In the competitive world of e-commerce, businesses are always looking for the latest innovation or gimmick that can give them the edge over their competitors. Some such approaches can be something of a dead end, but one tried and tested scheme which has added value to many websites and businesses across the planet, is the customer loyalty scheme.
A well executed customer loyalty program can not only incentivise your existing customers to generate more business for your site, but also entice new blood to your site as well. On the other hand, a poorly conceived program can simply cost your business money. So what are the key elements to ensuring that a customer loyalty program is successful and adds value to your business?
Here are five elements of a customer loyalty program that you may particularly wish to consider before setting one up.
Kounta Point of Sale offers a fantastic integration with Collect rewards, enabling you to reward loyal customers at the point of sale
Small Business Opportunity
The first thing to note is that many owners of small or even medium-sized enterprises fallaciously believe that offering a customer loyalty program would be disadvantageous to them. In reality, Forbes magazine has argued that offering a customer loyalty scheme is one of the best ways for a small business to differentiate itself from competitors.
Exploit Consumer Psychology
If anyone doubts that businesses can take advantage of basic consumer psychology, ask yourself this simple question. Why does every single retailer in the world sell its products for some variation of 95 or 99 cents? $4.99 just psychologically feels less than $5.00, even though in practical terms the distinction is almost completely meaningless. Similarly, a customer loyalty program can take advantage of human nature by making customers feel that they are closer to their goal than they actually are. This can be achieved, for example, by stating that customers will receive two of the ten points that they require to receive a free reward just by joining the scheme. This will actually work far better than merely stating that they need to collect eight points; people try harder to achieve a goal when they perceive that they are closer to achieving it. Artificial progress actually works nearly as well as real progress. Another important element of building a successful customer loyalty program is to actually make the customer feel that their loyalty is being rewarded. Loyalty works both ways; of course, a business hopes to retain the loyalty of the customer moving forward, but this will be far easier if they feel that the business has been genuinely loyal towards them.
There are several key components to building this loyalty, and in many ways they resemble the qualities of loyalty involved in healthy human relationships. Trust and transparency are particularly important, thus a business should strive diligently to ensure that the customer loyalty program is both straightforward and delivers exactly what it purports to do. The last particularly powerful element which will help customer relationships is the element of surprise. Everyone likes nice surprises, and occasionally offering the customer something valuable that they weren’t expecting (regardless of whether it is actually anything out of the ordinary) will always be perceived positively. If you can tie this to a celebration which also elicits positive feelings such as a birthday or Christmas then you can reap further Pavlovian benefits from this.
Rewarding the Right Behaviour and Targeted Marketing
One should never view a customer loyalty scheme as a way to compensate for a poor bottom line, or a way to resurrect an ailing business. They are a useful supplementary tool for an already successful and fundamentally sound business. But a customer loyalty program can enable a business to engage in targeted marketing based on the data gleaned from it. This is extremely important, as successfully offering customers something that they actually want that they didn’t know existed will make them value the program and your business.
Additionally, it is possible to reward what your business views as ideal customer behaviour by aligning your loyalty program with such behaviour. This enables you to ‘select’ ideal customers, and hopefully to influence non-ideal customers’ behaviour favourably. There is a great deal to be gained by running a customer loyalty program, and it is not something that should be dismissed lightly, and certainly not without investigating the prospect first.
Today we launch Kounta Insights, an advanced analytics platform that gives users the ability to dive deeper into the valuable data collected from their store’s Point of Sale and make smarter use of Big Data.
Kounta Insights is a custom-built platform that handles complex metrics and generates comparative data about products, customers and staff to empower key decision makers within the business, in real-time.
Designed specifically for emerging brands, high-volume outlets, franchises and multi store operations, Kounta Insights can collect, store and process an unlimited amount of data from the Point of Sale.
Furthermore, the high-speed, fully scalable and customisable platform provides permission driven user access to unlimited data volumes and customisable reports, especially useful for franchise groups.
With Kounta Insights, businesses can use the data for:
“Kounta Insights will allow businesses to make smarter use of the wealth of data that’s already being captured by their POS system. Ultimately, it comes down to how a business uses that data to deliver a better product and service to stay ahead of the curve.”
