As head marketer for Gwendy’s Goodies, LLC (my sisters bakery in Ayden NC) we started researching the idea of a rewards program for her bakery. Her POS system is a Clover which is prolific in the small business arena and offers several card based reward systems that integrates easily with it. The swipe cards are pretty reasonable and it seemed like a simple way to move forward with a Gwendy’s Goodies rewards card. We also weren’t sure that a smart phone app would best support her community in Ayden and had initially shied away from that concept.
I started doing some research and came across several really cool online platforms that took rewards to a whole new place. It brought corporate level (think Panera) rewards to the local small businesses. The one that really intrigued me was Five Stars. I downloaded some information about the Five Stars rewards program, read through their website and really liked what I saw.
There were several things that caught my attention:
• The detailed dashboard and analytics of the impact the rewards program had on your business.
• It is way more than a rewards program, it’s a customer retention program. A very powerful way to gently encourage people to return to your business again and again.
• It’s a marketing platform that offers some really cool opportunities that supports your unique business needs.
Shortly after I downloaded the content I got the anticipated calls from Five Star. I told them I was very impressed with their program, I thought that their pricing was reasonable for what they offered but the pricing was more than we could take on right now. A month later Gwen received a call and sent them to me. I agreed to an online meeting and walk through, with the caveat that it was EXTREMELY unlikely we would be in a position to sign up at this time. A challenge every good sales person likes, LOL!
When they walked me through everything, what impressed me the most was the eye opening perspective Five Stars illustrated of the real impact the money we were spending on Facebook was having. I went from feeling really good about our Facebook ads strategy to questioning it.
Gwen and I agreed if we stopped a few other things (including facebook ads) we could afford the transition into this platform
The early returns are very VERY good, we are two weeks into it and we are already seeing very strong results. First, we were wrong about the community’s adoption of the smartphone app – they love it. Everyone is eager to sign up with their cell phone number. Over half have shared their email address which has helped our monthly email marketing penetration significantly.
- The early numbers:
- In our first 10 business days we have 168 members, our goal for the first month is 400
- 2,856 points awarded
- 16 rewards claimed
- Special Sticky Bun promotion generated 3 new visits from people who had never purchased the promoted product before.
Is it rewarding? Absolutely! We will keep you posted as we progress with our new Five Stars rewards program but we are very pleased with the measureable results we are seeing.