Benefits of a Mobile Loyalty App

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Apps Reduce Marketing Costs

Built in E mail and SMS programs, along with unlimited Push Notifications give your business the ability to connect with your customers and know your message is being seen, all at virtually no cost.

  • Apps are a Constant Reminder of Your Business

Mobile Apps REINFORCE YOUR BRAND by increasing visibility.  Your Businesses Logo in an icon on a screen your customers look at hundreds of times a day is priceless!

  • An App Will Generate Repeat Business and à INCREASE SALES!

With our integrated tiered Loyalty Program, you can now reward your customers for shopping instead of discounting.  Studies have proven, that Businesses with a Loyalty Program in place do 20+% better than those without one.  Our Proprietary Actionable Loyalty Initiatives, (ALI) will allow you to reward your customers for actions in the app, like sharing an image, notification or liking any of your existing social media pages.

  • Apps Give You Measurable Marketing Tools

Push Notifications have open rates of 98%, SMS/Text Messages have open rates of 99.9%, compare that to emails that have open rates of 20-30%, and you will start to see a real return on your investment.  You no longer have to rely on “Hope Marketing”, with the built-in marketing tools in the Mass Mobile Apps platform you can new send a marketing message and know it’s being seen!

  • M-Commerce – Monetize With Mobile

Integrate your existing e-commerce site into your app, or add an e-commerce module that will allow you to sell products directly through the app.  Today its important that your business is available to your customers in a Mobile Channel.

4 Ways to Build Trust With Your Customers

What efforts do you take to build trust with your customers? Building solid, trusting relationships with your customer base is one of the best ways to retain them. In fact, News Cred’s recent study revealed that among millennials, the top three brand loyalty drivers include a great product (77%), followed by brand recognition (69%) and trust (69%).

Research also shows that retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. The longer a customer is loyal to a brand, the more money they spend. What does that mean for your bottom line? According to a study cited by Retention Science, increasing customer retention by just 5 percent increases profits by 25-95 percent.

Needless to say, building trust with your customers is a worthwhile and profitable endeavor.

Here are four ways to build trust with your audience:

1. Communicate with customers on a regular basis
Communications with your customer base should not revolve solely around purchasing. If customers feel like every communication is a sales push, before long, your attempts to connect will get ignored and you’ll dash any hope of building trust.
Instead, communicate with your customers on a regular basis. Consider emailing a regular newsletter, sharing links to helpful articles on your social media channels or providing how-to articles on your blog. Customers appreciate useful information that makes their day a little better.

For example, if you run a fast casual restaurant, create a monthly newsletter to highlights upcoming menu items and introduce new staff. If you run a cleaning company, share an article containing tips to clean up nail polish or general organizing or stain removing hacks. Be intentional with your communication. If customers hear from you with useful tips, product updates, relevant market research, etc… on a regular basis, your occasional promotional email won’t feel out of place. It’s just another message from a friend.

2. Provide quality customer service in your store

One of the best ways to gain trust is to offer your customers service they can’t find anywhere else. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure your service inside your store is top-notch:

  • Make sure your staff is friendly.
  • Create a welcoming environment that keeps customers coming back.
  • Train employees to nurture your customer relationships. Don’t assume employees know how to interact with your audience, show them.
  • Collect and use feedback. Ask your customers to provide feedback and use it to implement changes that can improve their experience. Collect feedback in store and online.
  • Show gratitude. Make sure your customers know that you appreciate them. Send exclusive deals to your most valued customers, host a customer appreciation event and set up a loyalty program that rewards your customers for their continued support.

3. Consider providing customer support on social
With so many of your customers being on social media, using these platforms to offer service and support is quickly catching on. Xbox, a popular gaming system company, offers customer support through Twitter. Customers can tweet questions and get live help. It’s so popular that Xbox has created multiple accounts to manage the traffic.
If you plan to offer support on social channels there are a few tools that can help. ZenDesk, for example, offers software that manages customers’ requests and creates a self-help arena for customers to troubleshoot issues on their own. Desk.com is another option. It creates a universal inbox where you can help your customers through social sites like Facebook and Twitter all from one dashboard. Your online service should compliment your service efforts in store.

