MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 22, 2012) - FiveStars, the largest customer loyalty program for local businesses, announced today it has expanded its service into the Chicago area. More than 100 Chicago-area businesses -- including popular Chicago hotspots such as Morgan's on Maxwell and Mezza Mediterranean Grill -- have joined FiveStars' unique loyalty network and are already reaping the benefits of increased customer retention, new customer referrals, and tracking and rewarding customer spending.
Most small businesses today are using paper punch or stamp cards, if they have a loyalty program at all. Chicago has seen an emergence of standalone iPad apps that are not integrated with point-of-sale systems, so they are little more than check-in programs similar to FourSquare, or smartphone apps that tend to see little usage.
FiveStars provides a modern alternative to these options: a customizable loyalty suite that's integrated with point-of-sale systems so merchants can reward customers based on actual spending. It also goes beyond most basic loyalty programs, by adding automated social media components that help merchants create buzz around their businesses by utilizing online brand evangelists. FiveStars can be set up in minutes and is proven to increase frequency of visits and customer spend per visit.
One of FiveStars' first Chicago-area customers is Mezza Mediterranean Grill, which upgraded from a smartphone-based loyalty app. The business leverages the FiveStars customer loyalty program for its entire family of restaurants including Coast Burger, Mezza Mediterranean Grill, and Habanero Baja Grill. Customers can earn points that accumulate across this family of restaurants, and rewards can be redeemed at the restaurant of the customers' choosing.
Within one month of joining the program, Mezza has more than 1,400 customers signed up -- traction they never gained with longer use of the smartphone app. "We are very excited to introduce the FiveStars customer loyalty program to all of our customers across our nine locations," said Sammer Joudeh, owner of Mezza Mediterranean Grill. "FiveStars has made it so simple for us to sign up customers and track spending. It also gives us powerful analytic tools to help us better understand our customer base and provide great rewards to keep them coming back. We now know who VIP customers are, as well as which customers haven't visited us recently, so we can entice them with offers to return. With FiveStars we are now tapped into text and email marketing promotions as well as social media. It's a huge step forward for us in terms of customer promotion, engagement, and retention."
How it Works
FiveStars is an incredibly simple customer engagement solution that takes care of everything for the retailer, from providing a simple sign-up process for customers through to automated social media integration and a targeted marketing suite. Each Chicago business structures a unique reward program to offer, and the consumers are able to use their one universal FiveStars card, or simply their phone number, to earn and track rewards -- including free or discounted meals and services.
"Chicago is such a great city for restaurants and shopping, and we are thrilled to add so many new merchants from the Windy City to our loyalty program," said Victor Ho, CEO of FiveStars. "FiveStars is about helping local businesses create a better shopping experience with their customers through more personal communications and rewards that keep them coming back for more. We offer merchants a very fast, simple way to set up a customer engagement program to track customer spending, and give consumers just one card they can use at all of their favorite shops and eateries. It's been a win across the board for customers and merchants and we're excited for Chicago-area businesses and consumers to reap these rewards."
To see a list of participating Chicago area businesses click here: www.fivestarscard.com/locations.
FiveStars is the largest customer loyalty program for local businesses, enabling customers to use just one loyalty card everywhere they go and still earn store-specific rewards. FiveStars helps local businesses build digital connections with their real-world customers, resulting in more engagement and ultimately more business. It's the only universal program that's integrated with merchants' Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, enabling them to easily sign up new members and track spending, yet still only takes about 10 minutes to get up and running. FiveStars is based in Palo Alto, CA and has raised $16 million in funding to date. Visit www.FiveStarsCard.com.