Reward Your Small Retail Customers with Loyalty Programs


Small Retail Loyalty CardsOn Fridays we usually bring you the weekly round up of retail news and point of sale reviews. This week as I was going through the various top news stories nothing stood as out as “Important Retail News” (a good thing?) so instead I decided to write an opinion as a consumer from my point of view.

Why should my opinion count and why should you listen to me as a consumer? The reason being, I shop for a family of four (which was 6 at one point in time), we are on a strict budget as many families throughout the country. Through the years it’s been coupons, discounts and only buying what is on sale. I also favor the local small retailers in my small town and luckily they are all very generous and friendly businesses.

About three months ago I started shopping at more “Big Box” stores such as Walmart and Meijer because the only stores we have in our small town consists of an independently owned very small Kroger grocery store and a Rite Aid Pharmacy. I assumed I would get better value and cheaper prices going to the larger stores…that was UNTIL both my small town Kroger and Rite Aid started ramping up their customer rewards programs.

Kroger has had a long time running customer card that allows for discounted groceries when shopping and presenting the cashier with your “card” at the POS. If you don’t have the “card” you’re in big trouble because you are going to pay extremely over inflated prices. For years we have joked about how Kroger only uses the customer loyalty card to bring people in with great sale prices only to find out they don’t get a discount if they don’t have their card. You always here the all to familiar saying in the checkout line “do you mind if I borrow your Kroger card?” The company did get smart at one point and offered for customers to enter their phone number in the point of sale, if registered with your card it will bring up your reward information.

The last few months Kroger has gone above and beyond my satisfaction as a loyal customer. The Kroger Rewards program now tracks my purchases and sends me specialized coupons at the end of the month for products I actually buy. They also have a fuel rewards program now that allows you to save a certain amount of money off a gallon of gas depending on the amount of money you spent in the store last month.

The specialized coupons (which they double up to $1) combined with the fuel rewards for discounted gas has me shopping at Kroger every week like clockwork. The friendly home town atmosphere combined with the helpful staff and super savings makes for an overall happy shopping experience.

Rite Aid has also implemented a new customer rewards program in which I was not so keen on joining and let me tell you why. For one, who needs another plastic card to add to their key chain you to have find and pull out at the point of sale? Second, Rite Aid named their card “The Wellness Card”, I don’t get my prescriptions there (we have an excellent small town pharmacist that we use) and most of the over the counter medication I purchase at Kroger with double coupons.

The other day, the courteous sale person pointed out to me that the card was valid to give you discounts throughout the store on a number of various items not just “Wellness” items. I told her, they needed to change the name. Regardless, I joined the program and am I excited. The company runs promotions like if you buy this product “x” you will receive the discount price as well as a coupon on your receipt for money off your next purchase in the store. That’s how it works…so I bought a few discounted items and received my coupon for $4 off my next purchase, wow that’s a great deal!

My complaint (a relatively small one to the manager) was that I always forget to bring the coupons back in and use them. Guess what he said….be a smart shopper and buy the things you need on sale, check out get the coupon and go back through the store and purchase the items that weren’t on sale using your coupon immediately for instant satisfaction! Well I’ll be, a nice, generous manager that puts his customer’s needs before the corporations, what a sigh of relief.

The point I’m trying to make is as a small retail business you need to do everything possible to retain and gain the customers of your local area. Every one knows that customer service goes a long way in the retail world and adopting a loyalty program is a sure fire way to get those customers shopping.

As a small business establishment you have many options when it comes to customer rewards or loyalty programs. Companies such as Repeat Rewards will help you implement a fast and easy loyalty program or have a free giveaway day at your store. There are a number of ways you could reward your customers by using your imagination and putting your self in their shoes to bring grand ideas to your store.

Small retailers can start small, print your loyalty card as a business card and stamp it each time the customer makes a purchase then offer them a discount when the card is full. An idea from our local small town pharmacist I mentioned earlier is to have a staff member clip coupons from the local newspaper and place them in a basket at the point of sale for customers to look through as they are checking out.

Start thinking of ways to gather local support from your customers while providing them with the ultimate shopping experience.  Check out some simple to implement rewards programs.

New Web Based Point of Sale, New POS Supplies, Small Retailer Loans Available, Tips for Getting Your Name Out, A Good Place to Hire Employees


POS and retail newsWelcome back to the weekly roundup of Retail News and Point of Sale reviews. We missed the roundup last week due to a very busy holiday weekend but we’re back and here to bring you some weekly highlights in the world of small retail and point of sale.

Our first feature this week is the announcement of a new web based point of sale software offered by a company called Slingshot. We then go into another announcement of a new product line from Ink Jet Superstore that will give you more options when purchasing POS supplies. The third article we highlight this week is a way for small retailers to obtain a small business loan from a big ally. Next is the fourth article of the week that explains how a very reputable company can help gain your small business the exposure it needs. Wrapping up the weekly round up this week is an article that offers some statistics on where you should hire employees and why.

1. Slingshot Software Releases Web-based Point of Sale (POS) System – Slingshot, a company that provides web-based enterprise business software solutions for retailers has announced this week the deployment of their web-based point of sale software. The company states that the pos software will be

“…unique in the fact that it will allow retailers to centrally deploy and administer software, upgrades, promotions, user interface and configuration changes instantly across the enterprise.”

The only information you can gain about this new web-based POS is to request a demo from the company website.

2. Inkjetsuperstore’s New Product Line Launch– POS Supplies – Providing printer ink solutions at the lowest prices for over 10 years, InkJetSuperStore is now offering a new product line, POS supplies. The new product line includes the following items: ATM Paper Rolls, 1 Ply, 2 Ply, 3 Ply Paper Rolls, Thermal Paper Rolls, Colored Thermal Paper Rolls, Gas & Convenience Store Paper Rolls. Head on over to their website and check to see if you’ll be using their point of sale printer supplies.

3. Sam’s Club now offering small business loans – There was a lot of chatter on the web this week about Sam’s Club offering small businesses the opportunity to obtain a loan through them. The company will be testing an online program that could give qualified merchants between $5000 to $25,000 loans.

“The Sam’s Club small business loan pilot will focus on serving Main Street minority, women and Veteran owned small business owners as well as micro-entrepreneurs under the SBA’s Premier Outreach Express products such as Community Express, Patriot Express and Export Express loans.”

4. How Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange can Help Your Small Business Gaining More Exposure – Grow your small retail business reach by teaming up with Bloomberg Business Exchnage, a creation of BusinessWeek. This article will outline the features and benefits you could gain by joining now.

5. Why You Should Hire Employees Using Social Networks – This is a very interesting take on why you should hire employees through social media. It’s working for many small retailers out there. Head on over and read another way social media could be helping your business.

iPod Restaurant POS Solution, New POS Reporting Tool, Swipe Fees Hurting Small Retailers, Dumb Discounting, Retail Data 101


Point of SaleWelcome to this weeks roundup featuring articles on point of sale and retail news. The first article we showcase this week shows how one restaurant saved money by using the iPod as a POS solution for its staff. Then we have an announcement of a new real time reporting tool for Counterpoint point of sale software. Then we move on to the third article which is all to familiar to many small retail businesses, the dreaded swipe fees. These fees are under stack by many small and large retail establishments plus the Senate is already taking steps for regulation of these fees. The fourth article in this weeks roundup is an opinion article from The Retail Specialty Expert and it talks about avoiding dumb discounting, We then end the roundup with a small tutorial on how to gain retail marketing insight from the data that you collect daily in your POS database.

1. Helping speed up flow of restaurant orders – Mobile point of sale device have been a largely talked about subject as of late, including here on the Wizard of POS. This article shows how one small restaurant chose an iPod over another POS installation for their staff to use while taking orders on the floor. The author talks about Michael Benaroch a man who developed this point of sale software to run on both a touch screen POS and the iPod.

