Creating Incentives that Sell


When you choose Vicinity to power your small business loyalty and CRM platform, we keep it as hassle-free as possible. No how-to guides that resemble Ikea assembly instructions, or painful hour-long webinars (do people even watch webinars anymore?). You work with an account manager to sign up and get your online profile ready, tech support is on hand to install the point-of-sale software, and we even give you Vicinity marketing materials you can display to encourage customer signups.

As a Vicinity merchant, your biggest responsibility is figuring out the reward levels you want to offer to your customers. The main thing to remember is you shouldn’t just give out rewards for the sake of having a reward; they also need to tie into your business goals. For example if you’re a certain all-night diner, maybe you have a “mayor’s special” to get the high-profile customers back in the door (sorry, we couldn’t resist).

So what makes a great reward? Well they need to be versatile. Different customers will be motivated by different rewards, so think about rewarding them with your popular items, or give them credits to redeem on any purchase. At restaurant Kalendar, for example, 10 points can be redeemed for any entree on the menu.

Rewards also need to be relatively easy to earn, so don’t make them buy 50 hamburgers to get one free. Points should be easily accessible, so your customers don’t have to jump through hoops to get them, but they’re still contributing to your bottom line. Take Dark Horse Espresso for example. For every dollar you spend, you get 1 Vicinity point. 30 points gets you $3 off, or rather, 10% of the investment that the customer has put into your business. Think of it as a reward for their loyalty, as opposed to just a general coupon or discount.

To spark your inspiration, here are some Vicinity merchants that offer great rewards:

Nanak Car Wash

Nanak is a local car wash in Etobicoke and Brampton. It rewards its over 6,000 rewards members with this offer: after 5 visits, earn 1 free basic wash. Their rewards strategy seems to be working like a charm: with 221 redemptions and counting, that equals 1,105 car wash sales.


Pavillion cafe offers different levels of points for different products. Customers can earn 1 point per coffee and 3 points per crepe. Those points are redeemable for those same menu items: 7 points grabs you a free coffee, but at 21 points, Pavilion Cafe will reward you with a free crepe. With over 419 redemptions, it’s clear Pavilion’s customer base loves their java.

It’z a Wrap

It’z a Wrap offers 1 point per wrap, salad, burrito, or sandwich purchase. 10 points can be redeemed for a free product. The sassy wrap restaurant has 700 active users, and so far 216 people have redeemed items (we’d go for the burrito – after all, you don’t make friends with salad).

Tans Unlimited

This Vicinity merchant is targeting the pasty Canadians who are heading south this winter. Vicinity merchant offers 1 point for every session in a tanning bed, and once a member earns 5 points they get a free sample packet of lotion. If they keep their rewards points and continue to earn them, 10 Vicinity points gets you a free tanning session! To date, there has been 231 redemptions from loyal tanners. That’s a lot of sunburns.

Not every reward strategy is right for your business, which is why our account team is on hand to assist you. The most important thing to remember is that rewards are not an afterthought – set up a great system when you get started with Vicinity and then spread the love. We promise to help – follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook and we’ll shout your rewards from our social media channels!

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