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SNAP To It

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In February, SNAP (Social Network Appreciation Platform) announced the first web-based platform that integrates traditional in-store loyalty programs with social media networks.

When customers fill out their loyalty reward registration information, they include their social networking accounts. Then, when consumers swipe the loyalty reward card at a SNAP retailer, the transaction will be posted to their selected social media, says SNAP CEO David Gosman.

“Businesses are starting to get very progressive maintaining their own Facebook walls and Twitter feeds to get customers to follow them, but SNAP … is getting promoted to the friends and family and followers of their customers, the perfect demographic,” Gosman says.

According to a myYearbook study, 81 percent of people surveyed said they received advice about a product purchase from friends and followers through a social site. Considering the average user has 130 Facebook friends, 126 Twitter followers and 40 Foursquare friends, SNAP officials believe the new viral sharing solution can increase visibility and sales.

“We wanted to make sure that the messaging about a business was actually based on a customer’s purchase,” Gosman says.

Engaging customers
SNAP’s framework was built to fit any application. “If retailers already have a loyalty system, I want to make sure that we’re working” with it, Gosman says, “not making a competitive loyalty system within the same business.”

Consumers can view their loyalty card balance and transaction history, while SNAP allows retailers to customize messages. Gosman recommends sales or discount messages.
“When you engage customers like that, that personal experience is what keeps them coming back,” he says.

Tasti D-Lite, a national frozen yogurt chain, created several messages that post on social networks after transactions. When they check out, customers select which messages they prefer.
“Customers are really choosing and endorsing which messages they want,” Gosman says. “The next time they swipe their loyalty card at the business, a transaction will go out to their Facebook wall.

“At the same time, we automatically add additional points to their loyalty card.”

A Tasti story
As soon as social media became popular, Tasti D-Lite found its name Tweeted and Facebooked, says B.J. Emerson, the chain’s vice president of technology. “Fanatical customers were talking about Tasti D-Lite online,” he says. “We were putting our infrastructure in place with the POS so we could get visibility to all the locations.”

Emerson says the frozen yogurt company wanted a loyalty program to complement the social media action. “We were looking for ways to reward customers for their online activity,” he says.

Tasti D-Lite implemented the SNAP test in 2010, and it’s been a “tremendous success,” Emerson says. “You can go on Twitter right now and see all of these different messages of people that are sharing their Tasti experience just through the swipe of their loyalty card.”

Tasti D-Lite has had some 500,000 social impressions through SNAP. Now, Emerson says, Tasti D-Lite is considered a social-friendly brand.

“This hits our demographic in the right place — social networks,” he says. “SNAP really gets the message out there.”

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