For those independent retailers with a growing customer base, recognition and rewards are crucial; this is where a customer loyalty or gift card program can help out. Michael Rochester, an affiliate with Dynamic Merchants, a merchant processing company, expresses the necessity of gift and loyalty card services associated with customer loyalty programs, emphasizing, “Gift and loyalty card services are huge in the retail industry right now. It’s something I wouldn’t want a retailer, restaurant or customer-oriented organization to be without in this day and time.” Investing in a small piece of plastic, to be later attached to customer key chains or slipped inside wallets, is a smart way to remind your customers that their loyalty is noticed and appreciated. Yet an even better choice is to reward your customers in a way that is conducive to their lifestyle and shopping habits.
Rewards at the Touch of a Touchscreen
As Portio Research Limited’s report, “Mobile Applications Futures 2010-2015,” forecasts, “The global mobile applications user base is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 37 percent between 2009 and 2015, to reach nearly 256 million by the end of 2015.” Embracing what is known as mobile commerce (m-commerce) could potentially market you to those 256 million users and consumers. SparkBase CEO, Doug Hardman, a supporter of small business and independent merchants, is an advocate of the technological advances that assist in competing with big box retailers and chain stores, which includes m-commerce. And with the launch of his latest offer, Paycloud Mobile Wallet, retailers will be given the opportunity to embrace m-commerce through their loyalty and gift card programs. “Paycloud is the first multi-terminal, integrated mobile wallet for loyalty and gift card programs. It eliminates the need for plastic loyalty cards by directly integrating with a merchant’s existing credit card terminal,” says Hardman. And while it offers an additional alternative channel in which customers can interact with products and services, Paycloud eliminates fees, fear and frustration for the merchant.
Brick and mortars can easily be nickeled and dimed out of affording a loyalty or gift card program, as they are faced with the expense of plastic cards as well as individual transaction fees with every swipe of the card. By enrolling in Paycloud, business owners can establish a loyalty program in days, and for less than $100. “We maintain flat rate pricing without any additional transaction fees,” adds Hardman. Costs include terminal programming (using existing terminal), a sensor that plugs into the terminal to allow secure transactions, and artwork for the merchant’s virtual card. Free apps allow instant enrollment, helping merchants gain more customers with less advertising dollars spent. And while the thought of venturing into the m-commerce world can create a feeling of fear and even frustration, Paycloud requires no new technology or hardware. Hardman confirms, “There is no need to switch providers or train staff. Paycloud brings advanced technology to applications that business owners are already using. It only changes the way merchants can take mobile payments; not the way they operate.”
Retailers are advised not to expect instantaneous ROI, as all loyalty and gift card programs need to percolate; but repeat customers can be expected, along with a fruitful program. Customers won’t be faced with carrying another plastic card, and will have easy access to the deals you have to offer. When customers reach the front of the line, they simply wave their phone in front of the countertop sensor to check in, redeem rewards and coupons, and track their account status. Enrolling is even easier, as smartphone users launch Paycloud on their phones, check out the merchants supporting the software, and tap to enroll.
For more information: