E-commerce is one of the most prolific markets in the Middle East. With such a variety of companies selling everything from fashion to home décor, retailers must fight harder than ever to retain a strong customer base. As a result, a number of startups have begun to operate innovative rewards programs or provide program development services to organizations looking to cash in on the loyalty of their customers. Read on to explore a few of the startups that are helping drive customer loyalty initiatives across the Middle East:
Available to users living across the United Arab Emirates, Beam Wallet perfectly pairs customer rewards with the financial technology associated with e-commerce. The startup’s innovative mobile wallet for iOS and Android devices lets consumers forego their traditional credit cards during checkout and merely swipe their phone to pay for their purchase. With more than 350,000 enrolled users, the startup also allows the over 3,000 participating stores to market to a more diverse audience.
Beam Wallet’s most innovative feature, however, is its rewards program. Instead of earning points on their purchases, users accumulate monetary rewards whenever they make a payment or complete in-app tasks such as social media check-ins. When members earn enough of these credits, they can use Beam Wallet to redeem them during purchases at big-name stores like Aldo and Costa Coffee.
In 2016, Forbes Middle East named UrbanBuz one of the UAE’s most promising startups due to its consumer loyalty-driven services. From its headquarters in Dubai, the company helps other firms create and deliver unique customer engagement models. UrbanBuz equips its clients with all the tools they need to become a trusted “loyalty brand” among their existing and potential consumers.
In addition to marketing optimization and data analytics platforms, companies can work with the startup to develop unique customer rewards programs. UrbanBuz provides its clients with a number of pre-designed models that involve such practices as providing benefits to customers who refer friends and operating a multilevel system that delivers different rewards to people in different tiers.
Since its inception in 2014, TaskSpotting has achieved phenomenal success with its one-of-a-kind customer rewards services. The startup takes a dual approach to company rewards programs, helping firms create these systems and allowing consumers to engage with them. Using the TaskSpotting platform, businesses can design customized rewards campaigns that allow them to market their brand to new customers and engage a wider client base.
These campaigns reach consumers in the form of TaskSpotting “missions” that allow each user to earn rewards by interacting with companies in certain ways. Through the startup’s iOS and Android applications, individuals receive notifications for available tasks in their local area. With activities ranging from tasting shawarma to photographing automobile prices, users can easily earn monetary rewards for interacting with various brands across the Middle East. This provides an innovative new avenue through which locals can earn extra money and companies can collect important consumer data.
Companies seeking a more traditional points-based loyalty program need look no further than SnappCard, which has been growing in popularity since 2012. The rewards process begins when participating businesses join the startup’s loyalty network, thereby allowing their customers to earn points for patronizing their shops. As such, people can visit their favorite clothing stores, salons, and eateries all while accumulating rewards that they can redeem on future purchases. Those looking to accumulate even more points can take advantage of SnappCard’s sharing feature and post about the venues they visit most often.
Based in the UAE, Tawlat has designed a unique mobile application that enables its users to discover new local eateries and save money in the process. Whether they are at home or on the go, individuals can use the app to peruse the startup’s diverse array of restaurants and book tables instantly. Every time they use Tawlat to make a reservation, they earn points on their user dashboards. By participating in featured offers, users can earn hundreds of points per booking. Once they reach 1,000 points, they can turn their rewards into a credit of AED50 and use it towards purchases at any of Tawlat’s partner restaurants. By offering these services, the startup has created one of the region’s leading loyalty services.
In late 2012, the team at Wamli launched its online shop to nearly 20,000 interested followers, and they have since built an entire brand around innovative customer loyalty services. Unlike most e-commerce platforms, the startup offers all manner of offbeat, “geek”-oriented products to those who enjoy collecting unusual items. The most unique feature of Wamli is not its out-of-the-ordinary stock, but rather its social interaction and customer rewards programs.
The four Wamli founders sought to create a game-like experience for their consumers by awarding points in the form of “superpowers.” With each purchase, an individual earns coins that he or she may use to achieve new online powers such as a better dollar-to-coin conversion rate or complimentary shipping. Those with the greatest number of powers have the chance to earn a spot atop the site’s leaderboard. Wamli also enables its clients to turn coins into discounts on future purchases, a feature that only contributes further to its focus on customer loyalty and engagement.