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With the popularity of Amazon Prime increasing, striving small businesses are trying to compete by running paid membership programs, which create a new type of loyalty. So what is a loyalty program and how can running a “Prime-style” loyalty program benefit your business?

memberships

There are many types of loyalty programs on the market but in a traditional sense, the basis for a loyalty program is a customer earns points for spending and redeems a reward when a point target is reached. Therefore encouraging the customer to visit more regularly or increase their spending habits.  

Historically these loyalty programs have been executed by paper or plastic cards due to ease of use.  With the increasing use of technology and smartphones, today’s version of a loyalty program can include features like points being viewed in-app or marketing messages being sent via SMS. Typically these are the types of features you should find in a good quality digital loyalty platform:

  • Point balances sent in digital format (SMS, email or push)
  • Integrated into your businesses point-of-sale
  • The ability to send marketing messages via the platform
  • Auto-promotions for customer segments

Point-based loyalty points programs work well for cafes and quick service restaurants – venues where customers generally shop at a variety of places yet you still want to be at the top of their list of choices.

membershipsDigital Loyalty has evolved very quickly due to the advancements in the way customers consume digital content. Now we look at smartphones as a digital wallet or even our own shopping mall. Online shopping, Apple Pay, Amazon’s “one-click” purchase, and Amazon Prime have all driven us to enjoy fewer clicks, less hassle and basically doing less of anything.

So where does this leave small retailers? There’s still a place for independents as there are 22 million small businesses in the US, it’s just there is more pressure for business owners to add digital to their in-store experience. The combination of consumers going wallet-less along with the popularity of Amazon Prime is what has led businesses to use a “Prime-style” loyalty platform. In essence, a customer is charged a recurring fee and the business offers special rewards or benefits in return. Some features can include:

  • Setting up memberships and recurring payments directly from your point-of-sale
  • Tracking abilities for used rewards/benefits
  • Send promotions to VIP members to make them feel valued
  • Declined cards management

The icing on the cake is that all of this drives recurring revenues and leaves little up to chance when trying to strive for growth in a business.  Membership programs work particularly well where there is a great deal of competition and the customer should be regularly purchasing your product/service.

memberships

The best vertical example using this type of software is car washes, for example charging $30/month for unlimited car washes. Membership programs can be used for unlimited rewards or a set amount of benefits within a billing period. Wine clubs, golf clubs, coffee shops, nail, tanning, hair and beauty salons, in particular, are also using membership platforms to run their Prime loyalty programs. Great membership examples in these verticals are:

  • $39.95/month for two premium bottles of wine a month
  • $119/month for 4 Deluxe facials per month and 15% off all products all of the time
  • $70/month for unlimited blow-outs or men’s shaving
  • $45/month for nail paint with shellac on toes and hands per month. As many touch-ups as required.

As far as small businesses go in surviving long-term, a digital loyalty strategy is a must – it’s just investing in an affordable product that can execute steady growth for the business and be so downright easy you would be lost without it.

Will be available as standard offering on all SmartPay terminals

London, 22 May, 2018: Digital loyalty service Loyalzoo has announced partnership in the US with payments industry leader Vantiv, now Worldpay. Using the Aevi open platform, Worldpay has rolled out SmartPay, a new line of smart terminal point-of-sale systems which now feature Loyalzoo’s loyalty software bundled on each terminal.

SmartPay draws together multiple services and applications into an open payments acceptance ecosystem, allowing merchants to run their business from their smart POS terminal. Many different services can be added into this open system such as inventory management and loyalty programs. By offering loyalty points, businesses can reach out to their customers, reward increased spending and better understand purchasing habits and behaviour.

Announcing the partnership, Worldpay’s Jon Pollock, SVP of Product Management, said, “the demand for smart POS systems is growing at an incredible rate. We aim to provide SMB merchants with the very best business apps and payment services to drive growth and streamline their processes. Because effective loyalty programs are crucial for many merchants, including Loyalzoo in our SmartPay application bundle delivers significant value.”

