FAQ

What is Akela™?

Akela is a cardless loyalty rewards platform that gives small and medium-sized merchants a simple way to grow customer loyalty and sales. A simple and fun smartphone-based app that replaces stamp cards, Akela is quick to set up, and easy to use.

Is Akela a daily coupon service like Groupon or Dealfind?

Not at all. Daily deal programs increase traffic to your business by requiring you to dramatically reduce your price. If most of this traffic only buys one time, you will lose profit and you could lose money. Akela, on the other hand, helps merchants reward customers, so they come back again and again to make more and bigger purchases.

If you already use daily deal coupons, we can help you retain as many of your new customers as possible. If you don’t, we can still help you retain and build profitable relationships with the customers you have now.

What are the benefits for my customers?

Your customers get rewarded for their repeat business. Akela makes them feel good about buying your products and services, and it gives them something back for doing so – a special offer, a discount, or a thank you.

Customers also get a fresh alternative to those bulky loyalty program cards they carry in their wallet. With Akela, your business’ loyalty “card” is an app on your customers’ smartphones. They can earn, redeem, and give away rewards as gifts right from their phones. They will thank you for it!

The Akela platform helps you do all of this by providing a loyalty program that is easy to sign up for. All your customers have to do is download an app and they will have your loyalty program on their smartphones.

How does Akela increase my sales and profit?

The loyalty experts tell us an effective loyalty program will help you to keep your customers, encourage them to shop more often, and buy more each visit. Loyalty programs help because you create intimacy with your customers by getting to know them and by rewarding them for being your customers.

Akela helps you track important information about who your customers are and what they buy, which allows you to tailor your marketing to them. The more your customers feel appreciated and rewarded, the more you are rewarded with their business — this is called the “loyalty effect.”

What if I already have a loyalty program?

Great! Tell us more about your loyalty program. What kind of program is it? Does it do everything you want it to?

We know Akela will meet the needs other programs can’t. With Akela, you can target customers, send them offers via email, and keep them updated about your products and services. Our loyalty platform will bring new customers to you, too — members of the Akela community will be introduced to your location through a member directory and scrolling ads when they use their Akela app. Does your loyalty program do all of that?

When you decide to make the change, it is easy to transfer your existing members to the Akela program — and we do that for you for free.

How is Akela better than paper stamp cards?

Paper stamp cards are old fashioned! They get lost and forgotten at home. But the biggest downside of a stamp card loyalty program is that it doesn’t give you any intimate connection with your customers — you don’t know their names, you can’t email them, and you can’t tailor and send offers encouraging them back to your location. You can do all of these things with the Akela cardless loyalty program — a simple and elegant smartphone-based app that’s always accessible.

What if my customers don’t have Smartphones?

No problem! If your customers don’t have a smartphone, they can sign up through our website. Once signed up, customers can access their personal Akela accounts from the web (in order to view/update their profiles, check their rewards, buy virtual gift cards, etc.). Customers can also download their personal membership barcode or QR code as a digital image (which can be displayed on a camera phone as screen wallpaper or printed directly to paper).

How will Akela help me get the word out about my loyalty program?

Three ways. Every time a member opens the Akela app, they will see your company’s name. If they aren’t members of your loyalty program yet, they will see your company name in the list of Akela merchants, and that may get them interested in joining your program. We also give you a Marketing Toolkit to help you advertise your loyalty program in-store and online — with brochures and posters as well as logos for your website. Great ways to keep your business top of mind, don’t you think?

Is my data in Akela secure?

Yes. Your data is well protected with all the necessary security protocols and our technical team is ready to discuss and address any specific concerns that you might have.

Will we have to change our POS system?

Not at all. Akela doesn’t change your POS system and it works with any POS system. There is an easy-to-use Akela window your clerks use to register a points transaction.

Will Akela slow down the checkout line?

We knew you might be concerned about that. Recording a rewards transaction with Akela is as simple as taking a payment from your customer. It will add no more than 7 seconds to the transaction. The reward you reap is a long-term, one-to-one relationship with each of your customers.

Do I need to discount my products and services?

You have complete flexibility over how you want to structure the rewards in your loyalty program. Keep in mind that loyalty program research shows that effective rewards programs increase both your revenue and your profits. One statistic says that if you link your daily sales with loyalty, you will increase your sales by 7%. How does that sound to you?

How long does it take to implement Akela?

Very little time! It will take you less than an hour to set up the administration of your site, add users, and create your loyalty program structure. It will take less than 30 minutes to train your staff, and we do that for you. We’re happy to train your staff outside of peak hours, so training won’t interfere with business.

Is Akela easy to use?

For sure. Each Akela rewards transaction is recorded with a scan of your member’s smartphone at the cash register and a few taps on the Akela window on your POS system.

What kind of support or training does Akela provide?

We help you set up your loyalty program, upload your existing database, and train your staff. All you need to do is ask.

Do I need Internet access at my store to run Akela?

Yes!

© 2016 Akela Inc.