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Published on May 10th, 2013 | by admin

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Apps For Small Business Loyalty Schemes

Small businesses worldwide are increasingly turning to developing their own apps, as a more effective tool for managing in-store loyalty schemes and reward cards.

Similar to the traditional loyalty card model, business owners are now finding apps a more efficient way of delivering the same outcomes. Apps are increasingly being used by business owners to streamline their operation and provide a more economical way of managing and interacting with customer data, according to press reports.

An app-based system for managing loyalty schemes helps reduce the paper burden that goes with the traditional card system, and allows smaller businesses to deploy loyalty strategies in a way that requires no additional equipment or capital outlay.

With the customization potential of apps allowing for even more flexibility in the functions performed, business owners are now reportedly finding this a much easier way to establish and integrate loyalty programs within their existing businesses.

App loyalty systems were quick to be adopted by the large retail chains, and where bigger names have led, more independent retailers are now preparing to follow. Coffee chain Starbucks was amongst the first adopters, switching their loyalty system to an app engine when the technology first became possible.

Lower set-up costs and a reduced administrative burden means this type of technology can enable greater functionality for business owners when compared to the alternative, and means smaller businesses can now make use of these systems.

Urban Dogg, an independent dog-grooming parlor based in Denver, built a loyalty program. And since its introduction in March, the scheme has seen a 90% rate of uptake across its customers.

Owner Brad Taylor said that the app-based system was turning out to be a lot more convenient for his customers. “The paper card system was a little antiquated. It was one more card they have to carry around.”

Improved convenience for customers is one of the main reasons more businesses are switching their programs to app-based systems. Rather than carrying a card in their wallet, customers can now store all their loyalty data on their phone – an item that’s far more likely to be close at hand.

As a result, those businesses that are switching to apps are seeing loyalty programs that are more heavily used and that encourage customers to return on a more regular basis.

It is possible to work with mobile app developers, such as www.simplikate.com, and build an app that works across mobile platforms. The end result is increased retention from existing customers, and a new incentive for customers to check out the business.

Card-based systems were costly for retailers, with the price of the card and the supporting technologies rolled in to every new subscription. Customized apps capable of the rewards function can be developed for a much more affordable price, bringing this technology into much closer reach for smaller entrepreneurs.

Compared to the costs of creating an app to handle these kinds of loyalty schemes, the historic method is prohibitively expensive. With apps now more readily available to perform this sort of function, more smaller businesses are now able to capitalize on the advantages of loyalty and customer reward programs.


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