Mobile app to reward locally loyal shoppers
Chatterfly has launched a mobile loyalty rewards platform for local businesses and their customers, offering neighbourhood consumers the ability to use their smartphones to earn loyalty points toward a range of rewards and discounts, not only for buying locally but also for sharing their experiences via their favourite social networks.
The company says that local businesses can benefit from the programme by being able to socially engage with their regular customers, and reward them for both purchases and drawing attention to their store, resulting in increased frequency of visits and new customers.
For example, shoppers in a neighbourhood loyalty programme can earn reward points for making purchases at participating merchants in their area, or for sharing details of their local shopping experiences on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Google+.
The smartphone app (currently supporting Apple iPhone and Android handsets, with BlackBerry and Palm to follow soon) also adds a new dimension to in-store promotion by using the smartphone's camera to scan QR Codes for purchase verification, and to take part in the programme's 'fun activities', such as scavenger hunts.
A local spa, for example, could offer a free day spa package and dinner for two to the first visitor who finds a special object placed in the store, snaps a photo of it, and posts it on Facebook. Or the same spa could instead offer a simple 400 point reward, which can then be seen by all other programme participants, giving first-time patrons an added incentive to visit and take part.
"This goes above and beyond the digital loyalty card. It's about supporting the local business community and rewarding shoppers for their support," explained Charles M Yim, founder and CEO for Chatterfly. "For consumers, the benefit is that you can access a loyalty programme in your neighbourhood through a smartphone and, unlike many 'deal-of-the-day' programmes that focus on short term gratification, Chatterfly focuses on the long-term, rewarding repeat customers for local loyalty and encouraging friends and family to join in."
After reporting positive results during initial testing, the Chatterfly network has continued to gain traction in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has now begun signing up businesses in other US states as well.
"Chatterfly tracks back the exact number of shoppers that were driven to each participating store, so merchants always know how the programme directly impacts their bottom line. We aim to redefine merchants' perception of customer loyalty by quantifying the impact of social shopping and entertainment experiences within local communities," concluded Yim.