DataCandy Hits Company Milestone with 11,000 Merchant Locations and Over 5 Million Members
Montreal, Quebec (May 28, 2019) – DataCandy, a North American leader in gift card and loyalty solutions for retailers, restaurants and petroleum companies, has surpassed 11,000 merchant locations, marking a 500% growth in new locations since 2013. DataCandy kicked off Q2 with 1,000 companies relying on its proven technology platform.
Year to date, DataCandy has welcomed 120 new customers, including the Chevron-branded fuel stations run by Parkland Fuel Corporation, Hal Smith Restaurant Group and Top Beauty Group, a source reserved for professional hair and beauty artists.
“The DataCandy platform now manages 5 million active loyalty program members across North America,” says Lorne Schwartz, President and CEO of DataCandy. “The company-wide accomplishments and steady growth we’ve achieved over the past several months have DataCandy positioned for our strongest year yet.”
On top of gaining new business, DataCandy expanded its partner ecosystem to include Motion Pay, an Ottawa-based payment processor and North American leader in Chinese payment services. The integration with Motion Pay enables merchants supported by the DataCandy platform to introduce gift card and loyalty programs to consumers using Chinese mobile payment apps, including Alipay, WeChat Pay and UnionPay.
“DataCandy has one of the most complete gift card and loyalty program software solutions on the market,” says Hans Laroche, Partner at R3 Marketing. “Over the past four years, DataCandy has displayed strong and continued growth with a clear focus on customer service initiatives.”
About DataCandy DataCandy is a leading North American provider of affordable customer loyalty and gift card solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company’s secure, user-friendly platform is used at over 11,000 locations across Canada and the United States by over 1,000 companies, including the ALDO Group, The Source, Ultramar, Familiprix, Kernels Popcorn and 40 of the MTY Food Group’s restaurant brands. To find out how better insight into your customers’ buying behaviour can improve your bottom line, visit www.datacandy.com.
DataCandy Gift Card Platform to Be Implemented at Parkland’s Chevron-Branded Fuel Stations in Canada
Montreal, Quebec (March 21, 2019) – DataCandy, a North American leader in gift card and customer loyalty solutions for retailers, restaurants and petroleum companies, has been chosen by Parkland Fuel Corporation (“Parkland”) to implement a gift card program at Parkland’s 180 Canadian Chevron-branded fuel stations. Parkland is a retail branded distributor for Chevron in Canada and acquired Chevron Canada R & M ULC on October 1, 2017.
“We have already experienced first-hand the numerous benefits of collaborating with DataCandy through its work enabling gift card capabilities at our Ultramar-branded locations,” said Ian White, Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing & Innovation at Parkland Fuel Corporation. “DataCandy’s industry expertise and innovative software features make implementing its solution at our Chevron-branded locations the logical next step.”
DataCandy’s gift card solution is designed to easily integrate with the hardware that North American businesses use most, including the existing Bulloch point-of-sale systems in use at Chevron-branded stations.
“We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Parkland Fuel Corporation and look forward to helping Parkland offer gift cards at all its Canadian Chevron-branded locations,” said Lorne Schwartz, President and CEO of DataCandy. “Successful initiatives such as these are the reason why DataCandy is quickly becoming the petroleum industry’s gift card solution provider of choice.”
About DataCandy DataCandy is a leading North American provider of affordable customer loyalty and gift card solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company’s secure, user-friendly platform is used at over 10,000 locations across Canada and the United States by over 800 companies, including the ALDO Group, The Source, Ultramar, Familiprix, Kernels Popcorn and 40 of the MTY Food Group’s restaurant brands. To find out how better insight into your customers’ buying behaviour can improve your bottom line, visit www.datacandy.com.
About Parkland Parkland is Canada and the Caribbean’s largest, and one of America’s fastest growing, independent suppliers and marketers of fuel and petroleum products and a leading convenience store operator. Parkland services customers in 25 countries through three channels: Retail, Commercial and Wholesale. Parkland optimizes its fuel supply across these three channels by operating and leveraging a growing portfolio of supply relationships and storage infrastructure. Parkland provides trusted and locally relevant fuel brands and convenience store offerings in the communities it serves.
Parkland creates value for shareholders by focusing on its proven strategy of growing organically, realizing a supply advantage and acquiring prudently and integrating successfully. At the core of our strategy are our people, as well as our values of safety, integrity, community and respect, which are embraced across our organization.
