How Mi Rewards uses Fidel to build citywide loyalty programmes and support local businesses
With Colin Munro, Managing Director at Miconex
Drive greater spend to local SMEs.
Mi Rewards has driven over £900,000 in local spend and on average has increased the number of transactions on their platform by over 31% quarterly.
- Loyalty and Rewards
- Transactions API
Miconex wanted to find a way to help support local businesses, while creating rewarding and seamless user experiences for shoppers.
With Fidel, Miconex launched Mi Rewards, a loyalty programme that rewards users for shopping locally and drives spend for small, local businesses. Originally launched in Perth, Scotland in 2018, Mi Rewards has now expanded across the UK to a total of eight cities.
A Question of Loyalty
How do you create loyalty programmes that support local businesses, while keeping customers coming back? Colin Munro, Managing Director at Miconex, wanted to find the answer.
Miconex runs local town and city-wide gift card programmes in the UK and Ireland. Their aim is to drive footfall into town and city centres, encourage the discovery of local businesses and stimulate additional economic activity.
“Defining loyalty is easy,” Colin explains. “It comes down to identifying the person at the point of sale in order to give them something extra - something to reward them for being loyal.” But finding a way to do that was less straightforward.
Colin wanted to stimulate an increase in spending for the many SMEs in Perth, Scotland via a customer reward-based solution that targeted smaller, localised shopping. However, it wasn’t an ambition without obstacles. Firstly, all the local businesses in Perth used different Point of Sale (POS) systems. Integrating with each of them individually would be expensive and complex and unconducive to increasing profits. Colin needed a solution that could easily integrate with a range of POS systems, without asking businesses to pay for, or maintain additional hardware.
Colin understood that the key to driving traffic towards local businesses, lay with shoppers. So he set out to find a way to create frictionless and simple user experiences that reward shoppers every time they spend. This meant finding a solution that didn’t involve physical loyalty cards or coupons which are easily forgotten and inconvenient, especially when it comes to smaller transactions.
The Solution | A Citywide Solution
Miconex leveraged Fidel’s Transactions API to build the city-wide loyalty programme Mi Rewards. Initially launched across Perth in 2018, the programme was specifically designed to drive additional footfall to Perth’s local businesses.
Local merchants could connect to Mi Rewards quickly and easily, through a single API – regardless of the POS system they used. It’s a simple integration that cuts cost, complexity and compliance headaches. An added benefit of Fidel’s API is the spending insight available to merchants, allowing them to be more strategic about the rewards they offer, further supporting increased income generation.
“Local businesses now have a better understanding of the types of people spending money in their stores, what they’re spending money on, and what the economic impact of that is,” Colin explains. “With spend data, they’re able to measure the impact of different approaches and create loyalty by offering more relevant and timely rewards.” Not to mention, there’s no need for staff training or additional software installations.
For users, enrolling in Mi Rewards is fast and easy. Users simply download the app, add their payment card of choice and start automatically earning rewards every time they shop. Users don’t need to identify themselves every time they spend to earn points and receive real-time notifications of rewards or points earned.
“Fidel have provided fantastic ongoing support for the project which has enabled us to quickly test this new smart city rewards programme. The data generated from this card-linked programme enables a new understanding of how consumers interact with cities!”
The Results | Continued Expansion and Scale
After launching in Perth, Scotland in 2018, there are now 80 local businesses and over 7% of the city’s adult population participating in the Mi Rewards programme. The success of the programme has enabled its expansion across the UK, with launches in seven additional cities (including Guildford, Stoke-on-Trent, Fleet, Barnsley and Enniskillen in 2020 alone). Over £900,000 has been spent through Mi Rewards to help support local businesses across the UK.
For Colin and the team, key highlights include a 138% increase in cards linked year on year and over 31% increase in the average number of transactions quarterly (September 2018- March 2021).
The challenging global retail environment in 2020 was a strong indicator of the importance of stimulating spend during recovery periods. As the economy continues to recover and return to “normal,” programmes like Mi Rewards can help re-energise city centres that were locked down in 2020’s pandemic.
Asked about the working relationship with Fidel’s team, Colin explained: “Fidel has provided fantastic ongoing support for the project which has enabled us to quickly test our smart town and city rewards programme. The data generated from this card-linked programme enables a new understanding of how consumers interact with towns and cities.”
“We have found a model that works”.