Loyalty schemes helping businesses retain customers

Published On: June 11, 2017 12:10 AM NPT By: Ashim Neupane  | @ashimnep

KATHMANDU, June 11: Different offers introduced by business enterprises in the recent years under their loyalty programs have helped them expand their business and establish their brands. Such policies have also helped them turn occasional buyers into regular customers.

Majority of businesses such as grocery stores, airlines, restaurants, fashion stores, banks, movie-theatres, among others, have adopted a policy to provide privilege cards under their loyalty schemes to encourage occasional customer to become regular customers by offering hefty discounts and by giving more privileges to the card holders.

Various business houses have claimed that they have been able to retain up to 70 percent of the customers with the help of schemes such as privilege card.

Bajeko Sekuwa -- a famous restaurant chain in Kathmandu -- has said that issuance of privilege cards has become instrumental in retaining around 60 to 70 percent of its visitors as loyal customers. 

“The privilege card has helped our business flourish further. We distribute privilege cards to our regular customers for free. Then the customers can enjoy cash discount of up to 15 percent in our outlets all over the country,” Sudhir Bikram Shah, marketing chief of Bajeko Sekuwa, told Republica.

Shah said they have received overwhelmingly positive response from the customers after being transformed into privilege card holders. 

“We started to distribute the cards to our customers since 2014. We have already distributed over 1,500 cards. Bajeko Sekuwa also has its own kiosk in Labim Mall and CTC Mall. Our member customers can also get cash discount of 10 percent in the kiosks,” said Shah. 

According to him, apart from discounts, they also give privilege to member customers in their banquets in and outside the Kathmandu Valley.

Likewise, Big Mart -- a Kathmandu-based departmental store -- has succeeded to turn more than 60 percent of the customers to regular customers with the help of various schemes such as loyal cards. Big Mart provides shopping cards to its customers who buy goods worth more than Rs 500 from the store.

According to employees at Big Mart, the offers it has introduced for its privilege card holders have turned out to be a huge success. “Customers purchasing goods worth more than Rs 30,000 per month using the privilege card get cash voucher of six percent of the total goods he/she has purchased in a month,” said Antim Ranjit, marketing and branding manager at Big Mart.

“Likewise, the customers who purchase goods worth more than Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,000 get cash voucher of two percent and four percent, respectively of the total monthly purchase. Our loyalty program has proved to be a huge success as we have succeeded to increase huge number of loyal members in less than a year,” Ranjit added.

Similarly, Buddha Air which operates its flights within Nepal and India has been able to earn 40 percent loyal customers after the issuance of privilege cards. The airlines under its loyalty program issues two types of privilege cards - gold and platinum cards.

According to Binita Basnet, marketing manager at Buddha Air, the airlines company has been providing privilege cards to its customers from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) with an aim to provide additional services and offers.

“The customers should not pay any additional charges to get the privilege cards. Once the customers get privilege cards, they can carry additional five kilograms of luggage with them. Our customers who fly with us also get discount on our tie-up restaurants, fashion stores, among others,” Basnet said.

Buddha Air under its mileage scheme provides certain points to its customers when they fly with them. When the mileage exceeds 7,500 points, Buddha Air upgrades the gold card to platinum card. The customers having platinum card can carry additional 10 kilograms of luggage with them.

“We also provide free tickets to the customers when the mileage point reaches a certain level. We had started to distribute membership cards with an aim of making customers regular with us and the idea has worked well. The customers who hold platinum cards aren't charged any amount if he/she cancels the ticket,” Basnet added.

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