Massimo Sirolla, Loyalzoo CEO explained the significance of the partnership: “We were delighted when Aevi and Worldpay approached us to partner on their new project. Our knowledge in cardless loyalty and our commitment to making the experience as easy as possible for both merchant and customer made us a great fit for their ambitious design.”

Worldpay will be offering merchants across the US a variety of application bundles, all designed to optimise the needs of the business. Loyalzoo will be available on each of those bundles. This means every merchant using Worldpay’s new SmartPay terminals can now run their own loyalty program without having to pay extra for the service.

Loyalzoo allows independent merchants to increase customer retention by hosting their own loyalty program. Since its launch in 2013, the company has given merchants and their customers the most frictionless experience, with merchants awarding loyalty points from their existing POS set-up.

Loyalzoo has partnered with Aevi to bring their “merchant first” digital loyalty card service to Aevi’s marketplace of value added apps and services to merchants worldwide. With demand surging for smart POS terminals that can integrate payments acceptance with other business services, Loyalzoo is poised to bring its model to a wider market.

There are so many different types of loyalty platforms on the market that it can become confusing as a business owner when implementing the right program. Everyone is so conditioned to seeing what works for big retailers as well, that it is easy to assume that what works for them will work in the SMB world…wrong. Let’s have a look at some of the misconceptions happening in the SMB loyalty space.

Customers love marketing emails

loyalty-program-misconceptionsNo…they really don’t, do you love receiving hundreds of emails every day? It takes a very special kind of email to blow email open rates out of the water. Mailchimp says, on average SMB email campaigns average an open rate of 21.53% and that’s by creating outstanding email campaigns, but that’s just an open rate.  For a customer to actually take action on this email is far less. Think before you implement a loyalty program that focuses purely on email and email marketing campaigns, as you may not see the return on investment you are looking for.

 

loyalty-program-misconceptionsCustomers will do anything you tell them to do

Wrong again, it’s incredibly hard to get a customer to behave in a certain way, so don’t leave it up to them. There are plenty of loyalty programs that require a customer to take action in signing up to a loyalty program. They may have to go to a website and sign up or keep a paper or plastic card in their wallet or it may even be scanning a QR code when they arrive in-store. Think about the customer and how much of an inconvenience this is for them. The best advice is removing the friction from the sign-up process and doing it for them, that way you stay in control & don’t leave it up to them to decide.

Birthday offers will generate a tonne of revenue

loyalty-program-misconceptionsTotally false again! We’re not saying it’s going to be a total flop but think about what you personally do on your Birthday. You either celebrate with your loved ones maybe have a party at home and in most cases, your friends will take you out for dinner to a place that they think is nice or to your favourite restaurant. In any of these cases, your small business will probably lose out. Now think about it again, is it really worth running Birthday offers in-store?

Reminder: Focus your energies on the things you can control & don’t leave the rest up to chance

SMS marketing works!

This is only half true, it certainly works but remember the saying “too much of a good thing is bad.” SMS campaigns work because they are short, snappy and grab a customer’s attention immediately but if you bug a customer with predictable and constant SMS messages, all you are going to do is make them “opt out.” Make it exciting and keep promotional campaigns between 2 – 4 times a month.

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London, 29 November, 2016: Loyalzoo, a leading digital loyalty service provider for SME retailers and restaurants, has taken its subscription offering to the next level by announcing a fully automated marketing engine aimed at targeting customers at the right time with the right offer.

Running alongside Loyalzoo’s easy to use proven loyalty program, the new Handsfree Marketing feature enables companies to send targeted marketing messages to customers, segmented according to their purchasing behaviour.

Using complex mathematical calculations, the system identifies specific customer-types and ensures delivery of appropriate targeted messages. Whether it is new users, high spenders, returning customers or those who have not visited for some time, the appropriate message or offer is delivered automatically, all for a low monthly cost.