Businesses are focusing their marketing more and more on consumers and the full buyer journey. From having never heard of a brand, becoming a lead, converting, staying engaged and becoming loyal to the brand to finally becoming a brand advocate, customers have to go through many stages.
Here are three steps you can follow to ensure that all your customers make it to the brand advocacy stage of your buyer’s journey.
Build your brand around your customer’s needs Your brand should apply a customer-first approach to everything. Your products and services should be focused on solving your customers’ problems, as that will make them love you from the start. Once your offering has been established, you can home in on your customers’ values and additional pain points to understand how to connect your brand to them. You’ll also be able to develop additional programs or services to show them that you share their values and want to help solve their issues. You can show them that you care about more than just their wallet in many ways:
Make charitable donations to organizations your customers and prospects support;
Create partnerships with companies to provide products and services that solve additional problems at a discounted rate;
Develop educational programs so that your clients can develop skills that will help them excel.
Writing about and publicizing your programs and partnerships will also provide you with content that your customers can share and link to — which is a great way for them to show brand ambassadorship.
Listen to what your customers are saying One of the most important aspects of consumer-focused marketing is genuinely listening to your consumers. Accepting feedback from users of your site — both members and visitors — will help you understand the things that are annoying them and potentially preventing them from making a purchase. If you run a larger company, it might make sense to have your customer service managers communicate regularly with your product and marketing managers to discuss anything that consumers regularly complain about. If you run a smaller company, make sure that your customer service team (no matter how small) is involved in important product and marketing decisions. You may even consider having your marketing and product teams handle some customer service calls and emails to experience first-hand the kinds of problems customers are facing.
According to the Harvard Business Review, it costs 5% to 25% more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Listening will help you increase your retention rates, which is an important stage before customers can become brand advocates, and also let your customers know that they are heard, that they matter. Imagine if you asked for a new feature on your favorite website and it was added: knowing your voice was heard may be the extra something you needed to finally head to a review site and leave a positive review.
Develop a referral bonus program A referral program will help you bring new customers into your buyer’s journey, and on average, those customers will have a 16% to 25% higher LTV than customers who weren’t referred. But a referral program isn’t only good for acquiring new customers: it gives your loyal customers an easy way to become brand ambassadors and share your company with their networks. A referral program will also give them an added incentive to share, as there’s something in it for them. Referral bonus programs are especially good for customers who are loyal but not yet completely in love with your company’s products or services. In other words, they might need a little push to promote you to their friends.
A lot needs to happen between a customer discovering your products or services and becoming a brand ambassador for your company; each step in the middle requires that you take a customer-focused approach. Focus on their needs, listen to their concerns, and thank them for recommending you to their friends, and you’ll be on your way to having a high retention and ambassador rate.
Montreal, Quebec (February 5, 2019) – In line with its mobile-first development strategy, software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider DataCandy has launched its customer loyalty and gift card application for Telium TETRA smart terminals. Through this integration with Ingenico Group’s suite of next-generation payment devices, DataCandy will continue to ensure a superior mobile experience for both merchants and consumers in the restaurant, retail and petroleum sectors.
Telium TETRA smart terminals are fitted with modern features such as touch screens, contactless card readers and bar-code scanners. The devices will allow consumers to carry out transactions with their DataCandy loyalty and gift cards directly from their mobile card wallets, thus ensuring a consistent payment experience for users of both plastic and virtual cards.
“DataCandy is committed to staying one step ahead of evolving technologies and pushing our platform to meet the demands of the market and the needs of our clients,” explains Lorne Schwartz, President and CEO of DataCandy. “Our platform’s integration with Telium TETRA smart terminals will help merchants gain a competitive edge and their customers, a more convenient loyalty and gift card experience.”
Merchants interested in using DataCandy’s TETRA-compatible application can inquire about hardware availability with their respective payment processors.
About DataCandy DataCandy is a leading North American provider of affordable customer loyalty and gift card solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company’s secure, user-friendly platform is used at over 10,000 locations across Canada and the United States by over 800 companies, including the ALDO Group, The Source, Irving Oil, Booster Juice, Familiprix, Kernels Popcorn and 40 of the MTY Food Group’s restaurant brands. To find out how better insight into your customers’ buying behaviour can improve your bottom line, visit www.datacandy.com.
An estimated 2.77 billion people use social media around the globe. It’s no surprise that social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are a crucial part of every modern marketing plan. When managed correctly, social media can be used to not only engage with followers, but also to build relationships with them. Fifty-eight percent of consumers follow brands on social media, making it a powerful way to reach new customers and retain current ones.
