Most of us enjoy taking advantage of promotions offered by retailers but we find ourselves with a baffling problem; signing up on even half of the loyalty programs out there will make you hate plastic cards more than you thought possible.
There’s simply too many of them.
Lithuanian Lwallet got fed up with this and came up with a solution that would not only make the regular folks life easier but also create a new kind of relationship between the customers and their chosen retailers.
Before I get on that though, I need to clarify what Lwallet is all about. They provide a free application that gets rid of all your loyalty cards and puts them into one place, a cloud service from which you can access them on any given time. Sounds pretty familiar though, didn’t I write less than a week ago about an Estonian startup that does exactly the same? Well, unlike Svipe, who has specialized more into the aspect of efficient mobile payment solutions, Lwallet is all about marketing, but to my surprise, they have a left quite a bit of human touch into their product.
By this I mean that the app simply gives good vibes. The interface looks good, but more importantly, the app doesn’t constantly smash tons of noisy, unfiltered and completely uninteresting advertisement in your face. Perhaps the major reason the app differs from its competitors is that you can choose the loyalty programs for yourself, instead of automatically committing yourself to all of the cards included in the database. This respect for privacy turns the app into something the user has a personal commitment with, and this isn’t just me talking, it’s a statistical fact. Andrius Kalasinskas, one of the co-founders at Lwallet, told me in an interview with a subtle hint satisfaction that a majority of their current 10,000 users use the application on a regular basis.
After their November launch, Lwallet reached over 2,000 users within a few days. Kalasinskas told me their popularity is largely thanks to their successful marketing, which got huge national interest from Lithuanian media, including press releases, articles and comments from the CEO of a major pharmacy chain, who happens to be one the retailers included in Lwallet’s loyalty programs. So far, they have closed deals with 4 big retailers in the country, with many more to come. Their app has brought in tons of positive feedback, which gives the impression that Lwallet has won their users trust, something even money cannot always buy. Thumbs up!
The idea of a new customer-retailer relationships comes from the personalized use of the application. The customers can be very selective of the loyalty programs they want included, which in turn provides the chosen retailers with very valuable, individual customer preference data. This facilitates targeted advertising and with a new flow of acquired customers. Additionally, retailers may also be more willing to integrate new loyalty programs on top of their existing ones, hand crafted for the app users. You could think of Lwallet as some sort of a chatroom between you and the shops with your favorite stuff. Your actions will have an impact on your favorite retailer, which seems to be a rare commodity these days.
What also makes Lwallet pretty neat, is that it doesn't require much commitment from the retailers either, meaning no hardware, no NFC tehcnology and no inter-platform software synchronization . Retailers can register themselves into the Lwallet database and voilà! No fuss and no hassle. Plain and simple.
Another cool feature the possibility of keeping track of your receipts, as the app contains all purchase data, which could be used for warrants in non-fiscal countries like Finland. It also keeps track of your collected loyalty points, so you can see when you’ll be eligible for a super discount, not to mention you can share your loyalty cards with your family!
Kalasinskas says their future plans are ambitious. They’re working hard to include 30-40 new retailers on top of their existing ones. Users are introduced to the product by other users but also the existing retailers marketing channels as well.
The hype around the company has taken them to discussions with investors and VC’s, all while their current contracts bring in their first solid incomes. We may very well see Lwallet expanding across the Baltic, Nordics and Russia if they keep up the pace.
I for one, have plenty of loyalty cards I need to get rid of, and I kind of wish I had Lwallet in Finland. Hint hint.