myrewardcard.ie was developed to help independent businesses, chains and groups implement professional reward programs cost-effectively. It had become clear to us that Reward Programs fell into two categories: the comprehensive, detailed and expensive versions operated by the likes of Tesco and the basic stamped-card type (operated most visibly by coffee shops).
Stamped Cards are the most commonly available Loyalty System in Ireland for a number of reasons: they are cheap, easy to understand, and quick to administer. Any solution we developed had to meet these criteria but also do more.
It quickly became apparent that any solution had to do four basic things;
Brand the Business
A business is its name and we had to design a service that acknowledged this. After all no business wants to promote us when they can promote themselves. For this reason myrewardcard.ie is low key in both its look and operation. The business issues their own card with their own design and myrewardcard.ie is simply a central place to manage their points. In this way the cardholder carries the business in their wallets. They know which businesses offer them Rewards and they have an address and other contact information handy if ever asked to recommend a place.
Be Simple and Flexible
We wanted the system to be simple and available to everyone so we designed it to require no special hardware and to ensure that there was no software to download or keep updated. The business can choose many different ways to operate the system, from scanning barcodes to manually entering card numbers. The system can be run through any browser and there is no time or complexity involved in expanding the number of terminals in use.
This simplicity and flexibility extends to the customer side. Not everyone in Ireland is comfortable with the Internet or has an email address. myrewardcard.ie gives these customers the opportunity to use phone numbers to activate their account…and those who are not comfortable with the internet can even have their account created instore. Even better, if they have already created an account it is a 5-second job to register a new card to it. And if they have a group card (such as one from a town) they only need to carry one card to access programs from multiple different businesses.
From the outset we knew that we wanted the benefits of a professional reward program to be available to all businesses, large or small, stand-alone or part of a chain. This meant keeping costs as low as possible and led directly to our central management design. By centrally hosting the software we can make the service available to all businesses, chains, or groups without having to customize each installation. As a result of this central management we can keep our costs – and price – low.
Not only is the price kept low enough that the normal benefits of a Reward Program quickly allow the system to pay for itself but it also helps reduce costs by providing data that allows more efficient and targeted use of advertising budgets. The range of reports allows the business to see where the customers come from, how often and in what patterns they visit and to use this and other information to target advertising. You can also see what advertising results in visits from lapsed customer and which brings in new ones, and which results in single-visit customer and which generates repeat visits.
Being able to target the advertising not only to groups but to individuals is the most cost-effective marketing solution available and not only generates business but reduces costs.
Bring Benefits to Customers
A system that only brings benefits to businesses is not much use. It also needs to bring benefits to customers if it is to be successful. myrewardcard.ie was designed to do this. As mentioned above it is possible for those who already have a myrewardcard.ie account to register cards from multiple businesses in seconds. They can also manage all these cards in one place. This includes seeing their points balance and transaction history. This reduces the friction involved in accepting a new card, making it more convenient and likely that they will accept yours.
Once they have registered their cards your customers can also be reassured that their points are safe even if they lose their card. Not only can they transfer points from lost cards to new ones but crucially (and, as far as we know, uniquely to myrewardcard.ie) they can protect the points even before they get replacement! They simply ‘suspend’ the card and then collect a replacement in their own time.
These are the four basic ideas we knew myrewardcard.ie must satisfy. The served we offer now does not only this but much more. We’ll go into detail about the features we have in later posts as well as outlining the simple things that go to make a successful Reward Program.