxottica, the parent company of eyewear brands Oakley and Ray-Ban

In total, Miles now has more than 75 rewards partners, offering 120 exclusive rewards to Miles users. Other major brands announced at launch included Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Cole Haan, and many more.

Predicting near future demand to help brands engage and reward customers

In an on-demand economy, successful brands must not only meet, but anticipate customer needs. By leveraging insights available through the Miles AI platform, businesses can better understand their target customers Near Future needs as they travel and create exclusive rewards.

Miles only earns money from partners as consumers redeem rewards through the platform. Impressions, clicks and everything else is on us!

To better explain how the Miles platform works, imagine there are a hundred Miles’ users within 0.3 miles of a downtown shopping area. By looking at mobility, travel & visit patterns in aggregate, the Miles platform can predict how many customers are likely to buy a specific product or service based on the history of where and when those people have stopped in the past. Based on this anonymous data, brands and local merchants can tailor personalized reward offering for their target audience.

All of the user’s data, including location and trip data collected via the Miles app, is completely private, never shared and only used anonymously and in aggregate, to present personalized rewards.

Delivering more value to commuters and cities

This week, Miles also announced a partnership with the City of Sacramento, Sacramento Regional Transit, and Sacramento State to offer bonus miles and rewards to local commuters when they choose alternate or more sustainable forms of transportation (walk, bike, carpool or transit). Contra Costa Transportation Authority also offers rewards through Miles platform to nudge users to choose public transit or stay off of highways during commute time.

To kick off the partnership, Sacramento is conducting a four-month pilot with Miles. The information received from the pilot program effort will help the City with future transportation planning efforts and to encourage sustainable travel options.

“Miles is an innovative program to incentivize low carbon travel options and helps the City meet its ambitious climate and mobility goals,” said Hector Barron, Director, Public Works, City of Sacramento.

Across the board, Miles rewards all of its users who choose alternate forms of transportation. If a user carpools or takes a rideshare service (i.e. Lyft or Uber), they earn 2x miles. Users who ride the train or public transit receive 3x the miles. Ride a bike and receive 5x miles or choose to walk or run and earn 10x miles.

Together with our city partners, Miles also offers daily Carpool, Transit or Bike challenges to further incentive users to choose alternate forms of transportation, or discover new locations to earn miles even faster. Users can earn additional rewards, such as an Amazon or Starbucks gift card, or other discounts from local retailers and merchants.

While it’s still early, the Miles platform has already made a positive impact. Since our launch in July 2018, more than 80% of Miles users opting for green travel such as carpooling, public transit, riding their bikes or walking as a part of their daily commute.

Additional rewards, city and transportation partners will be announced in the coming weeks – with the value of each mile on the platform continuing to increase over time as partners compete to present users with relevant, local rewards in the moment.

Author: Paresh Jain, Head of BD & Co-Founder

Head of BD & Co-Founder at Miles