Discounts are a great tool for influencing customer behavior. Smart, selective discounting can get your customers to buy more, order when you want and use the payment methods you prefer. And FloristWare has incredibly powerful tools for discounting.
But much of that (and more) can also be achieved with a points-based incentive/loyalty program, without actually settling for less money.
The basic idea is that purchases earn points that can be redeemed for product at a future date. The advantages include…
Points Offer More Emotional Engagement Than Discounts
It’s generally accepted that only discounts of 20% or more will even get a customers attention. In an industry where a net profit margin of 15% is considered fantastic that can be a real problem. Bu nobody really understands the value of points, so the promise of 2,000 points can be much more enticing than a $20 discount.
Points Make Customers More Loyal
Because points can only be used on future purchases the customer only benefits if they come back at least one more time in the future. Meanwhile the customer that was motivated by a discount is likely to just go to whatever florist is offering the biggest discount next time.
Points Are Often Never Redeemed
People love to accumulate points and often never get around to redeeming them, meaning they never cost you anything. But a discount always costs you the full value.
The Real Cost To You Goes Down Over Time
This is a really interesting thing to consider during these inflationary times. Let’s say a customer spends $100 and accumulates 200 points ($2.00) today. If they do eventually redeem those points in the future inflation means they are acting as a smaller discount against a bigger (inflated) sale.
Points are so powerful that FloristWare has long offered the most sophisticated incentive program management tools in the business. That means that we don’t just let you award points on the total dollar value, we offer you so much more:
Award Bonus Points On Specific Products/Product Categories
Let’s say you want to clear out all your Christmas merchandise – just attach a points multiplier (like double or triple points) to that product category to make it more appealing to customers.
Bonus Points For Specific Customers
Rather than giving your best customers a discount reward them with bonus points. You can also exempt certain things, like service and delivery charges, from this bonus.
Award On-The-Fly Point Bonuses
As well as the automated bonus points described above FloristWare gives the employees you select (more below) the power to award bonus points at the sale, order or item level while actually taking the order.
Multiplier and/or Fixed Point Discounts
At the item level you can specify both fixed points (like 100 bonus point on delivery charges) or a multiplier.
Award Points At The Sale, Order or Item Level
Apply (or remove) one or more points multipliers to all the orders in a sale, all the items in an order, or each item individually. This is important because you may not want to apply bonus points to things with a fixed cost and low margin like delivery or outgoing wire charges. FloristWare helps you make sure that does not happen automatically.
Full vs Partial Redemptions
Some shops want to allow partial redemptions (if the customer has $10 in points they can apply that as partial payment against a larger sale; this is good at encouraging rapid repeat business because each purchase effectively provides a discount on the next) while others only want to offer full redemptions (the customer can only redeem points if they have enough to cover the entire sale; this is better at building long term loyalty).
FloristWare does all that. Some florists who are really thinking it through also want to be able to…
Track & Report On Points
Reports show you total points liability, points by customer, who is awarding bonus points and more.
Full Control Over Which Employees Can Award Bonus Points
It’s often a good idea to control which employees have the ability to award bonus points on the fly – outstanding unredeemed points do represent a liability.
See Which Employees Are Applying Bonus Points
Reports show you which employees are awarding bonus points and who they are awarding them to so that you can be sure they aren’t helping friends stockpile points.
Multiple Bonus Points
Control over what happens when a sale/order/item is eligible for more than one points bonus.
Encourage Advance Orders With Bonus Points
Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are always insane, but both are easier to manage when customers order early. Advance orders allow you to purchase, staff and prepare more efficiently and sleep easier. FloristWare can help by automatically applying bonus points to orders placed during a period you define for delivery or pick-up on the days you choose. Similarily you can use bonus points to encourage customers to accept delivery or pick-up on other, less crazy days (the day before Valentine's Day, the Friday before Mother's Day, etc..
Encourage/Discourage Specific Payment Methods
Let’s say you want to encourage payment by cash – FloristWare lets you assign bonus points only on sales paid for with cash. And if you are trying to wean your customers off their legacy charge accounts or a specific credit card you could offer bonus points on all other payment methods. You can even go one step further and have certain payment types remove ALL points from a sale.
Florists are creative and they have come to us with countless ideas for using points. By giving you the tools to automatically award and remove points and bonuses based on almost any combination of customer, recipient, product/product category, occasion, order date and fill date FloristWare helps with whatever you can think of.
Accounting For Points: Only FloristWare Gets It Right
FloristWare is the only independent POS system that takes them time to get the floral-specific accounting right, creating the proper GL records and accounting for/reporting on points liabilities. We worked closely with Derrick Myers of Crockett Myers, the best accountant for florists in the industry, to make sure.
FloristWare Has You Covered On Discounting Too
A sophisticated points-based incentive/loyalty program is a great way to increase loyalty, sales and profits, often much better than discounting. But that doesn’t mean there is no place for discounting, and FloristWare has incredible discounting features.