Monty’s Chocolates

5 November 2013

Digital road to sweet success

Chocolate. One word that never fails to grab attention. Everybody loves it, but with so much competition, how does a chocolate retailer build and retain a loyal customer base?

In what could be a (pun intended) rocky road to success, Monty’s Chocolates’ smart and simple use of technology is paving the way to Brisbane’s chocolate lovers’ hearts.

The latest digital tools are adding a new dimension to Monty’s personalised service and unique range of local and imported artisan chocolates.

The business has expanded its digital strategy, which was based on a website, Facebook and Twitter, to include a point-of-sale digital loyalty program called Rewardle.com.

The membership, points and rewards platform takes the humble cardboard coffee rewards card to the next level.

Customers can earn points and access rewards via a plastic card or a smart phone app.

Monty’s owner Steve Sheldon said that since introducing Rewardle.com just over a month ago, he had had more fun with his customers and created quality opportunities to engage with them, leading to an increase in sales.

“It’s a simple system – when a customer purchases a hot drink, they tap a tablet device at the counter and swipe the screen with either a QR-coded card or their smartphone,” he said.

“The system records points then lets the customers know when they reach a reward like a free coffee or a chocolate and a coffee or a six-course chocolate tasting for two valued at $21.80.

“We’ve had Rewardle in two of our three stores for just over a month and it is working well for us – technology is increasingly the way to communicate with people.”

Customers also have the option of adding their email address to the system so they can receive news, special offers, or VIP event invitations.

The system is also integrated with Facebook to streamline communication.

“People like it – while they wait for their coffee they can go up and record their purchase, and choose to put in their email address so we can send them a complimentary coffee on their birthday and add them to our VIP list for events like free chocolate tastings and music evenings.”

It’s all about enhancing the customer experience and building the loyalty of existing customers.

“We have a bit of fun with our rewards – our biggest offer is when you accumulate a million points, you get all the chocolate in the world – and we have a couple of customers chasing it too,” Mr Sheldon said.

“At five points per coffee, you’d have to consume 200,000 coffees – that’s around 548 coffees a day to get that in a year! I might start getting worried in 10 years.”

Mr Sheldon said the system protected the privacy of his customers.

“It’s another way of building loyalty with people who you start out in a fledgling relationship with, and I’m quite sensitive about customer privacy and how people’s information is used,” he said.

“They have opted in, so their details are for my use and not for sale. It’s my responsibility not to overdo it with social media.

“It’s important to respect people’s privacy and only use the system when there’s something you want to genuinely offer.”

The Rewardle.com card and smartphone app are able to store a customer’s rewards accumulated at multiple retailers such as hairdressers, florists or bookstores, eliminating the need for multiple rewards cards.

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