The new feature takes only a minute to set up, in line with Loyalzoo’s “hassle-free” uncomplicated approach to the use of technology within independent retail environments.

According to BrightLocal and the Chamber of Commerce, SMEs on average spend $400 per month on marketing. Using Loyalzoo’s Handsfree Marketing, they could reduce these costs by up to 78 percent, while simultaneously running a digital loyalty program.

“For small businesses marketing can be time consuming, costly and sometimes just non-effective. With this in mind we wanted to invent a feature that provides a new twist on “set and forget” marketing and will revolutionise their approach” says Loyalzoo CEO, Massimo Sirolla. “Meanwhile, it allows business owners to focus on what they do best – running their business.”

Loyalzoo is already working with hundreds of merchants across the UK and US, and has been named one of the UK’s top 50 most disruptive businesses by Everline Future 50.

Since 2014, the company has made huge strides in the loyalty space thanks to its easy to use digital service. The stress-free, self service nature of the solution is its unique selling point. “Loyalzoo has been absolutely wonderful! It’s a lot less of a hassle than our previous system since the customers do not need to remember a card. It’s wonderful! It works great with our office and store, we are so happy to have found this system!” says Cynthia Monette, Owner at Avena Integrative Medical Centre of Putnam, Connecticut.

Loyalzoo recently launched a third crowdfunding campaign to support on-going growth and to establish a team in the US, working alongside its UK headquarters (www.seedrs.com/loyalzoo3).

Note for editors

About Loyalzoo – Digital loyalty card service for SME retailers and eateries

Based in west London, Loyalzoo was founded to help small/medium sized businesses compete with larger retailers and brands in an increasingly mobile/digital world. Loyalzoo is unique in the industry, as retailers of any size can setup their own, custom made in-store loyalty program in just minutes, without the need to print cards or buy expensive hardware. It also operates directly from most point-of-sale systems, avoiding any change or disruption for merchants and their staff. Loyalzoo’s service is available directly via the company’s website www.loyalzoo.com, resellers, agents, as well as via the digital marketplaces of Clover POS and Epos Now.

Rhiannon Davies
Growth & Engagement Manager
p: +44 (0)20 3598 3932  
e: rhiannon@loyalzoo.com

Wynne Evans
Wynne Evans Communications
p: +44 (0)7946 418133
e: jwynne_evans@tiscali.co.uk

Loyalzoo – who the heck is Loyalzoo?…well you would like to know wouldn’t you?

For a start, we’re a London-based business with a global footprint. We support independent retailers and small chains and eateries and all those places which are the basis of your local community. Loyalty is our business. Keeping high streets and communities thriving and buzzing is the brilliant outcome of our digital platform.  

meet-loyalzoo

We’re definitely the most unique digital loyalty solution in the UK and our ambition is to be the number one choice for SMBs. This week we’re throwing open our doors and holding an investor meet & greet where we’ll be serving Loyalzoo cocktails and treats for our guests. Would you like to come along? You can sign up for the event here on Eventbrite.

You’ll be able to get to know the team behind the brand; Massimo Sirolla the Co-founder & CEO of Loyalzoo, who knows  his retail and loyalty business will be on hand along with Mark Ryan – Co-founder & non-executive director, Rhiannon Barnes – Growth & engagement manager, Andrew Campbell – Chief Technology Officer, and Iain Watt – Full stack developer. So if you’re interested in finding out about our typical customer, how we came to be or our plans for the future – someone will definitely be able to fill you in.

We also have major plans for the business which is why we’re raising a big £500,000 investment at the moment. A large part of this is through our third crowdfunding campaign which is now live on Seedrs and has started off with a bang. For more information, head to www.seedrs.com/loyalzoo3

If you’re an existing, new or potential investor, come along and meet the team to hear our story and our plans. We look forward to welcoming you.