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So maybe these aren’t accurate statistics but it’s a fairly good assumption to say that every customer loves freebies. The definition of a “freebie” is something given or received without charge and we’re telling you that your business should give more of them away.  These types of giveaways are important in a business’ marketing and sales strategy, but it needs to be executed effectively and with the right objective.

freebies-campaignYou might be surprised as to the insights behind giving away free goods. Logically the expectation is that customers will walk in, take their free stuff and run, but in fact the opposite occurs. Take 7-Eleven’s Free Slurpee Day for example; Slurpee sales were boosted by 38% when they offered free small Slurpees to every customer for one day of the year. Surprisingly, attendees of the Free Slurpee Day were sampling the free size and then upgrading to a larger size. Offering a freebie simulates a “try before you buy” selling technique but without any rules or obligation. This alternative method makes customers feel relaxed about making their own choices to purchase more.

freebies-campaignGreat times to offer freebies are when you are releasing a new product, when you need an aid in up-selling/cross-selling or simply looking for a new way to market your business.  Right now you are probably looking at your income and wondering how much you can afford to give away for this kind of campaigns. In reality giving away free items is a great PR stunt for large companies and they can reach far more consumers than any SMB can. So how do you run a freebie campaign without losing out?

Here’s some alternatives:

  1. Give away free smaller items with the purchase of larger items
  2. Run a contest where customers must make a purchase to enter the competition
  3. Implement a loyalty program, remembering to promote and celebrate your first day of launch in-store
  4. Market a “freebie” hour, rather than an entire day

freebies-campaignEffectively, you want either new customers coming in and becoming regulars or enticing current customers to come in and spend more with you by trying something different. Today’s consumers have a world of choice at their fingertips, so empower your customers to make the right decision by choosing you each time.

Loyalzoo, the UK’s most popular digital loyalty service for SME retailers and eateries, is raising £500,000 in funding to support ongoing growth and establishing operations in the US for the innovative, fast growing company.

Loyalzoo, named one of the UK’s top 50 most disruptive businesses by Everline Future 50, will use investment to focus on executing its go-to-market strategy and pipeline, growing US and UK presence and establishing a team in the US to work alongside the UK-based HQ. There will be a strong focus on deploying Loyalzoo across more retail POS platforms, growing partnerships, reseller engagements and merchant user base.

“We are seeking investment to ensure we can roll out as widely and quickly as possible to meet the demands of the market. With hundreds of merchants across the UK and USA, over 300,000 loyalty transactions processed to date and recurring revenues growing 12% month on month, we are an established loyalty service for small to medium sized retailers and restaurants and ready for scalable growth” says Loyalzoo CEO Massimo Sirolla.

The company has already secured most of its target amount from existing investors, and has launched on the Seedrs crowdfunding platform to secure further investment. Within the first two days the company has already raised almost 80% of its £500k target, from over 40 investors. The opportunity to invest will be live until November 30. This follows Loyalzoo’s previous crowdfunding campaigns in 2014 and 2015, which raised a total of over £450k.

The independent retail market is a major opportunity for Loyalzoo. According to Bira (British Independent Retailers Association), there are 279,000 independent retailers in the UK. And according to the NRF (National Retail Federation), there are 3.8M retail establishments in the USA. Three out of four SME retailers can benefit significantly from running a loyalty program, and with Loyalzoo it is all digital, which means no paper or plastic loyalty cards for consumers, and more actionable data for the retailer.

Loyalzoo’s appeal can be readily explained as its innovative technology enables independent merchants to run their own points or stamps based rewards program, without being part of a group scheme, and to compete in an increasingly digital world. The company’s loyalty system runs on most electronic point-of-sale terminals, making it super easy for the merchant’s staff to sign up customers to the program and issue loyalty points. Consumers can then redeem those points for rewards chosen by each merchant. On average, merchants running rewards programs with Loyalzoo see a revenue increase of 11%, from existing customers and without reducing margins.

To follow Loyalzoo’s campaign visit https://www.seedrs.com/loyalzoo3.

Note for editors

About Loyalzoo

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, Epos Now and Lightspeed.