4. Own up to mistakes

Customers reward companies that are honest and transparent. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Whether you missed a service appointment or have products on back order, it’s important to communicate any issues or delays with those customers.
As soon as you’re aware of a problem, reach out. For example, when Adorama fell short on cameras, an email was sent to explain that the item was on backorder. The company apologized for the wait and offered additional relevant information like how to cancel an order.
Mistakes happen. Research shows 95% of complaining customers will forgive a company if a problem is resolved in the next interaction. So, in addition to being honest, you also need to act quickly. Customers expect swift solutions.

How do you build trust with your customers? Feel free to share any additional strategies or tips.

Increase Customer Spending : Six Ways to Encourage Loyal Spenders

Finding Value
For better or worse, I am somewhat of a regular at the local casino. I don’t have TOO many vices, and I’m always extremely responsible.  I have a pre-set limit of how much I’ll allow myself to spend per visit and have only exceeded it on a handful of special occasions. Many people I know spend much more on bar tabs or shopping sprees in a day than I spend in two weeks at the casino, and none of them will have a chance at striking it rich…but that’s enough of me trying to justify a bad habit of mine.

Each time go, I’m struck by the “favouritism” shown to the high rollers who saunter in only three or four times a year.  I may know the dealers by name, given how often I’m there, but I’m not spending enough for the casino to see any value in enticing me to return. It’s a business, after all.  And like any business, they need to pay close attention to the serious customers and encourage them to come back. Free meals and the odd free night will do just that.

What small business owners can do to encourage customers to spend more each visit
While regular customers are a good sign for your business and are absolutely worth your time to cultivate, at the end of the day you’re running a business. You need money to keep your doors open, and the more money somebody spends at your place of business, the more valuable they are to your success.

 

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to consider in order to increase customer spending per visit:

1. Build Loyalty  (You can read other entries on how to gain loyal followers, but our focus with this entry is how to increase customer spending per visit.)

You’ve no doubt heard us bang the drum on the importance of loyalty. That’s no coincidence.

In today’s world of retail e-commerce competition is higher than ever. Interested shoppers can search online for what they’re after to find the best price and free shipping. You want them to keep coming back to YOU.  You’ve already earned their trust.  Now you have to build loyalty. Consider having them try out a new premium, high-priced item. Let them know they are part of an elite “membership” with exclusive access. Not only will this make them feel special and a valued part of your business (which they are), you will also establish the perfect control group to test this new product or service you’re about to debut.  It’s also worth keeping in mind that loyal customers are far less sensitive to higher prices than infrequent or completely new customers.

2. Package Your Goods

“Would you like fries with that?” represents the quintessential package deal. Burger purveyors realized long ago the value of bundling their goods, which is why you would be hard pressed to find a fast food chain that didn’t offer some semblance of a value meal. Burger, fries and a drink may not be what you’re selling, but don’t overlook this tried-and-true mechanism of increasing your customer’s spending.

Some packages just make sense, plain and simple. If your business is in the hiking/backpacking trade, you probably sell your fair share of sleeping bags and tents. You also probably sell a considerable number of backpacks, water purifiers and hiking poles. Many of your customers are probably purchasing an item or two for a backpacking trip. Why not combine them and offer a slight discount on a bundle? If your customer buys a winter-rated sleeping bag, why not offer to throw in a set of hiking poles for 25% off? They may be in the market for the poles as well, and a small discount certainly won’t break your bank.

Another tactic to consider when it comes to bundling is to offer deep discounts on items that you’re struggling to move off the shelf. If you have an overflow of mosquito netting that you just can’t seem to offload, try offering it for 75% off with any purchase over a certain dollar amount. You may not be making as much (or any) money off the netting, but at least you’re reducing your inventory and making shelf space for something that will (hopefully) be a stronger seller.

