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University of Oxford alumni develop leading-edge smartphone solution for Latin American retailers
Two University of Oxford alumni, one a Rhodes Scholar, have recently released a new smartphone enabled customer loyalty program. A food retailer in Chile piloting the app has attracted an estimated 300 customers to the the program weekly
With the tremendous rise of the middle class in Latin America (estimated 150+ million over the last decade, World Bank Report 2012), this has ushered in a new wave of consumerism and with it, a rapidly growing retail sector. The prevalence of smartphones has added a new way for retailers to engage. 4 of the top 10 fastest growing smartphone markets in the world are in Latin America – Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
‘Fierce local and global retail competition means that not only must brands stand out, customer retention is equally if not more important than customer attraction & acquisition for retailers who want to survive in the long-term, stated Nabil Meralli, FunPuntos Co-Founder. They need to find more dynamic ways to keep their customer engaged.”
Founded by University of Oxford graduates, Daliso Zuze and Nabil Meralli, the FunPuntos mobile-based customer loyalty platform offers a turnkey solution for Latin American retailers looking to build a more personalized and ‘happier’ experience for their customers. The FunPuntos program enables and encourages retailers to customize incentive programs, making the rewards fun and a unique reflection of their brand.
The FunPuntos solution offers retailers:
Customer insights and analysis
Reward management, tracking and redemption
And it offers consumers an easy way to aggregate multiple loyalty programs on their smartphone. It is estimated that for every 100 loyalty cards given out, 91 percent are lost.
FunPuntos is currently being piloted in WOK at Costanera Center in Santiago, Chile. WOK owner Mario de Angelis enthusiastically welcomed being the pilot partner for FunPuntos in Santiago as an opportunity to use leading edge technology to gain an edge in his business. Each customer visit generates 10 FunPuntos points. The customers can receive rewards such as having a chef from WOK cook a meal for them in their home or having a dish on the menu named after them.The program is proving popular, with WOK recruiting 300 new customers to the FunPuntos program weekly and approximately 35% as repeat buyers.
The FunPuntos app is currently available for iPhone in the App Store. The Android version of the app is expected to be released at the end of February. A free one month trial is available to Chilean retailers for a limited time. For additional information or to set up a demonstration, retailers should visit www.funpuntos.com
FunPuntos is a smartphone-enabled customer loyalty platform targeted towards small to medium-sized retailers in Latin America. Developed by University of Oxford graduates, Nabil Meralli and Daliso Zuze, a Rhodes Scholar, FunPuntos is pioneering the retail space by increasing customer retention and empowering retailers to further grow their sales through data analytics and digital coupons. FunPuntos is the second entrepreneurial venture for Meralli and Zuze. Their first company Chuzer is a social Q & A platform that assists people with their shopping decisions. www.funpuntos.com
About the Campaign
The 'Ring Up Happiness’ campaign from FunPuntos seeks to excite customers about using their loyalty cards with their favorite brand retailers in Chile.
During the campaign, FunPuntos will offer one month of free service to Latin American based retailers who sign up for service prior to 28 February 2013.
About The Industry
2012 AT Kearney Global Retail Development Index: LatAm has 7 countries in top 30: 1. Brazil 2. Chile 4.Uruguay 5.Peru 23.Colombia 24.Panama 28.Mexico (Source: AT Kearney Global Retail Development)
Smartphone penetration in LatAm is 17%, however currently 1 in 5 phones sold is a smartphone and 75% growth rate of smartphone sales are expected per annum. (Source: New Media Trend Watch)
The number of loyalty memberships in the U.S. is currently at 2.1 billion, exceeding 2 billion for first time (Source: Colloquy)
64% of brands received a rating of “OK,” “poor,” or “very poor” from their customers (Source: Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, 2012)
Only 26% of companies have a well-developed strategy in place for improving customer experience (Source: Econsultancy MultiChannel Customer Experience Report)
$289 – Average annual value of each customer relationship lost to a competitor or abandoned. (Source: Genesys Report – The Cost of Poor Customer Service)
Poor customer experiences result in an estimated $83 Billion loss by U.S. enterprises each year because of defections and abandoned purchases (Source: Parature Customer Service Blog)