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Retailers need to develop clear loyalty strategies

by Louise Burgers. This week Innervation Pan African Payment Solutions announced that it had scaled its retail offering with the acquisition of Loyalty Box from Tritech Media.

by Louise Burgers. This week Innervation Pan African Payment Solutions announced that it had scaled its retail offering with the acquisition of Loyalty Box from Tritech Media. What this means is that Innervation and Loyalty Box customers will benefit from a fully integrated loyalty solution at point of sale (POS) with a greater range of customer engagement and payment services in key African markets.

Innervation offers a comprehensive bouquet of services in the customer engagement and payment domains to African retailers. The Loyalty Box serves more than 200 retail customers in various key African markets including South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania and Nigeria, amongst others. Its customer base includes brands such as PNA, Cape Town Fish Market, Timber City, Krispy Kreme, Absolute Pets and Spur Africa.

In an interview with Retailing Africa, Innervation chief operating officer  Steve Mallaby explains what impact the acquisition will have on the market and on Innervation’s business:

  • What will the acquisition mean for the industry? Retail is going through tough times, and consumers are also spoilt for choice and looking for real value. It is key that retailers offer true value through surprise-and-delight campaigns that engage customers at an individual level. Often retailers simply implement a loyalty programme as a reactive process – like a box-ticking exercise – just because their competitors do it. This has actually left consumers not really getting real value and they often disengage from the retailer as a result. The concept of earning points that you never really get to spend is a waste of time for consumers and retailers alike. The services we offer alongside this loyalty system enables retailers to really focus on developing a clear loyalty strategy. Only once this is crystallised will we look at implementing The Loyalty Box solution. It’s like having a great set of tools, but not really knowing how to use them.
  • What does The Loyalty Box acquisition mean for the business – how will it change it? Customer engagement is key for Innervation, and as such we have great resources and expertise that will be leveraged for The Loyalty Box. The solution aligns well strategically for us and will therefore receive a lot of focus and attention. The Loyalty Box can also leverage the extensive resources, technical expertise and infrastructure that we have. Access to people/experts means clients can get the best of both worlds: easy-to-use packaged functionality as well as great strategic guidance on how to setup loyalty campaigns and develop an effective loyalty and customer engagement strategy.
  • What makes The Loyalty Box unique? Why was it a good acquisition for your business? The first key point is that it is literally Loyalty-in-a-Box. The solution comes fully packaged and is fully setup within an hour or two. There’s no need for lengthy customisation or development processes. The solution is developed in South Africa and ideal for SME retailers. Innervation brings 20 years of retail knowledge and in-depth knowledge of the local market. We also have relationships with many of the local point-of-sale providers which aids the integration process, providing a big advantage over international solutions. The fact that it is local and packaged also makes it very affordable. The acquisition is good for our business because we have had a long history of providing customer engagement solutions to retailers, and this provides us with an additional product to take to our base. Given that our core business is focused on payment processing, it gives us access to an additional customer base for upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
  • Please unpack how The Loyalty Box works – the benefits it offers. In terms of stats, where we (The Loyalty Box) have worked with retailers to structure the right campaigns (this is about how to use the tools properly), there has been a definite increase in engagement from their customers, which has resulted in increased turnover and revenue generation.

Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor of RetailingAfrica.com. She’s spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She’s has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.

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