3. Raise Prices
This is often seen as tremendously scary territory for small business owners – after all, consumers can be notoriously sensitive to increased prices and rightly so. But instead of viewing it as simply raising prices without cause, try and think about what kind of value and results you are providing, in addition to your goods and services. It may be wise to try and match your prices to be in line or under what your competition is offering. After all, don’t you feel your offerings are superior to theirs?

Test the waters with small increases – something as little as one to five percent on a basic or entry level item that you know to be popular. Give it a few months, then compare this data to your previous, lower price. Were customers disgruntled by the increase in price? Odds are, they were not, and with measurable data you’ll be able to see if the increase was worth it. Experiment with different prices for a reasonable amount of time and you’ll find that the market will dictate the pricing sweet spot for you.

Happy and comfortable customers spend more. Use that to your advantage.
In addition to some of the more straightforward tactics mentioned above,
there are a few seemingly non-traditional ones that are worth mentioning:

4. Follow Your Nose
If you run a bakery, cologne shop, or potpourri emporium, you can skip right over this – but for other small business owners, do not overlook the importance of a fragrant storefront. Studies by marketing services company DMX and the Smell and Taste Research Foundation have both shown that customers are not only more likely to make purchases in a pleasant-smelling environment, but are also willing to spend more money for the same item. The most popular fragrances to open up the ol’ wallet? Coconuts, flowers, and tropical gardens.

5. Let The Sunshine In
People tend to be happier in sunshine, and when people are in a better mood, they tend to spend more. A study conducted by the University of Alberta found strong empirical evidence that customers who shopped in an area with more natural light were more likely to make a purchase and spent more per visit – in some cases, as much as 56% more. Take advantage of sunny days and consider splurging on one-time upgrades such as skylights or additional windows.

6. Chill Out
According to a study conducted by Virginia and Houston universities, people spend less when they are hot. Whether we realize it or not, when we’re warmer (due to stress or weather), we are perceptibly less likely to make complex decisions (such as decide if something is a good deal or not) than we are when we’re cooler and generally more comfortable. So, when the hotter months roll around, don’t be a miser and try to skimp on the AC. Your higher utility bill may very well be offset by increased spending by your cool customers.

You can’t expect to convert all of your patrons into “high rollers”. Consider these tips as ways to turn somebody who typically purchases three items for $20 into someone who will regularly purchase four or five items for $25 or $30. It may not seem like much at the time, but it all adds up and more importantly, adds to your bottom line.

Here is one business we’ve worked with to go mobile. Watch this video about Denim Industries:

Interested in getting your own retail mobile app? Click here for a free demo.

When Will Your Company Go Mobile?

If you are a business owner today — no matter what size your business is — you need to start thinking about a mobile-first strategy if you have not already done so. In today’s world, businesses everywhere are looking for an edge, especially small businesses. Mobile can be that edge. It is no longer a question of if your business should adopt a mobile strategy, the question is when.

AT FIRST GLANCE – COST PROHIBITIVE

When small business owners start their research into app development, they might be discouraged when they find out what it is going to cost. The average mobile app can cost $270,000 to develop, according to a survey from Kinvey.

Those figures are sure to scare away most small business owners, and even some of the bigger ones. I have some unique insights into this process, having seen it from both sides.

SHARING MY SOLUTION

I have a retail background and in 2014, I was looking for a way to better connect with my customers. I tried many of the marketing tools available to me, including radio, magazines, flyers, email, social media and paid web. Some avenues had results and others did not, but with all the competition for the attention of my customers, it became increasingly difficult to stand out.

The goal of my marketing efforts was to get my message in front of my customers in the most effective way possible and to increase sales as a direct result of those efforts. A Google search for how to increase sales resulted in my “aha moment.”

BUILD LOYALTY TO INCREASE SALES

Businesses with loyalty programs generally have profits that are higher than businesses without one, and companies like Starbucks saw a 26% increase in profits after introducing a loyalty program. I began looking for ways to implement a loyalty program for my business and after a few days of research settled on a mobile loyalty app. In 2014, the mobile app landscape was not where it is today and what I was looking for did not exist, so I went out and built it.