“It takes about 20 minutes to be trained on the touchscreen, and then if you know the screen, it’s almost no adjustment to use the iPod,”

2. Radiant Systems Announces Launch of Real-time Alerting Tool for the Retail Industry – This week Radiant Systems announced the launching of a new real time reporting tool that will work alongside their Counterpoint POS software. The new tool will help small retailers monitor activities within each location and send SMS text or email alerts to prevent fraud and provide better customer service. The president of Red Bandannas states that the new software has enhanced employee morale and improved customer satisfaction since its implementation.

3. Swipe fees are hurting small businesses in North Carolina – The only thing I disagreed with in this article was the title because it’s not just small businesses in North Carolina, every small retailer across the country is dealing with these fees. This article is a good hard look of the truth of what retail businesses are dealing with currently with the large increase of credit card swipe fees. The ceiling is limitless and companies like Visa or Mastercard have no limits on how high these fees could rise. Congress has already starting discussing some regulations that might be put into place to help struggling small businesses but it’s yet to be seen if anything will really be done about it.

4. Opinion: Do not give in to ‘dumb discounting’ – For an opinion article this one hit it right on the nose. If you’re a small retailer that thinks you have to use deep discounts to draw in customers and make sales think again. This is a great source of information to see examples of large retailers using deep discounting that ultimately confuses the customer.

“Discounting is a great tool when carefully designed to increase frequency with your core and must-have customers. When applied with a shotgun, it is usually dumb discounting.”

5. Finding retail marketing insight from within your database – This informative article might give you an insight on how you could be using your point of sale data information to fine tune your marketing efforts. This in depth article goes into data discovery, analysis and data strategy.

Small Retail iPad and iPhone Mobile Point of Sale Information, Local Retail Search Result Tips, One Way to Grow Your Business


Retail News and Point of Sale InformationYou might notice that there are only three titles in this weeks roundup post. That would be due to find three very interesting articles on small retail businesses using Apples technology as mobile point of sale devices. The mobile POS world is advancing very rapidly among small retailers and customers alike. The three articles we feature first will help give you a better visual and understanding of what an iPad or iPhone could do for your retail business. The fourth article we feature this week has 6 practices a local retailer should use to gain exposure in local search results for nearby customers. Then we end this weeks roundup with a one chapter excerpt from a book that will give you informative information for one way you can help grow your retail business.

1. Square: A Great Payment System for Churches – When I first read this article I knew for sure it was making the roundup. The author, Shaun Takenouchi, explains the background on this device, how it works and even includes pictures of the actual iPhone running the point of sale. Then he goes on to display a video demo from YouTube and as an added bonus he explains why small retail merchants of all kinds could benefit form using an iPad or iPhone equipped with a square to accept mobile point of sale payments.

2. Point of Sale usability study targets iPad & iPhone systems – Since we featured such a positive review on using these devices as mobile POS solutions we decided to give a true customer experience using it. The author of this article goes into detail on a couple negative effects that these type of mobile payments could have if you don’t know how to avoid them. After reading the observation of the customer during a transaction you will be prepared not to make the same mistakes this small retailer did.

3. Apple Readies New App for Retail Staff POS Units: Report – After featuring both articles above on using Apple Technology for a retail mobile point of sale answer we thought you might like to read what the company is planning to launch for the retail industry that is using their platform as a mobile POS. You’ll find what they have in store for retailers will get you excited about the future.

4. Six best practices for managing local retail search results – An online business listing for your small retail establishment has become a significant part of driving new customers along with higher profits. This will give you six of the best ways to handle your online retail business listing and keeping your information as current as possible.

5. Excerpt: The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business – the author of this book is a blogger at The Retail Customer Experience, a site we feature many articles from. In this article a chapter from his book explains how understanding the four employee personality types can help avoid the pitfalls of a bad worker. Knowing who your “drivers” are and how to help them succeed will grow your small retail business in all areas.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114  Scroll to top