The social media landscape, however, is full of landmines. One post, picture, or comment can blow up your brand and create a PR nightmare. Here are some ways to use social media platforms more effectively to create a loyal bond with your best customers:
Be responsive to customers on social media. Consumers want the brands they care about to care about them. A recent report found that 72% of Twitter users expect a response to a complaint within an hour.
Find your own voice. Your customers should feel as though they are talking to a real person, not a bot. Provide the same level of customer service that you would in person. Remember, social media is not designed for one-way content; your customers will use these platforms to voice questions and concerns.
Stand out by creating approachable, engaging, and relevant content for your audience. Less than half of all brands’ content resonates as “authentic” with consumers.
Put thought into the content you post. A post that is interactive and eye-catching will hold people’s attention and is more likely to be shared. According to a Twitter study, tweets containing a video are retweeted 35% more.
Create opportunities for your customers to share ideas.Forty-two percent of millennials want to help brands create and develop their future products and services.
Once your loyal fans begin sharing your content and interacting with it, social media will begin to work as a third-party endorsement. Your customers will become your best brand ambassadors.
Montreal, Quebec (January 22, 2019) – DataCandy, a North American leader in gift card and customer loyalty solutions for retailers, restaurants and petroleum companies, finished the second half of 2018 surpassing sales forecasts and adding over 500 new merchant locations to its proven technology platform.
DataCandy welcomed over 100 new customers, including the breakfast and brunch franchise L’Oeufrier, home furnishing retailer Ameublements Tanguay, and Canteen, the largest national vending and refreshment services provider. The software provider’s reputation for customer service and affordability expanded its customer base in the United States with the addition of the Lion’s Den retail chain and 14 brands operating under Hal Smith Restaurant Group. DataCandy ended the year with high double-digit growth to its client roster. The new year is already off to a great start with the signing of 55 Jimmy the Greek restaurant locations.
“These strong year-end results prove that DataCandy is one step closer to its goal of being the premier gift card and loyalty solution provider in Canada,” says Lorne Schwartz, President and CEO of DataCandy. “We will continue working to achieve that goal in 2019 by ensuring businesses of all sizes have access to a superior, turnkey product that is affordable, easy to buy, and comes with great customer service.”
About DataCandy DataCandy is a leading North American provider of affordable customer loyalty and gift card solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company’s secure, user-friendly platform is used at over 10,000 locations across Canada and the United States by over 800 companies, including the ALDO Group, The Source, Irving Oil, Booster Juice, Familiprix and Kernels Popcorn. To find out how better insight into your customers’ buying behaviour can improve your bottom line, visit www.datacandy.com.
Mobile payment may not have made its mark on your business’s bottom line quite yet, but when it comes to customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction, it’s a must. Why? Customer loyalty.
While cash and cards still dominate the payment landscape, there is a greater demand for mobile payment technology, particularly with today’s younger consumers. In fact, data from Statista shows that over 88,000 transactions were completed via mobile payments in 2017, an astronomical increase from the 3,700 transactions made in 2014. As Generation Z and young Millennial consumers take over the majority of consumer spending, this number is expected to grow. A representative from Accenture reports that “Younger consumers are demanding an exceptional digital payments experience on all platforms — most importantly on their smartphones.”
Businesses today are vying for this customer base more than ever, which is why it’s time to consider gaining a competitive edge through mobile payments. As our everyday lives become increasingly digitized and automated, mobile wallets and loyalty programs have become more relevant for marketers and the consumers they’re trying to reach. Here’s how you can use the convenience, experience and perks enabled by mobile payment to bolster your customer loyalty and benefit your business in the long run:
Allow Consumers to Pay with Digital Wallets
Mobile payment is simple to use and easy to manage, and it drives the consumer purchasing process seamlessly. In fact, 32 percent of Millennials envision a cashless society where currency will no longer be needed for transactions. Speed and convenience appeal to this target demographic. From checking their bank accounts to splitting restaurant tabs, consumers can manage their finances from the convenience of their mobile devices. Mobile payment also benefits consumers with speedier transactions at check out; it has been shown to cut transaction time by over 50% in comparison to EMV chip technology.
Millennials and Generation Z are heavily engaged in mobile platforms such as restaurant order-ahead apps, ride-sharing apps, shopping apps, peer-to-peer payments and mobile banking, so many are already familiar with the ease that digital wallets provide. When it comes to their money, Millennials and Generation Z are demanding digital services that enhance their purchasing process.
