Aug 26, 2014

Automated Loyalty: How Myriad Games Created a 21st-Century Rewards Program

Perkville and LightSpeed Cloud power customer engagement for north-east board game retailer

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Point of Sale News, and is republished here with their express consent. Click here to visit pointofsale.com and view the original.

Myriad Games are “your friendly, professional game stores.” Now with three locations (Amherst, Manchester, and Salem), the shops are the places to get tabletop games in New Hampshire. Each location features a huge selection of new and used board games, miniatures, role-playing games, and trading card games. But much more than retail, the shops are a hub for the local gaming communities, with an events calendar packed with open gaming nights, chess clubs, and more.

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It’s this focus on community building that led Myriad Games to create its MVP program. MVP membership is free for customers, and awards points for buying games, trading games, or participating in events. The points are then redeemable for great rewards like discounts on games, free rentals, and cool swag. From the outset the MVP membership was a huge success. The program drove engagement with existing customers–as an independent retail outlet with thin margins, MVP was a great retention tool.

But it was also analog–staff tracked purchases and points manually on spreadsheets. As the program and customer-base grew it required more staff time to manage, and increased the possibility of mistakes in purchase and rewards tracking. For the MVP program to remain an asset, Myriad Games needed to automate, with POS data directly populating the rewards program.

The Challenge

While analog rewards (tracking purchases on paper or through local software like Excel) can work on a small-scale, multi-location retailers or single outlets with a large customer base will quickly find the analog solution unwieldy. To name just a few challenges:

  • Analog rewards take too much time to administer, requiring manual tracking of points-earning activities, calculation of rewards, and deductions for award redemptions
  • Manual tracking and calculations can lead to inaccuracies and customer disagreements
  • Businesses with more than one location will have separate customer tallies, requiring periodic reconciliations for customers that shop at multiple stores
  • Customers must visit, call, or email to discover rewards balances and available awards

But while the benefits of an automated program are obvious, Myriad Games wasn’t interested in building its own technology, and needed any solution to be integrated with its POS system. This would lead to easier administration and greater accuracy, and free up staff time.

The Solution

Myriad Games turned to Perkville for help. Perkville is a leading SaaS loyalty solution that helps businesses of all sizes offer a customer rewards program via readymade integrations with many customer management and POS systems. Among this list of integration partners is LightSpeed Cloud, the point-of-sale system used in all three Myriad Games stores.

Perkville helped Myriad upload the existing MVP database, and once it was securely housed in Perkville they flipped the switch. Store staff asked customers for phone numbers or email addresses at the point of sale, and this simple request associated the purchase with a customer record in LightSpeed. The data pushed to Perkville in real-time, the points tallied, and customers were prompted to set up an account. Once in, customers saw all historical points.

Now that the program is set up it’s strictly hands-off: Customers need only create an account once, and from then on earnings tally. And the results of the automation have been overwhelmingly positive:

  • Almost 11,000 Myriad Games customers in the rewards database.
  • 33% of customers joined the MVP rewards program (more than 3,600 total).
  • Over 1,100 customers have claimed rewards.

The Benefits

Once Myriad Games had completed the initial automation of the MVP program, they began to use it for much more than simply rewarding purchases.

Myriad is awarding MVP points for participating in game-night participation by collecting the contact info of new customers and entering zero-dollar purchases in POS. This creates a record for the member in both LightSpeed and Perkville, allowing points to begin accumulating and letting the customer see real rewards if and when they do finally sign up.

Myriad is able to offer special promotions like double points for select purchases, or all purchases during a given time (like Black Friday). It’s even able to post points leaderboards, gamifying the program and driving friendly competition between gamers.

A SaaS platform like Perkville also opens the MVP program to non-local customers, and allows patrons to check points earnings and available rewards from home or mobile, offering immediate positive feedback and encouraging impulse store visits. The integration even created new touchpoints: Staff can let customers know how many points they’ve earned and what rewards they’re eligible for at the register, and regular earnings emails encourage customers to re-engage with the stores, driving more frequent traffic. Whether the customer buys or not, Myriad Games gets greater engagement with their retail footprint.

“Customer loyalty is a must for independent retailers,“ said Dax Dasilva, Founder & CEO of LightSpeed.  “With LightSpeed’s integration with Perkville, retailers like Myriad can easily create a customized loyalty program, attracting new customers and driving repeat business.”

And beyond solving the pressing need for program automation, Perkville brought its out-of-the-box perks: one-touch referrals, social posts, and regularized contact with patrons. This led to engagement outside of the stores and a new source of customer leads:

  • More than 700 people recommended to Myriad Games by existing customers.
  • More than 50 referral conversions, leading to almost 700 purchases.
  • More than 1,000 Facebook posts and Twitter tweets.

With Perkville there are no cards, kiosks, or special software, and its out-of-the-box integration with LightSpeed Cloud made digital rewards easy. Myriad Games gained greater, easier loyalty, while its customers get rewarded for doing what they love. And the gaming community–with Myriad Games as the hub–is strengthened.

It is this focus on community building that gets overlooked when discussing rewards. Yes it keeps members loyal by “giving something back” for their patronage, and encourages them to continue to buy. But in the end automated rewards freed Myriad Games staff to do what they love: Talk games and gaming with customers.

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