Loyalty kiosk provider expands target markets
Following recent successes in the restaurant loyalty rewards space, the wireless customer enrolment kiosk provider Communitek Inc. is to target other businesses including retailers, nightclubs and the hospitality industry.
Communitek manufactures a wireless kiosk called the Customer Enrolment Kiosk (CEK), which collect customer information and interacts with consumers in-store. The company says it is targeting the retail, restaurant, nightclub and hospitality markets, and provides hardware formats to suit those locations, including wall mounted, desktop, tablet or arm-mounted (all usually near the point of sale), and floor-standing (for strategic positioning elsewhere).
The kiosk's main purpose is to streamline the merchant's customer data collection efforts (name, e-mail address, birthday, gender, etc.) by encouraging customers to their data using an on-screen, touch-sensitive keyboard. The data is then transmitted wirelessly to the merchant's database computer.
Loyalty functions In addition to gathering basic customer data, the kiosk can be integrated with the company's customer loyalty programme product, known simply as the 'Loyalty Card'. For the merchant, there's a web-based reporting and analytics interface that lets them track the performance of the loyalty programme by location or customer.
Customers can register for the programme through the kiosk, which goes a long way toward reducing the cost of acquiring new members. Consumers who join the loyalty card scheme receive a 'Welcome' e-mail upon becoming a member and registering the rewards card at the kiosk, as well as an e-mail notification every time they earn or spend points using the system. The loyalty points are calculated and redeemed based on buyer frequency. Customers can then use the kiosk to check their points balance and even redeem points both in-store and online (there's a remote printer option available for printing redeemable coupons).
Strategic planning According to Communitek's president, Jarret Calmenson, there are a number of strategic rewards programme considerations that the company addresses with each new client, including:· Integration of kiosks into the physical location;· Loyalty point value assignment;· Programming coordination for coupon and point redemptions;· Bonus Point Shopping Days (for loyalty card members);· Bonus Points program sign-ups;· Double Points Specials;· Special merchandise promotions (for loyalty card members);· Special Sale Days notifications;· New store opening announcements;· E-mail promotions and mailing schedules;· Customers' personal events (e.g. birthdays and holidays);· In-store award options;· Point purchasing values; and· Promoting the loyalty programme itself.
E-marketing Another key consideration is the use of e-mail marketing in conjunction with a loyalty programme. While e-mail marketing must always be strictly opt-in, customers can be encouraged to participate by means of special offers and loyalty benefits. The company is soon to launch a full e-mail marketing solution for independent retailers and restaurants, to conduct and manage e-mail campaigns and track performance.
The e-mail service will be based on a monthly subscription fee for the merchant. As Calmenson notes: "E-mail marketing costs pennies compared to traditional direct mail. Your return on investment will increase as your customer database grows, and the results of the e-mail marketing will more than pay for the kiosk."
The kiosks Communitek's kiosks are innovative. Apart from the expected options such as customised store branding and colour schemes, the kiosks have extra options that can help provide differentiation. For example, it can have a 'wireless hotspot' built into it to allow a forward-thinking restaurant or hospitality location to offer wireless internet access, or video and speaker options, card scanning, and bar code scanning features.
Entry level The kiosks range in price depending on a number of factors, such as the number of units needed and the length of the supply agreement. Typical entry-level prices range from around US$60 to US$150 a month per unit, based on a one, two or three-year lease (at the end of which, the client may acquire the unit for the traditional fee of US$1).