Building customer loyalty can be more difficult for small businesses than it is for large companies. Big brands have more resources to develop in-depth loyalty programs that give customers different rewards or offers based on their past buying behavior.
But technology is now offering new options for small businesses looking to build loyalty.
Loyalzoo is one such option. The company offers an app that is available on mobile, online, and even on POS systems. Read more about Loyalzoo and get a behind-the-scenes look at the company in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Offers a loyalty app designed specifically for small businesses.
The app is made to integrate with a number of different systems, from online to mobile to POS systems. So different small businesses can use the app in whichever way best suits them.
Massimo Sirolla, CEO and co-founder of Loyalzoo says:
“Regardless of the type, each business can create their own digital loyalty cards in just minutes, choosing between traditional stamp cards and flexible points and set the rewards that fit them best.”
Offering a fully versatile solution.
Since the app is created with small businesses in mind, it needs to be able to work in a variety of different ways. Sirolla explains:
“We are the first loyalty app to integrate with POS, and also the first to allow merchants to give loyalty points precisely the way they want using our app, using printed codes or sent digitally. We didn’t want retailers to have to change their habits. We can fit seamlessly into almost any business with their existing setup.”
How the Business Got Started
From a desire to help local businesses.
“Loyalzoo started when Mark Ryan and I, good neighbors and friends, looked down at our wallets and realized half the cards we carry around are unused paper and plastic loyalty cards. And when we looked up, we noticed deserted local businesses and chain stores popping up one after the other. It’s crazy — and so we thought surely there must be a way to help these businesses compete with the chains and big brands.”
Successfully completing a round of crowdfunding last year.
“We reached target in under 24 hours, and that allowed us to employ more people and drive the business ahead.”
Focus on digital marketing and SEO.
If the Loyalzoo team could go back and change anything, Sirolla says they would have just handled the digital marketing and SEO efforts in-house from the beginning. He explains:
“We employed a company to do it for us, and suffice to say they did not keep up with Google’s changing guidelines which meant our webpage was nowhere to be found in organic search for more than a year. With limited budget for marketing through paid channels this was really tough and we’re still struggling from the aftermath of it. If I was to give one piece of advise to anyone else starting business it would be to spend time getting familiar with SEO and how Google operates.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Hiring more people.
“We are a small team in an even smaller office. We need someone new to pick on! Actually, a bigger office would probably be on the list too. Jokes aside, our team is really great, but with more people we could do so much more in getting the product out there.”
An ongoing table football tournament.
“It started with Andy and I playing every lunch and eventually we dragged Martina along. She started out in defense and was exceptionally bad! So we tried her in attack and lo and behold it was like a different person. We get quite into it. And it’s a really fun way to spend some time together which is also completely separated from the work we normally do.”
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~ Albert Einstein
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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.
Images: Loyalzoo, Top image: (from left) Martina Wade, Massimo Sirolla, André Johnson, Mark Ryan, Boydlee Pollentine
I’ve been seeing so many apps that aids in customer service. I am wondering how this differs. I hope it does not propose an extra process that would be somewhat unnecessary in daily processes. After all, new processes always need new training and new manpower.
Hey! Loyalzoo isn’t directly about customer service. It’s about giving independent businesses the tools to run their own digital loyalty program. An increasing number of shops and chains run loyalty programs, and those without are missing out; customers are more likely to choose a store with a mobile loyalty program than without. So in the long run, it means more customers become regulars, which will benefit the business immensely.
How would compare / contrast LoyalZoo with Yelp and Foursquare / Swarm?
Yelp, Foursquare/Swarm both focus on letting you discover what’s near you – so you can find and try new places. The focus of Loyalzoo, is to let businesses encourage their customers to come back to them. It is about encouraging customer loyalty, in other words quite the opposite of Foursquare, Yelp and the like. Where those apps are good for having customers discover new businesses, Loyalzoo helps the business turn those customers into regulars – which is vital for independent businesses. Customers who are members of a mobile loyalty program spend an average of 13% more than non-members, so these customers are really valuable to a business. You can visit our website if you want more information.
Thanks for providing this info, Martina!