by Ethos public relations
“It’s time to inject a big dose of community into retailer loyalty schemes,” says Tony Meehan, Chief Executive of HometownPlus.
Launching a new white paper on where next for loyalty schemes, Tony says: “Retailers’ loyalty schemes have, in recent years, focused on providing benefits to the retailer and its shareholders rather than instilling a real sense of community that could pay dividends both to the local community and the retailer itself.
“Town-wide community loyalty schemes, using smart card technology to connect individuals and organisations but which also reward citizens for volunteering can lead the fight against declining towns and high streets and really bring the communities back to life.”
To date, schemes such as Tesco Clubcard have focused on how the retailer can ‘exploit’ customer information in order to improve its performance. Loyalty in such a scheme is targeted to maximise benefit to one side only, namely Tesco, argues the HometownPlus white paper.
But it does not have to be that way. HometownPlus, a community loyalty scheme, delivers the transactional element of contribution and reward, but has wider ambitions.
HometownPlus aims to improve communities and the well-being of local people, creating a sense of belonging, pride and increased prosperity, by bringing together individuals, businesses and local authorities and rewarding all parties for their participation.
According to Tony Meehan, a mutual scheme such as HometownPlus, can deliver so much more than a ‘Clubcard’ in that it can bring benefits to retailers and customers.
HometownPlus not only enables local town centre retailers to be more competitive and engage with the right customer, through the right offer at the right time and place but it also gives consumers the information they want, when they want it, where they want it.
HometownPlus can also provide a local brokering service between members with spare assets, such as cars, domestic tools or spare bedrooms and members needing these things. This mutual collaboration benefits both parties.
Changes in shopping patterns and the rise of the internet are resulting in major challenges to both retailers and communities, says Tony.
“Now really is the time to establish mutually rewarding behaviour and facilitate community co-operation. Then we might be able to counteract decline and rebuild local communities.”
A copy of the white paper, From Loyalty to Community: an Enabling Platform, is available to download now at http://hometownplus.co.uk/_lib/downloads/whitepaper.pdf.
For more information about HometownPlus, please visit www.hometownplus.co.uk.
To read other news from HometownPlus click here.
Posted at 17th February 2012
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