Smart card technology has been harnessed for the first time in SA to reward and engage shopping centre customers. Shoppers belonging to One Club, a smart card-based customer engagement programme, apparently earn cash back on their purchases at about 130 stores within Pretoria’s Menlyn Park shopping centre. The programme was developed over 18 months by the new ventures team at Old Mutual Properties, the manager of Menlyn Park, and nine other major shopping centres.

  One Club, which will be extended to the other centres in 2005 and 2006, effectively customises and personalises retailing, says Andrew Weinberg, the Old Mutual Properties’ executive responsible for its development.

  “Its advantage for retail partners is that vital customer information recorded via in-store terminals can be stored and updated on a smart chip platform. The retailers receive monthly and quarterly business intelligence reports, detailing their customers’ purchase behaviour and identifiable trends.

  “With the support of One Club, they can use this information for specific marketing and promotional campaigns to individual members. They can develop relationships with shoppers through personalised e-mail and SMS messages pertinent to their specific interests. They can also use the information to foster increased levels of consumer understanding, and raise service and customer satisfaction levels within a highly personalised retail environment," he adds.

  Weinberg says that businesses wishing to implement their own customer relations management and engagement programme can utilise One Club’s technological platform to develop their own proprietary programme, with full access to One Club’s entire fulfilment network, at a fraction of the cost of setting up their own system from the ground up.

  Altech subsidiary, NamITech, provided One Club with the back-end technological infrastructure and support to develop, implement and maintain the programme. Weinberg says One Club augments Old Mutual Properties’ drive for service excellence within the shopping centres under its management, and is also designed to further develop strong relationship with tenants.

  “One Club gives shoppers compelling reasons to regularly visit the centre. One Club’s retail partners reward members by giving them back a percentage of cash spent on purchases made within their store. Cash back is redeemed in the form of vouchers that can be spent at any of One Club’s retail partner stores. The more members spend on their cards, the more they earn.

  “Members benefit from unique offers, exclusive competitions and invitations to special events, ensuring that all interactions with One Club are meaningful, relevant and pertinent to their specific interests," Weinberg concludes.

ICT World