Personalize the Customer Experience
Many of today’s mobile-based loyalty programs can become integrated with mobile payment, which allows your business to tailor rewards programs and in-app messages to the customer’s preferences. The importance of rewards as a competitive differentiator has never been greater, with 70 percent of millennials identifying rewards and/or discounts as the most compelling motivational factors for making mobile payments.
Offering location-based offers and time-relevant coupons in collaboration with mobile payments is a great motivator for boosting transaction rates. Take a corporation’s mobile app for example. By enabling mobile payment, customers can rack up points anytime they pay from the company’s app. Accumulating these points gives way to free products and special perks, which motivates the customer to spend more money with that company.
Improve Consumer Trust
As credit card theft and fraud continue to be a rising concern for today’s consumers, retail institutions must balance security with the simplicity that consumers want. Digital wallets, however, are proving themselves to be more secure than swipe cards and chip-enabled cards. As Robb Gaynor told Bankrate, “You can steal cash and credit cards, but you can’t steal something that is linked to your phone.” Many mobile payment options even use biometric technology that require users to authorize payments with their fingerprint.
Consumers are more likely to spend more with merchants that they trust. Eventually, loyal customers spend 67 percent more than new ones. If you offer mobile payment options, customers will be able to depend on your company to keep their data and information protected and trust that they can make transactions safely.
When it comes to acquiring new customers and growing customer loyalty, businesses can’t afford to fall behind. Having a solution that allows you to accept digital payments anywhere, anytime and through any device will help you acquire and retain customers and drive sales toward your business.
Gift cards are a great addition to your product offering at any time, but during the holidays, they become even more valuable for your business. Here’s why:
1. Gift cards are easy to stock.
Several hundred gift cards can fit in small, discrete boxes near your cash register, so you won’t need to make space for hundreds of new products on your shelves or worry about your supplier running out of your best products in the middle of peak shopping season.
2. Gift cards take only seconds to sell.
Swipe or scan several gift cards in seconds, slip them into a small envelope, and voilà! You’re done. You’ll be able to sell ten fifty-dollar gift cards in a fraction of the time that it would take you to scan and carefully wrap a shopping cart full of five-dollar gifts.
3. Gift cards are one of the most convenient gifts.
Whether your customers are shopping at the last minute, need a bunch of stocking stuffers or simply don’t know what to get for the person who has everything, they’ll be relieved to know that you sell gift cards, the most versatile of all gifts. Place them near your cash register and watch them sell like hot cakes.
4. Gift cards can’t be returned or exchanged.
Forget the long, post-holiday lineups of customers who want to swap the gifts that they received from well-meaning friends and family members. Say goodbye to the headaches caused by customers having forgotten to bring a receipt, removed the tags or opened the original packaging. Gift card sales are always final.
5. Gift cards work well for store credits.
When a customer asks for a refund after your usual return period, simply add the amount onto a gift card. That way, you’ll keep your customers happy all while making sure that the money is spent at your business.
6. Gift cards are a highly effective form of marketing.
People trust recommendations from their entourage, so when someone who had never heard of your brand before receives a gift card with your logo on it, he or she won’t hesitate to visit your business for the first time. Plus your card will serve as a constant visual reminder of your brand in hundreds of consumers’ wallets — all that without you having so much as looked at an advertising platform.
7. Gift cards will bring you customers after the holidays.
In January, when consumers’ credit cards are full and sales slow down to their pre-holiday pace, people who received gift cards in December will visit your business to spend them. And since 40% of people who receive a gift card spend more than the amount on their card, you’ll receive a welcome revenue boost.
The sooner you activate gift card software on your payment system, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits of gift cards this holiday season.
Montreal, Quebec (December 6, 2018) — Leading Canadian fuel distributor Groupe Crevier has designated DataCandy as the driver of its new gift card program at supply points across the province. The Montreal-based software provider’s turnkey solution has enabled Groupe Crevier to design and sell custom prepaid cards from its existing payment systems at over 200 of the brand’s service stations — all in less than three months. The strategically timed launch of the program is expected to help the Quebec brand siphon a wealth of previously untapped holiday gift card sales.
“When DataCandy was recommended to us as a gift card partner, we knew that the potential benefits for our customers would be substantial,” says Jean-Claude Clément, Vice President of Fuels at Groupe Crevier. “What we didn’t know is just how easy the whole process would be. Adopting DataCandy’s straightforward platform and rechargeable cards was a big leap toward Groupe Crevier’s continued goal to enrich the customer experience at each of our service stations.”