Happy staff = happy customers

Have you ever had the worst customer service ever? It ruins your day and you walk out of the store fuming. Now have you been served by an absolutely outstanding staff member and their customer service is next level? How amazing does it feel?  Now that’s what helps create loyalty! Maybe it’s time to reflect on your businesses environment and start making some positive changes to motivate staff.

Reward employees for great performance

motive staffIt’s one thing to congratulate the team as a whole but individually rewarding staff for hard work is a great tactic.  It means those who go above and beyond feel appreciated and it makes underperforming staff realise they too can work just that little bit harder.  A few great ways to do this is by:

Note: make sure to reward for various types of work, otherwise you may just end up rewarding the same staff members over and over again.

Incentivise using food to motivate staff

motivate staffWell you’ve heard that food is the way to a mans heart but it’s also the way to a staff members heart. Your employees work hard and there’s nothing better than shouting your team lunch. Without spending too much either, you will find a full stomach leads to better productivity and happiness. Try and use mood boosting food to motivate staff such as healthy burgers incorporating eggs and avocado or why not even try keeping a fruit bowl in the lunch room. You’ll be surprised how much this can change your staff members happiness.

Utilise wall space

motivate staff
Ok maybe motivational quotes are a bit old school but who’s to say you can’t try the following:

Bulletin boards: This is a fantastic way to communicate outstanding work, pictures from staff events, posting about birthdays or if there is nothing to communicate put up a joke. Communication is the key to running a business and if the staff can take part in it and get the creative, the more they will be willing to exchange ideas and converse.

Business news: Sometimes it’s hard to get staff excited about business news. You as the business owner find everything exciting when it comes to advances in the business, so why not let them choose when to get excited by it.  Put up a visual graph to show growth or success so employees don’t have to read, they simply walk in and see straight away how well the business is doing. This will make them feel like they are part of something truly special and that you are all working together to achieve greatness.

Fun pictures: You might get a few eyeball rolls if you start hanging up motivational quotes everywhere but putting up fun pictures with bright colours can enhance ones mood. The best colours for happiness are green and yellow, so get hanging and get those staff happy!

 

Starbucks has been getting a lot of attention in regards to their newly rolled out loyalty program. Mainly because of the sudden changes that caused an uproar in the Starbucks loving community.  The controversy around their “improvements” is teaching business owners that it’s important to know how to launch a successful loyalty program. It should be strategically planned for growth and revenue building.  Let’s look at Starbucks and take away some pointers from their new program.

Points or stamps?

successful loyalty programStarbucks started out with a stamps based program, awarding one stamp per visit and then switched their program to points based.  Now people are being rewarded for spending more, rather than visiting more. It is a tactical plan to switch from stamps to points, forcing customers to hand over those extra dollars.  If you’re a business with a large variety of products, it’s advisable to start with a points based program. Awarding your customers for spending larger amounts with you, rather than forcing them to head to a competitor for the extras.

 

Let’s get personal

Allowing customers flexibility is one way to make them feel like they are really part of a loyalty program. successful loyalty programStarbucks is now driving personalised offers to customers based on their prior behaviours. This is a complex feature of a loyalty program but can be simulated by offering accumulative rewards. Meaning the more points the customer accumulates, the better the rewards. Consumers can then choose to redeem the smaller offers or keep building more points for something of better value.  Once again pushing customers to spend more with you, which at the end of the day is what you want out of a good loyalty program.

Promotions, promotions, promotions

Don’t fall into the trap of sending marketing emails to your loyal customers. In fact this is the wrong way tosuccessful loyalty program go about signing up customers to your loyalty program. There is a lot of stigma around signing up to a loyalty program and then only receiving uninteresting updates about a business. Give your customers something to get excited about! Plan promotions a couple of times a month and send them out via SMS or push. This will really get your customers going and get them to take action instantaneously. Starbucks do this really well by providing promotions by push notification in their app.

Is Starbucks running a successful loyalty program?

So maybe the critics have it all wrong? After the storm of its new release, Starbucks new loyalty program is still proving to be a hit but it has taught us a valuable lesson. Plan a successful loyalty program and not only will your customers thank you for it but you will be thanking yourself for a nice revenue boost!

Customer behaviour is changing – as customers and as consumers we are developing rapidly. The way we choose where to spend our money is changing, and this means our requirements to retailers are changing, too. It is no longer enough to have a physical presence or a big billboard. Read more