We will begin the roll out of Insights (currenly in Beta) in July and plan to have Inisghts availble to all customers by August.
Starting today, you can take Insights for a spin by contacting us for a free trial
Kounta Insights is another unique offering from the Sydney based Point of Sale company. Kounta’s powerful and secure Cloud service allows businesses to access their data and manage their stores from anywhere in the world.
For more information on Kounta Insights, visit: http://kounta.com/insights
Choosing the right Point of Sale (POS) system for your business can be something of a minefield. With many competing products in the marketplace, selecting the POS solution that is right for your business can be an involved undertaking. So here are eight factors that you should take into consideration when selecting the ideal POS system for your enterprise.
The costs of POS systems vary significantly, particularly with regard to what sort of customer the company envisages selling to. Some POS solutions involve upfront costs, while others will require a monthly payment from the vendor. When budgeting for the ideal POS system, it is wise to consider how much you will spend on the solution, but also how much money your POS system could save and / or make your business.
It’s not ideal to sign up for a fancy new POS system, and then find out that it can’t accommodate a certain proportion of your customers. Unquestionably, flexibility in terms of the number of payment options and platforms that a POS system is compatible with is absolutely essential; any failings in this department will simply translate to money down the drain. With its vast array of mobile device options, the POS system offered by Kounta scores well in this department.
Different POS systems have conflicting hardware requirements, and again you don’t want to be caught short in this area. Having to shell out on expensive new hardware would obviously have to be factored into any fiscal calculations that are made. Thus, systems that will run off an iPad or laptop could be particularly beneficial for a small business.
Ease of Use v Feature Set
The ideal POS system would be, of course, packed with functionality, while being extremely easy to use and set-up. Unfortunately, we don’t necessarily live in the ideal world, so you will need to weigh ease of use against the features set within a POS system. You might want to consider such issues as ongoing training and initial outlay, but generally speaking complex orders will necessitates a highly functional POS solution, regardless of cost.
Growing with your Business
Selecting a POS system that does the job required at the outset and which is cost effective would seem to be a no-brainer for small businesses. But this is no use to you should it become obsolete a few months down the line. The best POS system are scalable, enabling customers to buy what they require as they need it, and sign up for new features as the growth of their business necessitates it.
Traditionally, POS systems have been rather expensive, but contemporary solutions offer pricing structures that can suit smaller budget. However, it is imperative to ensure that there are no hidden expenses in any POS solution that you sign up to. The most reputable provider will have a completely transparent pricing model.
Naturally, with any payment-related system security is of critical importance. Customers will not even consider using Point of Sale Software which doesn’t guarantee their safety and privacy at all times, and any bad publicity in this area will definitely be hard to overcome. With high-profile hacking incidents having made the press, and recent revelations about the NSA and other government programs, people are seeking peace of mind in this area more than ever before.
Thus, sophisticated encryption and the non-storage of credit card information are an absolute must. It is also extremely worthwhile to consider a cloud-based POS system, as this will be more less open to being compromised.
Lastly, if you’re going to get everything possible out of your POS system then it should feature a robust reporting system. This will help you analyse how successful the POS system has been within your business, and help you identify ideal customers and demographics related to them.
A POS system that can track sales by department, item, and hour will be extremely useful, enabling you to organise your business more efficiently, as well as gathering vital information on which of your product lines are successful. Detailed reporting will help with sales, accounts and business plans, and should be considered an essential feature of any POS system.
We’re pleased to announce Kounta’s upcoming new and refreshed pricing for Kounta subscriptions.
We’ve listened to the Kounta Community and are committed to providing more flexible pricing options for all different types and sizes of stores, including more advanced support options. Our pricing, as always, is upfront and simple to understand with no hidden fees.
You’ll still get unlimited transactions, unlimited products, unlimited users, unlimited customers and unlimited access to a limitless product and support experience for your store at Point of Sale and beyond.
The new plans will be named Business and Plus
A flexible solutions for serious stores, designed to support your growth.
Kounta Plus is a white-glove Point of Sale solution for emerging brands, high-volume businesses, franchises and multi store operations.
Starts from $200 per site (billed monthly or annually)
We will notify you sooner to the new prices going live, but just wanted to let you know yet another thing we have coming up for you.
If you have any questions be sure to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or the help section in your Kounta Account