By Morgan Legel
Since the world’s economic climate began to extensively change by the chain of events following the discovery and detection of Coronavirus, many companies on island decided to take the time to re-vamp their loyalty rewards programs, offering customers more options and better benefits.
PACIFICPOINTS was born in December 2020 . With partner merchants Foody’s, IT&E and Shell, members can earn points from purchases at these locations.
“We turn their everyday expenses like fueling up, buying food or snacks, paying bills or activating prepaid load into savings and rewards that they look forward to,” says Kaye Julian, loyalty marketing manager for PACIFICPOINTS.
Much like other loyalty programs on island, a PACIFICPOINTS membership is free. Benefits of the program include members being able to redeem points for a wide variety of vouchers and featured products, like free Shell fuel, Foody’s products, IT&E prepaid cards, IT&E bill rebates, UNO-Go wallet credits and United Mileage Plus Miles. PACIFICPOINTS do not expire, if a member has had at least one point-earning or redemption transaction from the past 12 months.
Along with the program and physical membership card, there is also a mobile application, where members can access their points balance and redeem their vouchers; the app also has a virtual card for members who prefer those to carrying physical ones.
Another aspect of the PACIFICPOINTS program is that it offers tier memberships, where if you accumulate and earn more points over time, you will be automatically upgraded to higher tiers and enjoy the exclusive perks such as fuel discount, free monthly car wash, discounts and more.
Even with a secure structure, Julian says PACIFICPOINTS is always advancing.
“We are committed to improving the program and we believe that it’s also our way to give value back to the customers we serve,” she says. “We continue to provide more options for them to earn points and a faster way to enjoy rewards and savings, especially in this trying time when every dollar counts.”
For as low as 300 points, customers can redeem an $8 Shell fuel voucher or with 250 points they can receive a $5 IT&E bill rebate or $5 UNO-Go wallet credit that they can use to order food delivery from more than 80 restaurants, she says.
“With how PACIFICPOINTS works, our features are at par with the loyalty programs on the mainland and Asia,” she says. “It was designed as a loyalty coalition program with a growing list of partners for points awarding and/or redemption.”
Julian also says that social media has helped the company promote the new program, providing a huge contribution to “easily communicate, engage with the customers and provide real-time updates on the benefits, promotions and rewards that the program can offer.”
Pay-Less Supermarkets offers Måolek Rewards, which translates to Good Rewards in CHamoru. The rewards began on Sept. 17, 2021, during the heart of the COVID pandemic.
For this program, there are four ways to sign up: through cashier register terminals, the customer service counter’s Customer Connection Kiosk, the website, and by the Pay-Less mobile app.
Customers can earn rewards, clip coupons, enter sweepstakes and unlock other savings, like discounts for Calvo’s Lifestyle Club, Fresh Savings for seniors and more.
Promotions designed for summer 2022 include Maolek Deals of Summer, where customers received one “hot” digital coupon for every day in the month of June; Summer Rewards and the July rewards catalog that will showcase promo items to “help our customers enjoy their summer.” Customers can also redeem Måolek Block Party vouchers with points to use at a July 16 event; Double Points Day, when customers can double their earned points on July 11; and Måolek Promo, with which every $50 purchase entitles customers for an entry in a raffle to win one of seven $250 gift certificates.
“Måolek Rewards is the only loyalty program offered in our local grocery industry,” says Kathy R. Calvo, president and CEO, Pay-Less Markets Inc.
She says the new rewards program is unique in the grocery industry because it offers a personalized shopping experience by providing digital coupons and offers tailored to customer shopping patterns. It also features a partnership with other vendors and third-party businesses to participate in our program.
“In the future, we hope to expand this to many other businesses on island,” she says. Eventually, the program will also integrate all the Community Donations programs, giving Pay-Less the capability to give back to non-profit organizations and local charities by donation of points, meals and monies.
“Måolek Rewards furthers our mission to deliver exceptional value, cultivate customer loyalty and develop deeper brand connection,” says Calvo. “It embodies our motto to ‘treat yourself to goodness.’”
With this program, points do expire one year from when customers have accrued them.
While COVID has had an impact on the rewards system, Calvo says it has had the biggest impact on the company overall, which in turn, affects the rewards more.
“Overall, the pandemic has changed the landscape of our company,” she says. “Due to customer demands, we’ve changed the mix of products we stocked on our shelves…
“It has also changed the way we conducted marketing activities. In the midst of the pandemic, we introduced Måolek Rewards.
“We are currently in an inflationary period with increase in prices across almost all categories resulting in customers being even more price conscious than ever before. With our rewards program, we are able to offer even greater value through our rewards redemptions and digital coupons. We have received great participation in the loyalty program with a 72% loyalty reach and 81,600 members. Since the launch, we have seen an 80% increase in the use of hardcopy and digital manufacturer’s coupons. In addition, our members have accumulated a total of over 80 million points.”
All of this is to say the rewards system is working, and while Pay-Less has seen consumer habits and shopping patterns change, as a result, the economic situation has led the supermarket chain to be more strategic in the way that they approach loyalty.
Archway Inc, which does business as Infusion Coffee & Tea, also updated its loyalty program in October 2021 to the newly named BrewRewards.
Mika Caldwell, vice president of Archway, said the new program is like the previous one. Benefits include earning 10% of a purchase in BrewBucks, which can be redeemed for food and drinks, once a customer accumulates a minimum of $10 BrewBucks. Additionally, members receive a free drink coupon on their birthday, via e-mail, as well as email promotions throughout the year.
Customers can join the program through sign up at any Infusion café. The program is unique to the shops.
“Some loyalty programs use punch cards or stamp cards, which if lost, you can no longer redeem for free items,” Caldwell says. “Our program is cloud based, so you are not required to carry a card.”
She also said that since members can choose to redeem rewards as soon as they accumulate $10 in BrewBucks, or continue to build up, the program functions with both long-term and short-term reward structures.
As far as loyalty programs in general go, Caldwell says that Guam’s systems are pretty on-par with mainland’s and the introduction of social media to the game is very effective, “especially with the younger generation.”