Why Not Walmart? Merchants Not on Access (Yet)

At the beginning of each month, Access sends an update to our client groups featuring updates on merchants alongside best practices on how to maximize the effectiveness of their programs. February's addressed a topic we encounter often, so we felt it worthy to publish here on the blog.

Having recently surpassed 300,000 locations in our discount network, we at Access know the importance of understanding merchants from their point of view. It’s something we call “getting behind the counter.”

Because we go to such lengths to support and promote our merchant partners, many of the world’s top brands trust Access to help them attract new customers and improve their bottom line. In 2012, for example, 60% of the nation’s top 50 retailers offered a discount through the Access network. And of the top 50 casual/quick-serve restaurants in America, Access offers 93% of those brands.

So why doesn’t EVERY retailer offer a discount on the Access network?

Typically, it boils down to these business-driven reasons:

• Some merchants are positioned in the low-price retail space. They sell large quantities of products at very low profit margins, which prevents them from offering a percentage-off discount (like Walmart® or gas stations). Others may only offer discounts through manufacturer’s supplied coupons (like supermarkets).

• Some merchants don’t discount because their products are so popular (like iTunes®).

• Some national franchises require their franchisees to create and manage their own discount offers. In these cases, Access cannot obtain a nationwide discount, but instead we must negotiate local & regional discounts (like McDonalds® and Subway®).

• Some high-end merchants believe discounting their product is contrary to their reputation as a premium brand (like Tiffany and Co.®).

Although some merchants may not be working with Access today, we maintain open relationships with most popular national retailers. Our merchant team will continue reaching out to these brands to include them when the circumstances are right. We also actively encourage our members to tell us the merchants they want on their discount programs.

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Topics: partnership marketing, Merchant Discount Network, Discount Programs, Member Benefits, Access Development, merchants, walmart, customer loyalty

Written by: Andrew Graft

VP of Corporate Marketing for Access Development / Access Perks. Professional marketer. Amateur guitarist. HR husband. Weapons-grade consumer of diet Coke.

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