Aug 6 - RewardsNOW (www.rewardsnow.com) has formed an alliance with Zavee (www.zavee.com) to create a new type of shopping rewards program offered through community financial institutions and affinity groups. With a focus on creating a “community rewards program,” this partnership's combined offering is a fundamental advance over other available merchant-funded programs for community financial institutions and local merchants.
Community financial institutions gain a new competitive edge in their bid to attract and keep consumers by offering access to local merchants as part of a rewards program, and simultaneously expand their commercial relationships with the business community.
At the same time, local small businesses receive expanded business opportunities. The structure of the program delivers "communities" of consumers to merchants through banks, credit unions and affinity groups who in turn reward their members by providing them with a network of local shops and restaurants that offer everyday deals and special loyalty incentives. Shopping transactions are automatically tracked through debit or credit card usage and provide a new revenue stream for financial institutions and affinity groups.
The RewardsNOW/Zavee proposition is highly attractive to retailers, as it is a different and more efficient way to effectively deliver value in closed-loop environments. The program also provides merchants with technologically advanced marketing tools that allow them to serve up highly relevant, local offers to consumers. And unlike daily deals with their "one and done" paradigm, this program rewards consumers each and every time they shop and dine at participating merchants, creating a significantly stronger loyalty model, while enhancing on-going relationship-building through the program's social media capabilities and charitable giving component.
The proprietary Zavee technology gives merchants affordable, easy-to-use marketing tools to create coupon-free deals that both attract new customers and reward continued loyalty. The program offers a self-serve platform and lets merchants choose from over 20 different offer types that they can modify as their needs require, giving them unprecedented control of the deals. Merchants also learn more about their customers’ preferences and can better meet their customers’ needs. By integrating its loyalty tools with social media, Zavee gives merchants new ways to interact with customers and create long-term relationships that result in sustainable business gains.
The Zavee software will be integrated with RewardsNOW’s loyalty platform, which has an installed base of more than 200 community-based financial institutions throughout North America. As these institutions join the program, Zavee will use its proven ability in developing merchant-funded networks through their sales team, in addition, to leveraging their platform's advanced technology, which makes it easy for merchants to join the program by themselves.
Merchants are also offered the opportunity to feature their gift cards/gift certificates in exchange for redemption of a participant’s points, thus providing, in essence, a closed-loop community rewards program, where consumers earn discounts and points for shopping at certain merchants and then use those rewards to return to those same merchants to shop some more.
"Community financial institutions realize merchant-funded rewards programs are an ideal way to deliver rewards to cardholders and enhance existing loyalty programs, particularly in competing with larger financial institutions," said Bill Hanifin, a loyalty marketing expert. "The RewardsNOW/Zavee program will set a new standard in how banks deploy local merchant-funded rewards, and is unparalleled in delivering value to merchants, consumers, and the banks themselves."
"RewardsNOW has always been the loyalty leader for community financial institutions, so we are very pleased to be partnering with a forward-thinking company like Zavee,” said RewardsNOW CEO Steve VanFleet. “Their robust software platform, proven ability to develop local merchant networks and pioneering use of social media provide the new thinking and new capabilities we were looking for to be able to deliver a custom, community-centric program in an efficient manner.”
"We are honored to be affiliated with RewardsNOW, a company that has an outstanding reputation for both innovation and quality," said Zavee Chief Operating Officer Ron Stack. "We are enthusiastic about the opportunities for our two companies to get closer to local merchants and find new ways to help them build their businesses."