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Reward Programs Are Nice, But Boring. Except The One From Belly

I participate in only three rewards programs, not including airline travel.

My local supermarket – so I can get discounts.

My local CVS – so I can get discounts.

My local Panera – so I can get free feed.

Overall, however, most people do not participate in that many loyalty programs, just based on my observations of my local market.

Why? My guess is loyalty programs don’t offer enough incentives.

MOST every frequent flyer is signed up to one or more frequently flyer programs – we all want that first class upgrade or other perks of frequent travel. But local merchant’s don’t have that much to offer.

The local loyalty program marketplace is just beginning to heat up – enabling every day local merchants to offer their own rewards program.

Intuit’s QuickBooks Point of Sale offers a coupon/reward type component  for some years now. Then there are other the myriad of local deal providers such as Groupon, SaveLocal from Constant Contact and Living Social. I do find that Swipely has a powerful loyalty engine and I like it because it appears to use one’s existing POS system and have possibly even more intelligence as you can track them via their credit card purchases. More on this later.

but today, I wanted to introduce you to Belly, a loyalty reward service, is that they are able to offer their merchants very UNIQUE ways to be reward. A local restaurant can offer, if you eat here 10 times, we’ll name a table after you for one month! That’s very unique and pretty innovative.

Belly has over 4,000 merchants in 35 states, so far.

Here’s a bit more on Belly from a recent press release:

Belly removes the friction in traditional loyalty programs by allowing small businesses to begin a digital relationship with their customers. Belly installs the iPad interface and works with merchants to create a personalized rewards program that leads to increased customer acquisition and deeper levels of engagement seen almost immediately. With repeat customers comes a drive in incremental revenue for merchants – coffee shops using Belly decreased the time between customer visits by over 20 percent. As one of the first apps integrated into Apple’s Passbook™, Belly brings new opportunities for SMBs to transform loyal customers into brand advocates. Belly has already established itself in over ten markets with over 650,000 active users. Belly works, and it’s time for the Bay Area to see it in action.

“We were using punch cards and we knew we didn’t want to do anything that involved texting or invading our customers personal space, but beyond that we didn’t really know how to get started,” said Courtney Lauder, owner of Ground Up in Palo Alto. “The Belly team made it ridiculously easy for us to get up and running and the feedback from our customers has been awesome. They love the unique rewards and the convenience of using a card or their phone to earn points. In the short time since we implemented the Belly rewards system, we’ve already seen an uptick in repeat customers.”

Here’s a video on Vimeo to understand it more.

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

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