The simplicity of DataCandy’s customer loyalty and gift card platform and its compatibility with most leading payment systems, including Global Payments’ specialized Rigger payment terminal, have enabled gas station operators to connect even their most remote locations to their gift card network without a hitch.
“Being selected to implement such an iconic brand’s gift card program on a provincial scale is quite an honour for DataCandy,” says Lorne Schwartz, President and CEO of DataCandy. “Helping businesses like Groupe Crevier maintain their competitive edge and provide a seamless customer experience is at the heart of our mission as a company.”
Crevier gift cards have been available for purchase at the brand’s service stations since November 21, 2018.
About Groupe Crevier Groupe Crevier is a third-generation Quebec-based family business and Canadian leader in energy and industrial lubricants distribution. Founded in 1945 by Émile Crevier, the company distributes fuel to 220 service stations in Canada. In the last few years, new, greener energies have been incorporated into its network, including through electric vehicle charging stations. The company is also a distributor of petroleum products for commercial customers through its wholesale and aviation fuel divisions. Groupe Crevier is also involved in the distribution of lubricating products like oils, greases and fluids and related products. Through acquisitions, the company now distributes its products to more than 3,500 customers, in seven provinces, from coast to coast.
About DataCandy DataCandy is a leading North American provider of affordable customer loyalty and gift card solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company’s secure, user-friendly platform is used at over 10,000 locations across Canada and the United States by over 700 companies, including Ultramar, Irving Oil, the ALDO Group, The Source, St-Hubert, Familiprix, Chez Cora and 40 of the MTY Food Group’s restaurant brands. To find out how better insight into your customers’ buying behaviour can improve your bottom line, visit www.datacandy.com.
Customer loyalty isn’t just about getting your clients to sign up to a loyalty program: it’s about the quality of your day-to-day interactions and about building solid long-term relationships based on a great customer experience.
Here are 26 easy ways to build better relationships with your customers.
Show Them You Care
Greet every customer who comes through your door.
Give your customers your undivided attention during each interaction and put personal conversations on hold.
Respond to your customers’ emails, voicemail messages and social media messages as soon as possible.
Personalize your emails with each customer’s name and preferred language… and make sure to have them proofread! Mistakes can make your business look bad.
Send your members a birthday ecard or message. Discounts and freebies work too!
Make choices that are good for your customers’ health and for the environment, like offering allergen-free or vegan options or stocking sustainably or locally sourced goods.
Make Their Lives Easier
Help customers learn more about your business with a complete website and social media page.
Update your opening hours online (i.e. on your website, social media pages and search engine listings), especially on holidays.
Make sure that your most recent menu and prices are posted online. Incorrect information can negatively impact people’s perception of your business.
Let your clients book appointments or make reservations online, 24/7.
Accept several payment methods. “Cash only” policies aren’t very convenient.
Provide your customers with an easy way to treat their friends and family and give the perfect gift: sell gift cards.
Opt for a flexible exchange and return policy and send purchase receipts by email.
Don’t Take Them for Granted
Thank your customers for their online reviews and ratings. It takes only a few seconds.
Use negative customer feedback to improve your business, and stay polite, even if you disagree with their comments.
Apologize to your customers if you’re late or make a mistake. Unhappy clients are more likely to take their business elsewhere.
Try not to run out of your bestselling products all the time, or your customers may just give up and stop coming.
Treat all customers equally and with respect, …no matter who they are or how much they spend.
Hire a professional copywriter or translator to write your signage, menus, emails, web pages and other marketing materials in languages that your customers will understand.
Reward Them for Choosing You
Set up social media contests for people who interact with you online. They’ll bring good visibility for you and prizes for them: everyone wins.
Share your knowledge and ideas by giving useful, expert tips in a member newsletter.
Offer member-exclusive perks, like sneak peaks at new products or skip-the-line privileges.
Invite loyal clients to private events. Opening a new location or launching a new collection or menu? Send out invites!
Provide discounts to clients who refer a friend to encourage word of mouth, the most genuine form of publicity.
Surprise clients with a free gift when they make big purchases.
Thank your clients for choosing you instead of a competitor: let them earn points with their purchases and redeem them for rewards or VIP experiences.
Showing your appreciation year-round will demonstrate a consistency and commitment that your customers are sure to appreciate. Give them the recognition they deserve with a loyalty program that rewards them for doing business with you.