ACCESSIBLE AND AFFORDABLE

As a retail owner who also founded an app development company, I know that a business owner today can design, build and publish their own custom mobile app for less than it would cost them to publish 10,000 flyers just once. The mobile app today is as essential to businesses as a website has been in the past. Over time, I believe it will become the most effective way to connect with and engage your customers.

So, I ask you….if not now, when?

Here is one business we’ve worked with to go mobile. Watch this video about Denim Industries:

Interested in getting your own retail mobile app? Click here for a free demo.

This article was originally posted on Forbes.com. Ali Ispahany is a regular contributor for Forbes.

The Cost of Mobile Apps for Small Businesses

Small businesses owners looking for a mobile app platform may be scared off implementing one by the perceived large capital costs involved.

I have some valuable insight on the topic from two perspectives, 1) I was a small business owner looking for a mobile app solution for my retail stores a few years ago, 2) Not finding a solution, I created my own platform that caters to small business owners.

My background is retail, I have owned and operated retail boutiques for the better part of 25 years, so I understand clearly the predicament small business owners face when looking to adopt a mobile app solution.

Let me start off by saying that for business owners today no mater how big or how small, it is imperative that they implement a mobile strategy.  Aside from the many intrinsic benefits that mobile apps provide, like push notifications, food ordering systems, integration of all digital assets, and loyalty programs, they also provide ancillary benefits, like helping rank your business higher on google searches.

The goal of every business owners marketing efforts is to get their message, (whether it is a sales promotion, new arrivals, special event, or general updates) seen by their own customers, and to know that their messages are being seen.  Look at the available marketing mediums that are available to businesses today:

  • Radio
  • TV
  • Print
  • Flyers
  • Paid Web
  • Email
  • Organic/Word of Mouth

The mobile app will over time become the best and most effective way to communicate with your customers, boost engagement and drive sales!  Technology today enables a business owner to design build and publish a mobile app, for less then it would cost them to build a website. The Mobile App will be for businesses today and moving forward, what the website was for businesses in the past.

The other unique perspective I have is that of the founder of a tech start up catering to the small business market.  We have built a platform from the perspective of a user and that perspective gives us the ability to understand the needs of our clients and how they will use our platform daily.

With the introduction of the IPhone, and the dominance of smart phones today as the primary method of accessing the internet for a majority of the population – it is imperative for businesses to adopt a mobile first marketing strategy moving forward.  Cost should no longer be an obstacle for small businesses in finding a mobile app platform.

Apple’s Update to Guideline 4.2.6 and what it means going forward.

Being a Mobile App Developer in 2018 and Beyond.

As you are likely now aware, Apple has amended its 4.2.6 guideline so that Mobile App Generating systems are able to publish apps and get them approved.  We at Mass Mobile Apps have had detailed conversations with our Apple Rep, and have a clear understanding of what its going to take to get an App approved.

  • Every App will need to have its own Developer Account – While this may be a little inconvenient – it is far better than not being able to publish apps at all.  Please check out our Complete Guide to Setting up an Apple Developer Account 
  • Apple is still looking at diversity in design, and a good user experience – So being able to make beautiful apps with great functionality is just as important today, as it was when Apple first released their 4.2.6 guidelines.  We have taken great strides in providing our re-seller partners the most flexibility in design and app creation.
  • Core Functionality – Apple wants to make sure that apps have a good user experience, and that an app is more than just a bunch of website tabs. If you are building an app that has little to no functionality, you will have a hard time getting your apps approved.

Apple has always wanted to ensure that the user experience with its customers are second to none.  With the updated App Store, and now the continued ability for App Building services to be able to serve Small Business Owners, Apple is ensuring that it stays competitive in the rapidly evolving Mobile Landscape.

