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Lexington, MA, United States, 2011/03/22 - The patent-pending technology enables retail stores and restaurants -- with their customers’ permission given during loyalty registration – to check them into Facebook Places, post on their wall and potentially influence their Facebook friends.
Beanstalk Loyalty has announced patent pending technology creating the first loyalty platform to deliver the long sought after integration between the point-of-sale (POS) terminal and social media such as Facebook. “Our unique integration with Facebook enables retail stores and restaurants -- with their customers’ permission given during loyalty registration – to check them into Facebook Places, post on their wall and potentially influence their Facebook friends while at the same time leveraging the POS information to influence their behavior,” said Gilbert Bailey, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for Beanstalk Data.
Conventional location-based social media services have had limited uptake among the retail and food service industry, partly because they are disconnected from loyalty programs and POS terminals. Retailers can learn from the location-based service that a person was in their store but have no idea if they bought anything or what it was. In the same way, when the customer records a purchase to the loyalty program, the store usually has no way of knowing what the customer purchased. As a result, the marketer has very little information on its customers’ behavior and preferences and so is usually limited to very simple one-size-fits-all offers such as “buy four get one free.” This helps explain why, according to First Data Corporation, only 23% of retail customers and 17% of quick serve restaurant customers are satisfied with their loyalty membership. Another problem is that it often takes months for the marketer to receive the information needed to determine whether or not the program accomplished its objectives.
Beanstalk Loyalty (beanstalkloyalty.com) enables marketers to substantially improve campaign performance by using the transactional data created at the time of the POS order to trigger timely, relevant and personalized offers through social media, email, texting and direct mail. The check-in to the location service now is accomplished through the POS so the marketer knows exactly what was purchased by the customer and can use this information to tailor an offer that will have much greater appeal than was possible in the past. The POS is transformed from simply a transaction recording device into a revenue-generating platform. Retail stores and restaurants can now get a much better understanding of their customers’ behavior and can communicate before and after the transaction to influence this behavior. All this information is available to the marketer in real-time through a dashboard so campaigns are created, modified and shut down on the fly based on the real world data.
When the user swipes his or her loyalty card or provides his or her phone number at the register, the transaction checks into Facebook. The brand is able to optionally post on the customer’s wall that they just ate at the restaurant or purchased an item at the store. The customer’s Facebook friends see the transaction and can click on it to receive a coupon. Customers who influence their friends to become customers themselves can be rewarded with additional offers. The revenue created by social media is now measurable to the marketer.
The seamless integration of Beanstalk Loyalty, the point-of-sale terminal and social media creates an easy to configure web portal accessible through any web-enabled device such as a smart phone or home computer. The web portal allows the user to select their preferred method of receiving an offer, review account information and view any outstanding offers from the marketer. It can also be integrated with a brand’s existing Facebook fan page to drive loyalty registrations using the Facebook universal login feature. Information captured from the POS and Facebook make it possible to target the offer so that it is in the interests of both the customer and the marketer.
Some examples of offers that can be generated through the real-time analysis of the POS data might be:
• A customer who never eats beef is unlikely to respond to any generic hamburger coupon however it is delivered, instead a chicken or fish promotion is likely to yield a much higher return.
• The marketer can also see that the customer prefers a specific day part, and already visits frequently during lunch. A lunch promotion simply cannibalizes existing revenue, whereas a free child’s dinner may motivate the customer to try the evening day part with his or her children.
• A customer buys an item of clothing, and while they are still in the store or mall, an offer can be generated to encourage them to come back within the next hour to receive a discounted complementary item.
• The marketer might create a campaign that targets customers whose speed of service experience exceeds the acceptable parameters, and can, in real-time send at-risk customers an email or SMS text with an apology and a recovery offer.
Shortly after the email, Facebook or SMS offers are delivered, the marketer can see redemptions as they happen. This information is tracked in real-time through the Beanstalk Loyalty dashboard. Marketers can analyze the redemption rate to determine whether or not the campaign is having the desired impact on the customers’ behavior. If the campaign is working, it can immediately be rolled out to other areas of the country. If not, it can be changed based on insights obtained from the data. “Marketing is all about influencing the next sale,” Bailey concluded. “Integrating the social network and the POS with the loyalty engine provides the marketer with ability to have an intelligent conversation both before and after the transaction to deliver true closed loop marketing.”