Online Points System
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Thread: Online Points System

  1. #1
    In And Above Man Black Cluster's Avatar
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    Online Points System

    Hello fellow AOers,

    I'm not very good in designing websites, so I need help in this issue.

    Is there any online points system, free, tiral or commercial solution for the following scenario. It is much like APs, when you reach a certain number of APs you are given an extra green or red dot.

    Scenario
    AO-Points, this is an ass case , Is a chain stores that sell electronic goods. The company is thinking of activating (ONLINE POINT SYSTEM)
    Customers who bought goods offline from any store in the chain will get tickets with serial number and code with specific number of Points.
    The ONLINE POINT SYSTEM will allow customers to enter those serial and codes to charge customer account with the number of points on the ticket.
    When the customers reaches the number of 1000 point they will get a present from the company that will be delivered to the address they have specify using the online point system.
    Your contribution is highly appreciated.

    Cheers
    \"The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards - and even then I have my doubts\".....Spaf
    Everytime I learn a new thing, I discover how ignorant I am.- ... Black Cluster

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hey Black Cluster this has nothing to do with website design.............. it is about a retail business model, customer loyalty bonuses and discounts. I would suggest that whoever came up with this one learnt their trade at ENRON! It is an absolute invitation to abuse and fraud.

    My first question is: what does this "1000" points mean in real terms, both to the customer and to the business? If it is worthless then you just make yourself look cheapskate and annoy the customer......................if it is valuable, then you will just get ripped off

    The secret with these sorts of schemes is that they generally work on two levels:

    1. The discount voucher....................like 25 cents of your next purchase, or 10% off your next bill if you spend more than 20 bucks in the store? Sometimes these are tied into a particular brand or product category, sometimes they are a global discount. They inevitably have a relatively short expiry date................two weeks, four weeks?

    2. The customer loyalty card. This is like an account, but is matched to a purchase and payment when the transaction takes place. These accumulate, and are generally valid for at least 12 months. The customer has to identify themselves to open the account, and has to use the same ID each time they make a qualifying purchase, so as to add points to their account.

    I will await your response, and will gladly explain the issues involved. I have 6+ years with Price Waterhouse and 9+ years in the retail sector, mostly in electricals/electronics, including rebate and voucher schemes.


  3. #3
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    BC...why would you want a points system? I realize that people get hooked into these meaningless promotional tools ( like those useless ' gift cards ' which cost the same as cash but have a fraction of the flexibility of cash...or...forum point systems that make people fawn and dwell and fight over useless gifs that have no real value )...

    if you're offering a product and you want customer satisfaction and repeat business...sell quality products at reasonable prices...

    don't waste your time with gimmicks that only show what little value you place on customer intelligence.

    Eg

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hey, EG~ the customer care thing is fine for small businesses..............they know who their customers are?

    Larger outfits do not, so it is a different issue?

  5. #5
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    Hey Hey,

    I think it's a great idea.... I know tons of people that love things like Club Z (HBC Rewards) Points and Sears Points..

    You'd need two "programs, functions, scripts" whatever you want to call them:

    1: A program with the algorithm to generate how many points for each purchase... 1 point per dollar, 1 point per penny, etc... It would need access to the central SQL Database that you're using and to fit in with the PoS system that you are using... If it's custom that'd be simple enough... prepackaged would be a bit more difficult... On every sale it would calculate how many points are due and insert into the database in a "serial" table... the Serial (Perhaps a hash of the hash of the date/time or something like that... or just a random number)... This serial would be printed on the receipt...

    The customer would then go to the points website... this would be the second program..

    2. This would be a web page that would allow registration and logins... There would be a User Table and it could have a Points Total.... One of the pages on this portion would accept the serial number... query the database and pull the amount of points associated with it... and add those points to the users total..

    Then you could manually or have a program to poll the points value in the database and decide who was getting gifts that month..

    Of course if you went with X number of predefined points and didn't associate it with the amount spent (like iCoke or PepsiPoints) then you could populate the points database with X number of values. print the serials before hand and the cashiers could hand them out.. or even hand out scratch cards with the values printed on them...

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  6. #6
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    Hi HT,
    I think it's a great idea.... I know tons of people that love things like Club Z (HBC Rewards) Points and Sears Points..
    Sure they do...because they've being duped by gimmicks...fed the consumer line...like fish to a shiny lure...and reeled in like the gullible sheep they are.

    There's no free lunch...these gimmicks are paid for and promoted by higher prices...either way you pay...

    I'd rather have the discounted price on the shelf...than have to pay for the flyers, the T.V. spot ADs, printing, promotion, mailings, etc...because the majority of consumers are gullible and fall for these gimmicks.

    Eg

    EDIT: as long as there are suckers to fall for these things, thinking they're getting something for free , the companies will keep producing them...and everyone pays higher prices for consumer stupidity.

    If people didn't fall for this..then..companies would have to resort to the old methods of getting customer support...more competitive sales and lower prices.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Well, speaking as a professional with many years experience of retail financial systems and control, and marketing, particularly in the electronics sector, I will point out the following:

    1. A discount voucher for a few cents, that expires in a few days and probably isn't for something you want, will not be cashed in. BUT the offer was there?