The team at Mass Mobile Apps, continues to look at providing a platform that is productive for both Re-Sellers and Merchants alike.  We are positioning our platform to be an industry leader and the Best Mobile Solution for providers and end users alike.

To find out more about Mass Mobile Apps please contact us at info@massmobileapps.com.

Why Small Business Apps are HOT!

Restaurant, Salon, Clothing Boutique or Shoe Store, every small business should have an app! It’s EXTREMELY AFFORDABLE, easy to manage and a must have in today’s Mobile First World!

Why do SMEs need mobile apps? That is no longer the question, rather How can a Small Business survive without one?

ALL Your customers use mobile apps

The three most important trends today? Mobile, mobile and mobile. People almost exclusively use their smartphone to purchase, pay, play, work, learn and communicate. Consumers have switched from desktop to mobile and from browsers to apps. So whether you’re a hotel, restaurant or boutique, your customer prefers mobile.

  • The average American already spends more than two hours a day on a mobile device and the majority prefers mobile apps over websites. 86% of mobile time goes to apps and only 14% to the browser.
  • In Sweden apps have become the preferred shopping channel of mobile buyers (41% app, 36% browser). Source Statista.com

More potential for customer loyalty

Mobile apps have more potential for SMEs when it comes to marketing and customer loyalty and, therefore, are a good way to increase revenue.

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How do apps increase loyalty and revenue?

The company’s logo or app icon is clearly visible on the smartphone screen so you are only one tap away from interaction and user engagement.

SMBs with mobile apps don’t wait for visitors to come to their website; they interact with their users. Does a website see it when an app user is in the neighborhood? Can a website send that user a Geo based push message with a special offer? Apps can. With an app you can send anyone in a specific area a message that you have a special sales afternoon. Or you could offer guests a free coffee if they stops by in your shop. See how to send geo based push messages

Apps also house  all of  the company’s digital assets like, social media, website, blog and website in one place, beautifully curated in the corporate style, without the competition of other Facebook posts or tweets. You’ll get maximum attention.

Any company, from hairdresser to Cafe to a Retail Boutique can have an in-app customer loyalty card with an attractive savings program. There is no need for separate cards or stamps. All app owners can craft a Loyalty Program within minutes. Your app is a great way to get your customers coming back more often and spending more when they do.  Studies have proven that it is easier and cheaper to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one.

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For companies, it is an extension of your brand, that will give you instant credibility with your clients.  With a Mass Mobile Apps app you get a professional presence in both app stores, a special app promotion video for your website and your app will help you rank higher on Google’s search engine.

 

E-commerce becomes M-commerce

M-Commerce will soon out pace E-Commerce, and it would be a wise decision to have your business ready sooner, rather than later.  Our Shopping cart, also lets you setup a complete M-Commerce tool directly in your app, or if you already have an existing e-com site, than it can be directly integrated into your app.

 

Why do people prefer apps?

Simply put a native mobile app is specifically designed for your mobile device.  Even the best responsive websites are hard to read and navigate on a smart phone.  A Mobile App is today and tomorrow, and Mobile Website is so yesterday.

 

5 Tips on Creating a Push Notifications

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Studies have proven that push notifications can be the ultimate user engagement tool. According to multiple sources, 98% of push notifications are read, as opposed to 15-25% for email-based campaigns.

Push notifications allow App Merchants to reach their customers outside of the in-store experience. If your messages are crafted correctly, it can create real value and promote an almost viral level of the sharing of your content.


2Frequency of your messages.

The first rule of push notification marketing – don’t overdo it. Especially if you’re sending push notifications for advertising or promotional purposes: less is usually more. Ask yourself: “Would I be annoyed by the volume of messages I’ve been receiving from this app?” If the answer is yes, or even maybe, you may want to consider spacing them out.

3Schedule your push notifications.

How would you like to be woken up in the middle of the night by a vibrating cell phone, flashy lights and a push message saying you have a $5 discount on your next purchase if you invite a friend? Knowing your target market allows you to send messages during reasonable hours when engagement is usually at its highest. Anything between 10 AM and 6 PM is recommended. Send anything outside the recommended period, and you risk missing the user’s attention or annoying them.

