Singapore-based mobile loyalty app Squiryl has partnered with restaurant chains Sakae Sushi and Cafe Cartel to distribute ‘acorns’, their version of loyalty stamps, through POS systems.
The program began on the first week of July, and as of 25th the same month, about 10,359 acorns have been issued to 1,555 new and existing Squiryl users. Seven outlets from Cafe Cartel and 32 from Sakae Sushi were involved.
According to Squiryl co-founder Mulyadi Syariffudin, developing a POS solution was crucial for getting big restaurant chains on board since it reduces fraud and increases convenience.
A Squiryl-integrated POS system would be able to generate unique QR codes with the customer’s receipt. These codes can only be used once, preventing people from abusing the system. Printing QR codes on receipts also means that customers can handle the scanning themselves, saving staff the hassle of doing so.
Gregg Lewis, brand manager at Sakae Sushi, says that the company adopted the service due to the acorn trading feature, which allows a person to exchange for acorns from other merchants with fellow users. This creates a win-win situation for merchants where they can leverage on other brands that are on the platform. Squiryl is also free for both merchants and customers.
He has seen some measurable impact on the business since partnering with the startup. Every time a user gets acorns or trades them, the activities are reflected on their Facebook walls. Customers also tend to spend a little more just to get a reward stamp.
“I guess we have more reach and it’s generating a little more revenue,” he says.
Mobile loyalty apps are becoming mainstream in Singapore and parts of Asia, due to the efforts of apps like Squiryl and its main competitor, Perx. However, there remain issues to be ironed out when it comes to working with merchants.
Gregg thinks that the process of receiving stamps can be sped up further by “bumping” one phone with another. He also hopes that vendors will understand that merchants can only go so far in offering attractive redemptions, since they would not want to devalue their brand. Also, higher-value rewards would require better ROIs.
Merchants are also concerned about the mix of brands on a mobile loyalty platform. According to Gregg, they would be worried about having “too much demographic diversity” or being placed with too many merchants with similar products, which means “more competition in a smaller space.”
Overall, it’s about balancing the needs of the loyalty app, consumers, and brands, he added.