Employee engagement is a very important issue in modern organizations. Engaged employees are more effective, and help the organization they work for realise its full potential. Worryingly however, research has shown that as few as only 32% of employees in the US are fully engaged at work. Worldwide, the figure is only 13%. Companies it seems, are not getting full value from two-thirds of their work force. There are a number of strategies for improving engagement, and subsequently retaining the most effective employees but for employees, the most appreciated are bonuses such as merchandise, travel, and of course, gift and shopping cards. Similarly, customers, clients, and members of organized groups can be encouraged to remain loyal if they are are offered, and this is key, useful, practical rewards.
Woodoos Affinity: Overview
Woodoos is a new generation benefits portal for employees and affinity groups, provided by leading payments solution provider Ogloba. It is designed to be solution that enables companies to deliver innovative benefits that encourage their employees with exclusive financial rewards. Participating companies can be, among many others, corporations, trade unions, and civic associations seeking benefits for their employees. The program is based on a B2B and B2B2C business model where companies, here retailers and employers, work together for mutual benefit, and to favor customers. Affinity helps category-leading retailers to expand their customer base and increase revenue by creating a new corporate sales channel.
Woodoos’ business model is based on providing the management know-how, best-in-class tools and “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) solutions which enable retailers to concentrate on their core business. Our solutions are backed by an integrated product suite, a dedication to innovative product development and Ogloba’s strong history of transaction management.
Woodoos Affinity Program: How it works
Companies and affinity groups looking for ways to retain members by offering rewards, bonuses and discounts, often find it to be a very complex, time-consuming, and expensive undertaking. Woodoos’ Affinity Program is a solution that enables our partners to manage these programs for companies or affinity groups. In concrete terms, the platform enables these partners (aggregators) to manage a benefit portal, customized for each of their clients. In this context, the clients are defined as “sponsors”, who may be employers, or brands.
Every version of the platform is reserved for the sponsor’s members only. These members may be clients, such as when an insurance company wants to offer the program to their customers, or employees, when it is offered by an employer. These members are able to buy and reload shopping cards from selected 1st tier retailers – shopping cards branded with different retailer’s logos. As soon as a shopping card is loaded, the member automatically earns a reward, perhaps a 10% bonus. The cards are curated on a mobile phone app which allows members to choice, reload, and redeem their cards at their own convenience.
Affinity is an employees benefit program that involves the following stakeholders:
An aggregator / program manager
The program manager, backed by Woodoos’ know-how and technology, aggregates shopping cards from retailers, then offers this content catalog to employers wishing to provide benefits to their employees. The main benefits are re-loadable shopping cards offered with financial rewards.
A benefits portal – provided by Woodoos
A mobile app and web portal where members buy, reload and store digital shopping cards.
Retailers brand the cards that are being distributed through the benefits portal. The cards are redeemed when members come for shopping.
Employers promote and sponsor the shopping cards to their employees as a benefit.
Members are employees buying the cards and receiving substantial financial bonuses and advantages when they do so.
Woodoos maintains a central, multi-country platform connected to retailers’ hosts and to 3rd party issuers.
Who benefits from the Affinity program?
Employees enjoy substantial and immediate personalized bonuses and coupons, on top of the regular promotions offered by the retailers. The seamless user experience affords an increased feeling of engagement with an employer that supports them. Unlike current corporate B2B gift card programs, this benefits program is designed to support employees in their daily life, 365 days a year, with useful, practical rewards.
Employers reap the benefits of having an engaged, motivated workforce. This brings positive effects such as:
Retaining a positive and motivated staff which, reduces turnover expenses while increasing employees productivity and creating a positive work environment;
Every bonus is a great low-cost service that makes it easy to give employees additional purchasing power;
The program includes a wide range of 1st tier retailers’ perks, and provides the option to centralize all the offers without the need for the employer to contract every retailer individually;
The program aggregator can access better deals, and takes care of all administrative issues.
Moreover, being mobile, the solution offers organizations a direct communication channel to employees through which to share goals and strategies. Employees like to be kept informed about the organization they work for as it makes them feel as though they are valued and part of a team working towards common goals.
Retailers acquire new and more loyal corporate customers, as the program becomes a powerful communication and marketing tool. The Affinity program increases B2B loyalty volumes as the mobile app is designed for everyday shopping. Indeed, the mobile application is designed for everyday purchases, not only for major events such as the year-end holidays. Retailers also note a significant increase in the average basket of around 40%, as customers tend to increase consumption more when some of their purchase is offered. Through the mobile app, retailers can promote seasonal collections or other sales programs by changing the shopping card design, and sending members targeted coupons and messages. There are several positive effects of using Affinity as a distribution tool:
The program manager has dedicated sales teams that will increase the retailers B2B reach;
Distributing vouchers through the Affinity app is more secure and risk free than using physical tools such as paper or card;
It is cost efficient, and eliminates the need for, and cost to arrange, logistics and distribution;
It eliminates the cost of the retailer to manufacture and manage physical inventory;
The program manager will take care of all administrative tasks and relations with key accounts;
It is targeted. Every card displayed in the Affinity App corresponds to a unique retailer, so every retailer can be sure that money loaded on their card will be spent at its stores, not elsewhere;
Bonuses and advantages are granted in the name of the employer, avoiding other basic cash-back downsides.
The program is also a powerful communication and marketing tool between the retailer and the employees, and gives the retailer access to reliable customer’s panel data.
Woodoos: Revolutionising rewards programs
With this program, Woodoos intents to revolutionize the logistics of retailers’ corporate sales of gift and shopping cards, and boost the company’s revenues.
Gift cards retain their popularity but, as the work force consists of an increasing number of tech-savvy, urban-living “millennials”, reward programs must change to stay relevant and engaging. As a consequence, they are evolving away from traditional plastic cards, to much more flexible, personalised, convenient, and immediate programs managed digitally, via mobile devices.
To find out more, visit www.woodoos.com