Sortal is a platform which can be used as a front-end interface for dedicated loyalty management systems.
Empowered by a strong Magento back-end with native customer management features, Sortal makes several steps forward by effectively merging social behaviour with customer eCommerce transaction processing. Sortal is a native Facebook application, which means that following initial registration, customers can check their loyalty status and enjoy awarded benefits by clicking on the application from within the Facebook homepage without the need to login to a loyalty program running on a dedicated website.
Whether you are an eCommerce merchant or a retailer managing a loyalty program, you can use Sortal as a more effective loyalty rewards management platform creating a social buzz around benefits your customers can enjoy and share so their friends can easily join your program as well.
Connection between the customer's Facebook account and their loyalty program record
- An ability to analyze the information taken from the user profile is an effective way to boost your marketing efforts.
- You turn your loyalty program members into your business ambassadors - they advertise the benefits of your program using their personal experience (e.g. enjoying a reward they earned) to their friends
- Sortal allows you to easily contact your members/customers directly with a Facebook message from the console back-end. Make the social customer relationship real and you will reap the rewards.
- You can notify members about status changes using Facebook notifications the customer can see when he visits the Facebook homepage.
- External loyalty management system can use social information, (age, gender, interests, likes, number of friends and etc.) as an input to its benefits calculation algorithm.
- Sortal loyalty club can use external data to ensure some recognition for customer history is consistent across Social Media channels as well as incumbent programs (online or offline).
Newsletter version 2
Newsletters are an important marketing channel especially when it comes to loyalty programs. The Sortal platform has a powerful newsletter engine extended far beyond the standard well known capabilities:
- User email can be recorded during the Allow Access phase of the loyalty application.
- Newsletter templates provide an easy mechanism to manage content.
- Sortal extends the newsletter concept by sending newsletters directly within Facebook to all of your business page fans, fans of all pages that added your application (you affiliates) and to all users that clicked 'Like' inside the application itself. The newsletter will appear as a post, (with customizable text and image), on the users news wall which can be clicked to read further)
- Using Sortal you can also notify you customers with instant SMS (under development).
- The Sortal newsletter system can extend the functionality of third-party mailing systems, (via APIs), by resending the externally created newsletters to Facebook fans.
"Turning your fans into customers and proactive brand ambassadors" is not just our slogan, the Sortal application actually treats each application visitor as a potential customer, encouraging them to gain higher ranks than other visitors. The fully customizable "Engage-o-meter" graph connects between Magento customer groups and engagement ranks. Each rank is accompanied by directions of "what to do next".
We understand that people love to keep score and compete on psycological levels in the virtual popularality contest of the social media space, whether it be collecting comments, friends or likes from comments said etc As such the "Engage-o-meter" feeds into this desire, and is driven by well known ranking concepts taken from a wide range of computer video games.
A visitor can participate in a wide range of social activities and gain a higher rank and as a result be rewarded with real benefits. A default rank graph consists of the following steps:
- "Guest" - is an initial rank given to "incognito" visitors entering Sortal without actually adding the application (if "Allow Access" is not configured as a mandatory step)
- "Friendly" - still unregistered visitor "Like"ing the application and therefore is ready to receive news updates (newsletters)
- "Neighborly" - Registered user (details of which are seen within Magento backend). Merchant can easily visit their profile from within the Admin console, review their profile details (age, gender, interests) and contact them with a direct proposal using Facebook message.
- "Social" - TBD by client depending on social campaign targets, product lifecycle and business objectives.
- "Ambassador" - TBD by client depending on social campaign targets, product lifecycle and business objectives.
To assist in the management of the Loyalty Club, rules can be defined to move visitors through the different rankings, but Merchant can override this and move users between groups, assign new groups and ranks and manage promotions targeting a specific group. This gives merchants tools needed to build the real relationships which are essential for success with social commerce.
Loyalty recruitment using Sortal on Mobile/Cell Phone:
QR-Code -> Mobile -> Facebook -> Voucher -> SMS
Smart phones populated with webcams become an important traffic generator with the help of 2D barcodes (QR-codes) technology.
- Retailers can publish QR-code signs at department store entrances.
- Customers entering the store can join your loyalty program and enjoy an immediate benefit in the form of a free gift, personal discount, flash sale or V.I.P. promotion.
- Retailer will enjoy an immediate post on the Facebook wall of the customer.
A detailed breakdown of the flow through the Sortal Mobile recruitment process is as follows:
- A visitor "clicks" on QR-code barcode with his smart phone.
- A mobile/cell phone optimized webpage with voucher description (benefit / discount / membership introduction) is displayed along with "Connect with Facebook" button.
- Clicking on the button will bring "Allow Access" Facebook page. (Facebook login screen is displayed just before in case the user is not yet logged-in in his mobile/cell phone).
- User is automatically registered with Sortal and with any additional 3rd party loyalty program management system required.
- The same voucher description webpage is displayed with phone number edit box and "Continue" button.
- When user clicks on "Continue" she receives SMS with voucher code or 2D barcode.
- A user can now enjoy his benefit when he approach the cashier at the store.
- Merchant can clear the benefit voucher code to prevent abuse by several methods:
- Dedicated web-based console connected to Sortal
- Integration between cash register 3rd party system and Sortal
- Two way SMS service
Integration connection points
Sortal includes API to extend its current functionality and integrate with the external loyalty management and other systems.
For example to link with existing data:
- Customers records
- Sales history
- Customer group names mapping
- Existing customer / member points
- Logic for automating promotion through club
Purchasable membership gift card
Using a third party extension it is possible to create a membership gift card product (one or more), which will contain credits which can be used to purchase products from the Sortal application. The card can be sent as a gift to a friend, which is another great way to expand the customer loyalty club.
Extending loyalty program with affiliating programs
- You can become an affiliate of products complementary to your vertical.
- You can easily publish your loyalty program through your affiliates, by adding application to their Facebook business pages.
Implementation techniques and ideas
Using Sortal as a complementary loyalty rewarding platform
- Use the Sortal API to register new loyal customers and move them between groups (upgrade their ranks)
- Sortal is more effective when used with complementary products - purchasable "by the way", because there is an especially good deal or when customer can influence the selling process. To differentiate your main channels (eCommerce website or department stores), use Sortal to publish your rewarding products only.
- Attach special sale types to to your rewarding products:
- Use "initiate group" to encourage the customer to bring their friends and join your loyalty program
- Use "price influence" on unpopular products you wish to sell off
- Use QR-code barcodes to more encourage retail (offline) visitors to join your loyalty program with attractive benefits and without the risk of abuse. This is also an effective way to sell membership cards when joining the program is not free.
Using Sortal as a primary loyalty management platform
Sortal can be turned into a loyalty program turn-key solution using the Magento Professional or Enterprise Editions, which includes loyalty points management modules or by adding a third party points and rewards extension to the Magento Community Edition.
- Your offline or online orders can reward your members with points, using Sortal external APIs.
- It is also an effective way to give your customer a way to analyze their purchase history.