    As the amount of redemption is either very small, restricted to product lines, or requires quite a large expenditure. This makes their transferability very marginal. The net result is that no more than 15% or so are actually redeemed. Strange though it may seem, people are actually too lazy or disinterested.

    2. A customer loyalty scheme that credits a customer concurrently with a payment transaction is the best option, as it can be controlled and will only credit a specific customer. It is not like a banknote that anyone can spend, more like a credit card or bank account. Sure there will be people who will use the loyalty award for presents and so on but these are surprisingly few.

    3. If you sell in store, but allow the points to be claimed as a separate activity online, there is nothing to stop these vouchers becoming "currency" which in itself is illegal in many places. Does anyone remember what happened to green shield stamps?

    This will greatly increase the redemption percentage, which is not what you want, if you know ANYTHING about retail

    4. If you give out vouchers that people don't want they will politely decline.............your staff members will just pocket them and pass them on; once again increasing your redemption rate.

    5. And when someone figures out the algorithms and starts flooding the market with bogus, but apparently valid vouchers (anyone here know what "carding" is?)...................... I would not give my competitors the potential of getting some script kiddie to write a bit of crap that would potentially destroy my business.

    6. The secure way is to have a loyalty card and credit the account with each purchase/payment. This is the simplest and by far the cheapest solution. Sure, I could secure other approaches, but that would be far more complex than doing it properly, in the first place.

    That way you know what your potential outstanding liabilities are, and would have good actuarial data to be able to account for them to the satisfaction of your external auditors.


  8. #8
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    Originally posted here by Egaladeist
    Hi HT,


    Sure they do...because they've being duped by gimmicks...fed the consumer line...like fish to a shiny lure...and reeled in like the gullible sheep they are.

    There's no free lunch...these gimmicks are paid for and promoted by higher prices...either way you pay...

    I'd rather have the discounted price on the shelf...than have to pay for the flyers, the T.V. spot ADs, printing, promotion, mailings, etc...because the majority of consumers are gullible and fall for these gimmicks.

    Eg

    EDIT: as long as there are suckers to fall for these things, thinking they're getting something for free , the companies will keep producing them...and everyone pays higher prices for consumer stupidity.

    If people didn't fall for this..then..companies would have to resort to the old methods of getting customer support...more competitive sales and lower prices.
    Have you been in a walmart or zellers lately??? When I can buy a coffee pot for under 20 bucks... I consider prices to be fairly decent... So the end of the day if I can purchace every kitchen appliance at under 100 bucks per appliance (which I can do by quite a bit) I feel as though I've done fairly well.. since similar quality appliances in "specialty stores" would be 5 - 10 times more... so I'm getting a lower price and getting points out of it.. It's called customer loyalty... Why do more people go to shoppers than the rexall/guardian/pharma plus family.... half the time rexall brand stores are cheaper... but Shoppers offers optimum points... people like that... You can call them stupid because you're the one person that doesn't take advantage of it but I disagree... If they cut out optimum or hbc rewards or sears points... they wouldn't be lowering their prices because in the end their prices are competetive a good chunk of the time...Look at petro points when they came out.. Gas was the exact same price but now you got points for it... suddenly everyone was going to PetroCan... sure it's only little stuff like windsheild washer, etc... but that's a few bucks here and there that people don't have to spend... that adds up... and that's what the masses care about..

    This will greatly increase the redemption percentage, which is not what you want, if you know ANYTHING about retail
    nihil: You seem to have worked in every market in existance... I often wonder about that... but anyways... there's nothing wrong with a high redemption percentage if you plan for it... That's why most places that do this give "bonus points" if their sales people forget to mention it... and regularly give big "extra point" days... they expect you to redeem them.... because you're given them something cheap in exchange for them continuing to frequent your store...

    Anyways... I don't think you guys are being fair to this... he's looking for what he needs to implement this.. you're taking it off topic and attacking the system.. a system that has worked for years and years for many corporations.

    Peace
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  9. #9
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    HT~

    nihil: You seem to have worked in every market in existance
    Weeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllll at 56 that is rather more plausible than coming from a 24 year old?

    he's looking for what he needs to implement this.. you're taking it off topic and attacking the system.. a system that has worked for years and years for many corporations.
    If someone asks for advice or an opinion they will get it, based on my experience. Even if that means telling them that I disagree with the concept as a whole.

    a system that has worked for years and years for many corporations.
    And just how would you know that?


  10. #10
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    Originally posted here by nihil
    HT~


    Weeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllll at 56 that is rather more plausible than coming from a 24 year old?
    Sounds like someone that flip flops and never really settles on a career meaningthey can't really be an expert or gve expert advice on anything... Someone that never found something they were good at and kept moving on in hopes that they someday would

    If someone asks for advice or an opinion they will get it, based on my experience. Even if that means telling them that I disagree with the concept as a whole.
    They want help setting it up and configuring it and suggestions on software to use... not bashing the concept.


    And just how would you know that?
    I need only look at Sears, Zellers/HBC, Shoppers, Petro-Canada, Video Stores, Coffee Shops... All of them do it... they are all still in business... so that's how I know.... You may have had a few years of first hand experience (doesn't mean you learned anything or that it was even good experience)... but I can see plenty of real life examples that are concrete.
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

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