Retaining customers should be at the forefront of any business owners’ mind. Your customers can be your biggest ambassadors so long as you give something good to shout about. Running a loyalty scheme is a great way to encourage existing customers to return and also give an incentive to new customer to visit for the first times. Many shops, cafes and restaurants simply offer a paper card and stamp scheme but using your EPoS system, there is an even better way to implement your loyalty scheme.
Using the paper and stamp approach, the only thing you gain from the scheme is that customers return to get their free coffee, meal or product. However, using retail or hospitality technology systems such as EPoS, you gain better control over your promotions, and also gain valuable insights into your customers shopping behaviours.
Setting up a digital loyalty card that can be scanned at the checkout is the best way to gather this information. It requires minimal output by the customer as they only have to hand it over with the credit card or cash payment but means that the company can gather data about every transaction they make.
Most loyalty schemes such as this require the customer to fill out a form in order to receive their card. At this point, there are a number of pieces of information that will be invaluable to you. First and foremost is email address. Remember to get the customers’ permission to send out emails to them. You should also try to get their mobile phone number if they are happy to receive texts with details of discounts and some personal information. Finding out a customer’s age, gender and interests in terms of your product or service range not only helps you to send out targeted offers, but also see correlations among your customers.
Once they have received their card, you can begin gathering data at the till point. You can find out what products they’ve bought from you, how regularly they visit and their shopping patterns. You can find out how often they choose to shop with you and how often they take advantage of special offers. Your EPoS system gathers all of this information and sends it back to your back-office computer where you can draw your reports.
Now you can start sending out news of promotions, discounts and new products or services to targeted customers. For example, you might be getting in some tasty new coffees at your café. You can easily avoid sending an email alert to customers that always drink tea by using the information gathered by your EPoS software. In another example at a home furnishings store, you might find that May is always a slow month for people buying sofas. At the beginning of May you could send out a coupon with a discount on all sofas during May – a discounted purchase is better than no purchase at all.
Not only does an EPoS system help you manage your discounts and loyalty schemes better, but you can also store data about them. By using voucher codes, you can see which loyalty schemes got the best response and which customers consistently buy something after receiving a voucher.
EPoS technology can greatly benefit any retailer or café, restaurant or hotel owner wanting to retain customers and gain new ones. The control over your products, special offers and customer data is unmatched by any other checkout system and everything can easily be managed by your back-end computer. EPoS systems for loyalty schemes can benefit small businesses and multi-chain companies alike, helping business owners to take better control of their company.
About the Author:
Laura Jennings writes on behalf of EPOSNOW, a UK-based EPoS systems provider with over 10 years’ experience in the industry.