GetZeals customer incentive management

Coupons Are Dead: GetZeals Comes to Market with Advanced Customer Incentive Management

A couple of decades ago, a bunch of friends and I invested in a coupon program called Carriage Trade which promised restaurants new customers and gave customers 2-for-1 meal deals. The restaurant complained that the new customers they got were only there for the deal and never came back, and the customers complained that often the restaurants were poorly run and the food was terrible, which was why we never came back.

The idea wasn’t a bad one. The issue was that the offers weren’t contained to people that were likely to use the restaurants and weren’t controlled by the restaurant owners. In addition, the metrics the restaurants got back had only to do with coupon use, not whether the customer later came back and ever ordered a full-price meal (so the program may have worked better than the restaurants thought it did).

GetZeals is a new offering coming to market that is smartphone-based, managed by the business owner, and provides metrics that showcase the benefits tied to using the program for both users and business owners. It’s due to launch later this year.

Let’s talk about GetZeals and incentive management this week.

The problem of getting to users

With the collapse of newspapers and other local publications, local businesses now have a problem just getting their offers to users. If customers aren’t getting newspapers, where do businesses put the coupons? Additionally, coupons sent in the mail are often thrown out unopened, making that costly process less than ideal as well. But apps like Uber Eats are pulling users to some types of businesses like restaurants, albeit for mobile food orders, showcasing that this approach to incentives might work better in the current digital environment than the old paper methods do now.

GetZeals promises a similar app approach to the problem where offers to a variety of local businesses are presented. The user selects one and then uses the credit card on file with GetZeals to get the offer which could be cash back, some type of bundle (free dessert, etc.), discount or donation to a selected charity or organization (like a school athletic program).

With nothing to clip or take, your credit card becomes the way the store recognizes both you and the offer you have selected. The business owner has full control of how the offer is presented, where it is presented, and when to withdraw it. The business owner also gets regular reporting that will indicate how the offer is doing and should be able to see if the customer uses the same credit card for subsequent purchases, and see if the offers are resulting in more regular customers, which will address the problem I mentioned above with the Carriage Trade program.

For restaurants, this program would be particularly useful during typically slow days (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) when they must incur staffing costs, but low customer attendance doesn’t cover those costs.

Movie theaters that have struggled since the pandemic (and are likely to be badly damaged by the actor and writer strikes) are one of the businesses that would most benefit from this program right now.

Wrapping up: Availability

This tool is in trials in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kansas, and parts of Puerto Rico at the moment and is expected to roll out broadly later in the year. Once it arrives, it could address the growing problem of local businesses needing to provide incentives to get local customers to use them and to better control their income while the world continues to move away from paper coupons to a digital and increasingly intelligent alternative.

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