Pollinate’s merchant-funded loyalty program rolled out across the UK, and available to all banks and SMEs using the Pollinate platform
It’s been a challenging year for businesses of all sizes, but particularly for small businesses that may have had to pull down the shutters, transform into an e-commerce business quickly, or shift to a new business model entirely. With lockdown restrictions lifting worldwide, there’s an increased importance to support small businesses as they enter a period of regeneration, and customers are keen to get behind this.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted a key problem for many small businesses – communication. Many SMEs were unable to communicate with their customers when in-store interactions were removed through lockdown to thank them for their purchase and encourage them to return. This sort of interaction is the primary function of a loyalty program.
According to KPMG, 81% of millennials and 66% of boomers say membership to a loyalty programme increases their spend with the company concerned. Historically, the cost of implementing and running a loyalty program has been high for SMEs, typically driven by the need for separate hardware, staff training, and compliance with data regulation. And for many customers, there are very few stores they visit regularly enough to justify adding another stamp card to their wallet, or downloading an app.
Banks once filled this gap by enabling consumers to collect rewards without having to sacrifice digital or physical storage space, but instead by simply using their credit cards to make the purchase. However, with interchange regulation, many banks have scaled back the loyalty programs they fund for customers.
But banks can own this space again with a merchant-funded loyalty scheme that runs off acquiring data, such as that offered by Pollinate. Each merchant has their own scheme where they are able to reward their customers for purchases, and they remain in complete control of the rewards they offer. There is no extra hardware at the point-of-sale, and minimal training for staff. Consumers have a single app which holds the points they’ve earned from their purchases and the rewards they’re eligible to claim across all the participating merchants they use in one place.
This functionality is now available in the UK to all Tyl by NatWest merchants. Branded ‘Tyl Rewards’, the platform offers businesses that are Tyl customers the ability to set up a loyalty program in minutes and start rewarding their regular customers. New rewards can be set up in just a few clicks, and performance analysis is available through the Tyl portal.
For small businesses, loyalty programmes can extend beyond stamps on a card that is easily misplaced or forgotten by the customer. Instead, customers can simply link a payment card – from any bank – to the loyalty app and earn points automatically when they pay.
Cait Salanson, founder and owner at specialist catering service, The Little Kitchen Company, Winchester, who piloted Tyl Rewards ahead of launch said: “As we come out of lockdown it’s the perfect time to build on the love that customers have shown for small businesses such as ours over the pandemic. We wanted to cement the strong relationships we’ve built over the last year and to give something back by introducing a loyalty and reward scheme, as well as encouraging people to stay with us, now they have more options.”
Reward schemes have to be easy to use and our customers enjoy Tyl Rewards for exactly that reason. It’s on their phone, they don’t have to rummage through their bags or remember to bring a stamp card. Everyone has their phone so it’s a simple and modern way of doing it. People love coming to a small business like ours because we remember their last order or their regular drink. Tyl Rewards has cemented that relationship and helped keep customers coming back which can only be a good thing as we build for the future.Cait Salanson, founder and owner at The Little Kitchen Company
As part of Pollinate’s mission to support SMEs, the roll out of Pollinate Rewards marks a key milestone for the platform’s growth. Pollinate Rewards is an integral part of Pollinate’s cloud-based platform, and available to any bank implementing the Pollinate platform worldwide.