Note: As part of a regular series here at the Fivestars blog, we’ll take a look at some of our clients who have achieved success with our one-stop loyalty reward program. We’ve seen proven results for some time – now, we’d like to share them with you to give you a better idea of how implementing our program can help you acquire, grow, and retain your customer base and ultimately, improve your business.
Business Type: Tea Shop
Location: San Mateo, California
Member Since: September 2011
Background: A deliciously sweet and refreshing boba tea shop
Some of our readers might not even know what boba tea is (and in case you’re one of those wondering, it’s a tea-based drink mixed with either milk, fruit, or both, and includes tapioca pearls, or boba). However, if you’re a resident of or live anywhere near San Mateo, odds are good you’ve had a few of these tasteful concoctions in your time. Invented in Taiwan in the 80s, they are a deliciously sweet (but not too sweet) and refreshing drink with a generous portion of soft and chewy tapioca boba to add a bit of textural depth to your beverage experience.
When owner Alex Su decided to open up his own boba tea shop in San Mateo, he knew he would face stiff competition from the other two boba tea shops in town. Tpumps went with a soft opening and introduced a loyalty app for mobile devices in the hopes of creating some repeat tea buyers. After the first few weeks however, less than 20 customers had signed up, and Alex needed to go in a different direction.
Goals: Find something more engaging than a simple loyalty app
After the lack of success from their loyalty app, Tpumps was looking for a more effective method of bringing people back through their doors. Repeat, loyal customers were going to be crucially important in order for Tpumps to rise above its competitors, especially during the businesses’ early days. They were looking for a loyalty rewards program that would get their customers excited and engaged in the process that would appeal to the widest possible audience.
Solution: A digital loyalty program to empower employees to engage customers in a fun way
Enter Fivestars and our fully customizable loyalty rewards program. In an effort to get customers more engaged, Alex and his team went with a structured rewards point system with lots of stacking tiers. 10 points would earn the customer a free reward – usually a free drink but they wanted the flexibility to change it periodically (which is a completely painless process with Fivestars). After 20 points, customers earned a free beverage and a bag of tea. 30 points unlocked a free beverage and a reusable, eco-friendly Tpumps cup. Customers opting to save up their points to the 150 level were rewarded with a free beverage and a wildly popular stuffed panda bear doll. 200 points gave loyal users a free beverage and a brand new iPhone 4 (which proved to be wildly popular as well), and those hanging on to unlock their points at the 300 level earned a free beverage and a high-end, authentic complete home tea set.
Giving customers the option to cash in their points immediately or hang on to them to unlock highly valuable prizes proved to be exceedingly effective. And as a bonus, for each 100 visits a customer earned, they would receive a free wrist band. Being proud of their accomplishment, more often than not customers would wear them around town, which would effectively advertise Tpumps everywhere they went.
Results: 13,905 customers actively using their loyalty program, a staggering $1.1 million tracked customer spending
The results have spoken for themselves, as Tpumps quickly went from a neophyte boba shop simply trying to keep up with its neighboring competitors to a hugely successful business with daily lines that stretch out the door – they have even expanded and opened up a shop in the Sunset district in nearby San Francisco.
“Partnering with Fivestars was an incredibly effective and convenient way for me to ensure that customers who loved my product would keep coming back again and again,” said owner Alex Su. And the results speak for themselves: in just three short weeks, over 300 people signed up for the Fivestars program, compared to the less than 20 they saw in the same time period using their old mobile app. And after a year and a half, there doesn’t appear to be any signs of slowing down. A whopping 13,905 members have signed up for the rewards program, and over 4,000 of those are VIP members with 15 or more visits. 3,816 customers have come through Tpumps’ doors as a result of a direct referral, and a staggering $1.1 million in customer spending has been tracked that allows Alex and his team to customize his prices, products, and deals around what is most popular and when. Customer visits have increased by 34%, and the time between customer visits has shrunk from an average of 16.2 days before Fivestars to 12.1 after.