Loyalty scheme expands to B2B

Loyalty scheme software developer Cardlink is expanding from B2C to B2B with the acquisition of ePoints.

Loyalty scheme software developer Cardlink is expanding from B2C to B2B with the acquisition of ePoints.

Auckland-based Cardlink, which sells its online business-to-consumer program Cardlink in eight countries, is automating the ePoints loyalty scheme to run online and to fit into any e-business system. ePoints, which was developed by Nigel Eilenberg and Scott Stewart, will provide a range of rewards and redemptions which can be browsed online as well as analysis tools.

Hamilton-based Smart Communications Group will use ePoints as the IT platform for its Smart Trade loyalty scheme which it sells to businesses around the country. Smart Communications Group managing director Allan Smith says it has been selling the Smart Trade scheme to businesses for the past two years but the Cardlink development will make the system fully automated and available online.

Organisations using the new program will be able to give suppliers and trading partners the ability to look at their loyalty points and redeem them online.

“In these days of ever increasing markups, the ability to look after loyal customers is increased through loyalty schemes rather than through discounting,” says Smith.” That way you’re not getting into the ever diminishing spiral of having a price war.”

Cardlink CEO Linc Burgess says the concept of a points-based loyalty programme is relatively new in B2B marketing.

“The ePoints B2B initiative is an extension of the normal loyalty mode. A B2B loyalty programme has the same goals as retail-level loyalty programme - to retain customers, gain new customers, enhance satisfaction and lift and shift purchasing behaviour.”

Cardlink will operate ePoints, which was established last November, as a standalone subsidiary and will license the ePoints programme internationally.

As part of the deal, ePoints founders Eilenberg and Stewart have licensed the right to set up and market an ePoints franchise in Australia.

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