4Encourage engagement whenever you can.

A relevant message is great, but it’s even better to create a discussion or an interaction within the app which leads to sharing and other benefits. Using your in-app social network, you can drive users towards engagement. For example, start a photo-based contest, such as “post a picture of X” – or reward users for the best response to a posted question.

5Offer exclusive discounts or deals.

Who isn’t looking for a good deal? Use push notifications to send out ‘What’s new’ and ‘Today only’ deals. You might also think about using push notifications to inform users about discounts on products you offer, and you can create exclusive app only offers, which shows the value in joining.

6Event reminders and announcements.

Is the big game today? What time does the DJ start at the club tonight? Will there be a change in store hours over the holidays? Friendly reminders in form of push notifications take only moments to set up, but might save your users minutes or hours of ‘search time’. Minimize possible frustration caused by last minute changes and increase brand loyalty by making sure your users have all the latest information at hand.

By optimizing your messages to increase app open and conversion rates you’re not just improving app retention, but you’re also setting yourself up to increase customer lifetime value.

And if you haven’t used push notifications in your app yet, we challenge you to get one out in the coming week. Push notifications are free to use within the Mass Mobile Apps platform and it takes 30 seconds to send them to every one of your customers.  Today an Mobile Loyalty App is a necessity for any business looking to grow or maintain its customer base, and the Push notification is the most effective way to reach that base.

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8 Reasons Why Loyalty Programs Are Imperative For Marketers

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by: Steve Olenski

Companies throughout the nation are now utilizing loyalty programs more often than ever before. These organizations understand the importance of retaining existing customers and choose to implement a system directed specifically at building customer loyalty.

What exactly is a loyalty program, then? While the specifics of each program may differ, the premise remains the same: a loyalty program is a marketing system instituted by a business that rewards purchasing behavior, thus increasing the customer’s urge to stay loyal to the company. A loyalty program may offer convenience, store credit, prizes, or any other benefit that would entice the loyalty of a customer.

Of course, like all other marketing efforts, a well-crafted loyalty program requires resources that may currently be allocated towards other endeavors. If you have not yet implemented a loyalty program in your marketing strategy, or are unsure about its efficacy, consider the following eight reasons why a loyalty program may be a worthwhile option for you.

1. It Has Been Proven to Boost Growth

Of course, each type of loyalty program may yield wildly different results, but as a marketer, you should never overlook the fact that loyalty programs have been tested time and time again, and have proven to be successful in numerous industries.

In fact, the “growth hacker” movement, a recent collection of marketing gurus and regular business owners whose sole aim is the growth of the company, began by using loyalty programs as their traditional model to expand a company. These individuals allocated all of their energy towards growing their business, and saw customer loyalty as one of the easiest ways to ensure this outcome.

2. Loyalty Programs Are Not As Expensive As You May Think

When some marketers think of loyalty programs, they begin to imagine a large portion of existing resources being funneled away into a program that may or may not see success.

In reality, however, pursuing new customers is the true cost burden; a February 2013 article in Forbes asserts that keeping an existing customer is 7 times less expensive than acquiring a new one. Thus, even the resources you utilize in a loyalty program will most likely pale in comparison to the expense of finding new buyers.

Furthermore, depending on the scope of your rewards program, the slight expenses you incur by instituting a loyalty rewards program may be overshadowed by the additional business generated as a result.

3. Boost Your Reputation

Loyalty programs serve a dual function: to incentivize new clients to stick around after purchasing your goods and services, and to ensure that existing loyal clients still feel as if they are valued by your operation.

Of course, by instituting a loyalty program, you not only improve customer appreciation of your business, but you also increase the chances that existing clients will share this joy with those close to them. The more a customer feels appreciated by a business, the more he or she is likely to support that company and recommend it to others. This, in turn, carries on in a word-of-mouth cyclical nature that continues to achieve growth for your business.

