Small business, customer loyalty


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Creative Commons License photo credit: schnaars

Over the last few months, I’ve had quite a few people, mainly PR folks, reaching out to me as part of blogger outreach programmes for their clients. They’d like to tell me about their clients’ stories, successes and new ventures. Some of the approaches I like and some of them, I think, are completely off the mark.

One approach that was right on target, as it addresses customer loyalty, particularly within smaller business, was from Nikki Haine (@NikkiHaine), a PR consultant, who is representing Loyalli, a provider of a smartphone-based customer loyalty application.

That got me interested as I have previously written about how businesses could use mobile phones and text messaging to gather feedback in Make it easy for your customers to give feedback or offer suggestions. But, this was the first time I had heard about a mobile-based loyalty application, particularly targeting smaller businesses.

Rather than me explaining what Loyalli does check out the short video below and what Nikki wrote to me:

…….I have been reading your blog and thought you might be interested in a new customer loyalty scheme which is free for retailers to use. The aim is to help independent retailer to understand their regular customers better so they can make smarter, intelligence-led decisions about their business and promotions.

It’s called Loyalli and essentially it works in the same way as the loyalty stamp cards – but it is a smartphone app so both the retailer and the customer get more benefits from using it. You can see a demo on

It was developed by three friends who hated having their wallets weighed down with loyalty cards and therefore never used them. With a collective background in sales and app development they knew there had to be a better solution for retailers and their customers.

They are offering it free for both retailers and customers to sign-up to and use as their business model is based on providing a simple but effective loyalty programme and getting a mass market of users on board. From there, they plan to develop its capabilities and add in premium options which will then provide a revenue stream for the company.

It’s just gone live on iPhone and will be on Android in early December. Over 50 independent retailers have already signed up and that number is now growing every day.

Its other benefits include:

  • Simple and engaging app design
  • Easy to sign-up and use for both retailers and customers
  • Vendors decide on their own unique offers and can track and analyse customer trends online
  • No contract or POS technology required
  • Quick ‘stamping’ using QR code prevents delay at the till
  • Customers can share information about reward progress on social media sites
  • Security functionality built into the app prevents fraud

What do you think? Sound interesting, right?

I thought so and following a chat with Nikki, I thought I’d check out who they had signed up locally and go and try it out.

On agreeing to do this, I found that I couldn’t search their website for a list of businesses that had signed up and had to download the app onto my iphone before I could find out who they had signed up for their programme. That was a bit of a drag but not that much.

However, once I had the app on my phone I was able to find out that Cafe Coho (@cafecoho), Brighton’s newest independent cafe and coffee shop, had signed up for the Loyalli scheme. So, I arranged to meet a friend (@Biz_Mechanic) there to try it out.

By the way, Cafe Coho is a great find and does great coffee. I’ll definitely be back.

Onto the app and loyalty scheme…..When I asked the staff how popular it was they said that had only recently signed up for it and, therefore, only had a few users. It all seemed very new to them but fair play to the team members that I spoke to because they were really helpful. Also, when I spoke to the Manager, she did say that it was popular amongst a few users, overall user numbers weren’t that high but that it was early days yet as it had only been in place for a couple of weeks or so.

This is not surprising as Loyalli hasn’t been around for that long. However, I do like the application for a number of reasons:

  • It’s free
  • It’s a different way of taking an old concept and making it a bit fresher. (Cafe Coho also run a card based scheme alongside the Loyalli scheme)
  • It can be applied to a large number of different types of businesses
  • It frees customers from having to carry ‘another’ loyalty card in their already full and card stuff wallets and purses
  • It’s easy to use

However, what I find really interesting about applications in this area is the recognition that mobile phones have become an ‘essential’ piece of kit for almost every consumer these days and there are companies like Loyalli that are looking to leverage this fact to help businesses better connect with their customers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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