I’m picking a fight today. Although some might refer to this day as David vs. Goliath, Part II in the history books, I think it’s satisfactory just to say that some investors put serious money behind a loyalty product that will never hit mainstream. The company is called CheckPoints.com (www.checkpoints.com) and at face value it rocks. It’s packing a high production value video and the homepage screams web 2.0 with images of an iPhone, App Store, and Android Market buttons. Promise I watched the entire 1:45 video, not just up to the 0:57 mark when two watermelons fist bump (awesome). I hope they appreciate all this free advertising…
Today I am rallying the loyal ClientRocket fans to see the fundamental flaws in the CheckPoints program. The CheckPoints program is completely customer facing and can potentially harm the business that probably pays big bucks to participate.
CheckPoints works like this. Customers use a nifty mobile app to scan barcodes on products in nearby stores to earn points for visiting these businesses. Then you are supposed to put the item in your basket and check out. Right? Or you just put the item back on the shelf and continue scanning items in the store… am I the only one who thought of this, really? The problem with this system is that it doesn’t record the points at the cash register – the point of sale. The CheckPoints system puts the burden (enjoyable task?) on the customer to scan each item to earn their points. Sounds like fun right? Even with a fancy iPhone app, customers are ultimately creatures with a short attention span. Once the next captivating shopping app comes out, customers will probably stop scanning for CheckPoints.
The solution is simple. Remove human nature from the equation and rely on the business to automatically record the customers’ points. Say you’re at a grocery store; the clerk at the checkout register scans all the items in your basket and then asks you if you belong to the Rewards Program. You can either say no, and enroll on the spot, or say yes and scan your plastic card, iPhone app, or provide your email address.
From ClientRocket’s perspective, the business would receive far greater value if they collected their own data. This data would be usable and accessible through a Loyalty Operator’s reports for the business managers. There could still exist an iPhone app for the customer to check and redeem their points, but the store employee will do the tedious scanning since they already do scan each item.
From the Loyalty Operator’s perspective (i.e. CheckPoints), businesses would pay a premium to participate in the community program as well as the ability to offer their own Points promotions, especially one that were seamlessly integrated in their systems. The loyalty operator makes money like any other business through reward redemptions, participation fees, or sales based percentage funding.
To effectively compete with CheckPoints, the opportunity requires a PHP programmer to build on the ClientRocket API and a crafty front-end developer to design the marketing site and eventual iPhone app. Our team would be happy to combine forces with your team to create a smarter loyalty product. Just saying… we play nice with others (when we’re not picking fights).
This is just one of the endless number of ways that ClientRocket can help your business’ next (first?) loyalty project. Our technology and loyalty experts assist in the creation of amazing and powerful loyalty applications with the right people in mission control. If anyone is interested in creating such a program, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear your crazy, out of this world idea—they’re the only ones that ever make a difference.