The Bonus Club is a win-win tool for ALSO and its resellers
Printing something at your home workplace can be a hassle if your cartridges have run out or you don’t have a printer at all. COVID-19 has made the importance of a well-functioning office painfully clear. Technological distribution company ALSO is one of the driving forces working to further professionalise the working from home of end customers with an extensive product portfolio from its vendors.
I spoke with Brigitte van den Boogaard about the following question: how do resellers choose from all the IT brands that the company represents? The Bonus Club offers the solution. This loyalty programme means ALSO can guide and direct its customers to what the market needs or to the latest products. The reseller receives attractive prices and great extras. This programme started in the Netherlands but has since been rolled out in 17 ALSO countries.
Brigitte van den Boogaard is a director at ALSO and is responsible for the E-commerce & Marketing Team in the Benelux. She is also part of the marketing team in France and currently also in Spain, where ALSO will start offering software via the ALSO Cloud Marketplace in March. I spoke with Brigitte about the international roll-out of the ALSO Bonus Club, the loyalty programme that Sparco initially set up for the Dutch market under the name ALSO Favourites.
ALSO is an IT technology provider with an international scope. The product portfolio is divided based on the 3-S business model: Supply, Solutions and As-a-Service. Supply represents the traditional sale of hardware to IT companies and retail. Solutions covers everything in the ‘new world’, such as IoT, streaming and gaming. As-a-Service includes the software ALSO sells to IT companies through the ALSO Marketplace. This could mean Microsoft products or products aimed at security or archiving.
“The other ALSO countries chose the Dutch loyalty programme because of its user-friendliness.”
Uniformity in loyalty
For ALSO, the primary importance of a loyalty programme is to provide added value to their customers as a token of appreciation for doing business with ALSO. For this reason, ALSO Netherlands has been using Sparco’s loyalty programme for some time under the name ALSO Favourites. The other countries where ALSO is active recently chose to adopt this programme because of its user-friendliness. A rebranding and renaming took place simultaneously with this international roll-out to ensure uniformity in all ALSO countries.
Some things have been adjusted in the new ALSO Bonus Club. ALSO Favourites was mainly focused on achieving a final target for which you could earn bonus points on all products, whereas the Bonus Club is more campaign-oriented so that you can specifically boost certain product groups. These can be items that have been in the warehouse for some time. Or new brands that you can introduce in this way.
Thanks to the Bonus Club’s campaign design, you can use more specific marketing budgets that suppliers reserve for loyalty. We have seen this approach at Rensa. It allows you to measure how much revenue you generate when you activate the programme in comparison to the non-boosted revenue from the Bonus Club.
“A loyalty programme is a good way of communicating with customers.”
Structure in product purchase
Because the points system is transparent and can be easily found on the webshop, you ensure structure in the purchase of products. When a customer logs in to the webshop, he or she immediately sees the products that can earn points and how many to earn extra points. ALSO’s customers find this useful and they adjust their behaviour accordingly. A loyalty programme is, therefore, also a good way of communicating with customers.
“The campaign-based approach ensures greater effectiveness internationally.”
Although there is uniformity in the loyalty approach and the programme works the same way for all countries, the marketing campaigns are mostly organised nationally. However, some campaigns are set up internationally, which differs from the ALSO Favourites programme. These international campaigns are more suited to ALSO since its transformation into a European-oriented organisation 1.5 years ago. The number of European contacts within the brand portfolio has increased, which gives ALSO more influence when campaigns run across several countries at the same time.
From ownership to use
ALSO also wants to use the Bonus Club for the Solutions and As-a-Service components in the future. According to Brigitte, the reason for this is the change that is now visible in the market: from ownership to paying for use. She mentioned leasing a car or renting a car for a day as an example. This transformation is now also taking place in IT. ALSO sees its business shifting to this new way of using IT. After all, you can also lease printers and cartridges. In fact, you can lease your entire home workplace as a total package, including a laptop, monitor and printer. The innovation speed is high, and leasing means you always have the most modern IT tools at your disposal. A good reason to investigate how to adapt a loyalty programme to this change in the market.
Besides setting up the new Bonus Club, we also carried out separate promotions with ALSO. Last October, ALSO Benelux employees were given access to a gift shop as a token of appreciation in these crazy times. In January, there was a similar promotion for their Belgian partners, who were allowed to choose a New Year’s gift. They were given access to the programme through a voucher code with a URL, and they could choose from specially selected products. We have set up a programme for this that can be recycled for future promotions.
Partnership with Sparco
“Because we can highlight our suppliers and certain products through campaigns, the Bonus Club serves as additional marketing support. The loyalty programme helps to direct the purchasing behaviour of the resellers. We like that the tool is scalable and user-friendly; it doesn’t cost us any effort. We can set up the B2B tool completely independently. And when it’s time to hand out rewards, Sparco will take care of it. These processes are fully automated. As a result, Sparco unburdens us as we unburden our customers. A good partnership.”Brigitte van den Boogaard