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    Customer loyalty programmes get Bigger


    Retailers have always used various strategies – loyalty schemes, bonuses, exclusive memberships and free holidays – to attract new customers and retain existing ones. The growing competition in retail, though, has also seen the emergence of niche companies that offer incentives and sales solutions to retailers. One such company is Big City Promotions. In an exclusive interaction with IndiaRetailing, Vikas Shah, business development director, Big City Promotions, talks about the prospects of the sales solutions market and the programmes they have undertaken for their clients.

    What is Big City Promotions?

    Big City Promotions is a tactical sales promotion and consumer loyalty programme agency. We help retailers in acquiring new customers while retaining the existing ones. We create high-impact and unique campaigns by offering travel, leisure and lifestyle incentives to the customers of our clients.

    Please tell us about your clientèle?

    In apparel retail, we have clients such as Scullers, Jealous 21, Megamart, Indigo Nation, Max, Zapp, Lacoste, ColorPlus and Recap. In accessories, our clients include Titan and Titan Eye. We also work with mobile retailers such as The Mobile Store, UniverCell and Hotspot.

    What kind of promotional activities do you undertake for your retail clients?

    The packages we create for the customers of our retail clients include free holidays, free spa treatments, nightclubbing passes, dining vouchers and extreme sports sessions, which are offered free as part of our sales promotion or loyalty initiatives.
    We provide incentives that help our clients in acquiring and retaining customer, increasing the average spend, maintaining loyalty and motivating staff.

    How do you design programmes for various retailers?

    Our programmes depend on the target group and branding of our clients. One of our clients, for instance, wanted to increase the average spend to Rs.1500. As their target group is young women, we devised a salon makeover programme for them.

    Under the programme, a customer who shopped for more than Rs.1,500 was eligible to get salon services worth Rs.1500. We tied up with salons in 40-50 cities, where the (makeover programme) vouchers would be accepted.

    How can a client measure the return on investment (ROI) on your programme?

    While it is very tough to measure the ROI on advertisements and other modes of promotion, it is very easy to measure the ROI on our programmes. A brand can gauge the effectiveness of our campaign(s) by measuring the increase in sales and getting direct feedback from the customer.

    Where does the Indian market stand in comparison to the international sales solutions market?

    In India, the sales solutions market is at a nascent stage, unlike the global market where it is quite a phenomena. What we are doing here now was done by the US and UK markets a decade ago.

    In India, we are pioneers of sales solution. In fact, there are not many players in the market. Entrepreneurs in India still rely more on advertising or even email and SMS campaigns. Though these promotional activities are good for creating awareness about the product, they can’t guarantee the retailer that the customer would shop at their store. Our programmes, on the other hand, directly improve the client’s ROI.

    How do you see the market for sales solutions maturing in the next five years? Where do you see Big City a few years down the line?

    The sales solutions market has great growth potential in India. With the maturing of the retail sector, the market will grow considerably in the next few years.

    As far as the growth of Big City Promoters is concerned, I think differentiation is what is required in the retail sector, and we are able to create that differentiation.