4. Increase Sales By Including Enticing Awards

Marketers and business owners enjoy loyalty programs because they have the ability to improve customer retention for a specific operation. Customers appreciate loyalty programs, however, because they often provide added incentives for making a purchase, with the rewards increasing linearly (or even exponentially) with more purchases, or depending on the size or scope of the item purchased.

Because of this, using a loyalty rewards program in your marketing strategy will help provide you with access to a bigger portion of your customers’ wallets.

This will only occur, though, if the rewards you offer are in tune with the wants and needs of the customers who frequent your business. It is important to point out that not all loyalty rewards programs are the same, and only one that is executed skillfully will have the desired effect.

Your rewards program could entice customers to purchase more at a given time, but only if the incentives you give out are worth it.

5.  It Provides Vital Market Research

According to Troy Ireland, CEO of the SEO agency Digital Current:

Understanding the purchasing behavior of a specific demographic is one of the most important sets of research data available to marketers. To develop a strategic plan to present your products in a way that produces the most optimal buying behavior, one needs to understand what the target audience avoids as much as what triggers them to spend their money.

By offering a loyalty rewards program, you are conducting a form of research that will provide you with similar information about your customers. Through trial and error, you will begin to see the sort of incentives that fuel the desire of your clients, and the rewards that don’t elicit the same results.

This allows you to hone in on specific rewards that are most appreciated. Using this information, you can also attach the most sought after rewards to specific products that you are most interested in sharing with your clients.

6. It Makes Customers Happy

Sure, the benefits you offer in your loyalty rewards program may not have any effect on the goods or services that you offer your customers each and every day. That being said, your initiative of providing additional rewards for your most loyal customers sets your business apart from other, non-participating companies.

By implementing a loyalty rewards program, you are sending a message to your current and future client base that you are interested in not only making money off of purchases, but also in a relationship with customers that is mutually beneficial. You sell goods and services, although you attach benefits solely for the benefit of the customer.

This act of goodwill will improve the overall outlook of your customers, which will ultimately have a positive impact on your business.

7. You Can Provide In-Store Or Digital Rewards (Or Both)

One of the most beneficial parts of loyalty rewards systems, for both the customers and the business owners, is that, depending on the tactics, the rewards can be applied to purchases made online, in person, or both. This provides you with the chance to offer a robust set of rewards for a broader array of clients.

If you have noticed that most of your sales are to those who shop on the Internet, enhance your online rewards system; conversely, if most of your business is conducted in person, an in-store program may be best suited for you.

Fortunately, according to Retail Expert Francesca Nicasio of VendHQ, “you have the option to take your pick, depending on the needs of your operation and the setup of your merchant processor.”

8. Once It Gets Started, It Stops Being Work

In reality, setting up a rewards system may take some real effort on your part. It requires initial research regarding the preferences of your customers, as well as the scheme that you would like to implement going forward.

That being said, once you have a rewards program set up, it effectively becomes a self-sustaining machine, due to its cyclical nature: the more a client purchases, the more rewards he or she receives, thus inspiring him or her to continue purchasing.

Continuously updating the rewards will keep your customers engaged, but the work it takes to perform this will be overshadowed by the growth your company experiences.

Why It Is Time For You To Set Up A Loyalty Program

It’s no secret anymore that loyalty programs are effective marketing tools. They increase growth, help retain customers, and improve your brand’s reputation. And if you haven’t yet weaved a loyalty program into your marketing strategy, you may be missing out on one of the best and easiest tools available for the success of your business.

5 Holiday Social Media Ideas That’ll Keep Your Registers Ringing

by Lisa Furgison
4 Holiday Social Media Ideas That'll Keep Your Registers Ringing

As business owners, you don’t have elves to help you prepare for the holidays, but you do have social media.

Social media is a powerful marketing tool during the holidays. A survey shows 50 percent of customers use social media to find deals, and others use it to research gift ideas and learn about a specific company, according to Statista.

To help businesses use social media to increase brand awareness and give sales a boost, here are four holiday ideas you can use on your social channels this season:

1. Create an Offer on Facebook

Savvy shoppers are always on the hunt for a great deal.

Ninety-four percent of holiday consumers say discounts impact their purchase decisions, according to Invesp, so why not give customers what they want? Give them a deal they can’t refuse on a platform they’re already familiar with.

Facebook allows brands to create Offers, which are basically coupons for your customers. You can create a coupon that’s redeemable in your store, so customers can present the coupon on their phone at the register, or enter a coupon code during checkout online.

The Offer is shared with your Facebook fans, but once a customer redeems it, it’s mentioned in the customer’s News feed, so it exposes even more people to your deal.

Customers can even save the deal for later, and will receive notifications from Facebook when the deal is about to expire.

Here’s an example of an Offer from Camping and Fishing Outlet:

4 Holiday Social Media Ideas That'll Keep Your Registers Ringing

The cost of a Facebook Offer depends on how many people you want it to reach. You’ll see budget options when you create the offer. Here are the instructions to create an Offer on Facebook, and here’s a list of frequently asked questions about Facebook Offers.

2. Host a holiday contest

Seven out of ten brands are using “gamification techniques,” which is the use of giveaways, games and contests to attract and retain customers, according to HubSpot.

Why are more businesses turning to contests and games? For starters, consumers love them, with 68 percent of adults older than 18 participating in online games.

Plus, it’s fairly simple to host a contest these days on social media.

Local businesses could encourage customers to take pictures of the holiday lights in their community. From decked-out homes to businesses lit up with a Santa’s Workshop display, customers can snap artsy photos and submit them on your Facebook page for a chance to enter an in-store gift card.

Or, have customers submit a short 100-word essay about how your product or service enhances their holiday. Select the best answer, announce the winner on Facebook and give the customer a rare coupon for 50% off one item.

If you don’t have the manpower to create and monitor a contest on social media, there are apps that can help. Try WooBox or Wishpond. (Note: Both WooBox and Wishpond charge a monthly fee for their services, but WooBox does have a few options available for free.)

3. Shoot and share a holiday video tip

Consider shooting a video that gives your customers a holiday tip, which just so happens to promote one of your products.

Videos are highly shareable, and Facebook fans seem to consume them at a high rate. Eight billion videos are viewed through Facebook each day, according to Social Media Today.

Need some video ideas? If you sell coffee and tea, create a video that shows customers how to brew your freshly ground beans for a large group. If you sell cosmetics, shoot a video that offers holiday makeup tips for people going to their company get-together. If you offer heating repair services, create a video that offers heat-related safety tips for the holidays, like how far to keep a tree from a fireplace.

Pit Barrel Cooker Co. shot and shared a video explaining how to cook the perfect holiday turkey. Here’s a look at the video from the company’s Facebook page, which received 254,000+ views:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FPitBarrelCookerCo%2Fvideos%2F1123242144427543%2F&show_text=0&width=560

4. Create and share a holiday eCard

Small businesses often go the extra mile to create personal relationships with customers. During the holidays, it’s nice to reach out to your customers and thank them for their patronage.

You can send traditional holiday cards in the mail, or you can take a few minutes to create an ecard that you can share on your social channels.

You can use do-it-yourself websites to create animated cards that are highly shareable. If you want to create a traditional digital card, try a site like Punchbowl. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, try a site like JibJab. This site allows you to upload pictures of yourself and your employees, and puts your faces on dancing elves or a singing Santa dancing to Gangnam Style.

5. Use Your Mobile App for In App Only Promotions

Tis the Season for Giving, so use your Mobile App to promote App Only offers. This will increase customer engagement and drive more app downloads, as you make your App feel more like an Exclusive Club, where only members receive the perks!

Additionally why not update your Mobile Apps look to reflect the season.  With the Mass Mobile Apps platform, you can easily update the look & feel of your app which will can keep your message across all channels uniform.

How will you use social media to market your business or product during the holiday season? Share your plans in the comment section below.