And just like that, 2019 came and went - yet another prosperous year in the books. And we couldn't have done it without our incredible team of employees here at Access, as well as our awesome merchant partners and clients. We are beyond grateful for the many wonderful relationships we've made this year, fresh opportunities and new growth.
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the Christmas decorations are up and the New Year is just around the river bend (as Pocahontas would say), we can't help but reflect on this past year and all its happenings.
It was a busy year to say the least. In addition to celebrating 35 years in business with a much needed refreshing of the Access brand (complete with a new logo, new colors, new website, and more), there were also plenty of cheerful product updates, money-saving endeavors and client success efforts to be shared.
We work year after year to continuously develop new and better product updates to bring a superior user experience to our clients' members. And this year was no different.
Access executed some exciting new updates to our web platform over the last year with the goal to improve the overall savings experience of our users. For example, we now have increased flexibility to research and test new features to better meet users' needs. Plus, there were some fundamental changes made to the overall architecture of our website. After all, when members find it easy and convenient to use the savings site, the more it helps drive their engagement and loyalty.
Travel & Activities Portal
We launched a huge upgrade to our Travel and Activities portal, as it now includes a massive selection of fun and memorable things to do at popular destinations worldwide. Through our platform, members can purchase tickets to popular theme parks, Broadway shows, museums, special events, zoos, dining cruises and more. Our Travel and Activities content can also now be accessed in four new languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin) and French.
Car rentals is also one of our most popular discount categories, so naturally we wanted to make this experience on our travel platform an even better one. This year we added more car rental brands and better discounts to choose from, as well as side-by-side comparison of features and pricing among major brands.
And if that's not enough, our Travel and Activities portal now offers a large number of hotels that allow reservation cancellation at no extra fee. Plus, we've introduced the ability to book flights in our platform so that your members never have to leave your site for their vacation planning.
But Wait, There's More!
Our white-labeling functionality got a hefty upgrade, as our client organizations are no longer restricted to a limited color palette but can now use their brand's specific primary color. We also focused on creating a better user experience by making the registration and sign in process easier and more intuitive, improving smart searching that provides users more discounts based on their location and interests, simplifying browsing and booking for our almost half a million hotel and resort properties worldwide, easier redemption that requires fewer clicks to redeem an offer, and some new mobile enhancements.
More Access Deals Give All the Feels
Saving people money is what we do 24/7/365. And in 2019 we brought people more opportunities to save than ever before!
Disney Deals Never Get Old
It was a great year for Disney lovers who are also users of our savings network. They got to enjoy our magical Disney discount during the 2019 grand opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge attraction. In addition, we started offering a new online ticket-buying interface and a seamless at-the-gate redemption experience.
Our current Disney offers include:
- Walt Disney World® Tickets - Save up to $60 off the gate price
- Disneyland® Resort - Save up to $25 off the gate price
The Savings Are in the Numbers
In 2019, Access had almost 35,000 unique merchant relationships and over 58,000 local, "mom & pop" locations. Thanks to our wonderful merchant partnerships, the Access savings network was able to offer deeper savings of half-off or bogo (buy one, get one) offers at over 55,000 locations. And the average discount on our network for all offers was 34%.
12 Days of Holiday Savings
For the first time ever, we launched a special holiday email campaign to help our client organizations drive ongoing usage and engagement. From December 1st through the 12th, members of client groups who've opted in to the campaign receive a unique, deeper-than-usual discount to top merchants like Express, Buca di Beppo and Apple. When users redeem these special offers they're automatically entered to win one of many memorable prizes, including a trip for two to visit a Universal Studios theme park.
Helping Our Clients Succeed
We're constantly looking for ways to help our clients be more successful at achieving their goals. Here are a couple of noteworthy ways we did this over the last year.
Access Perks Power
We've had a great year helping companies everywhere save their employees money using our Access Perks employee discount program. In a record-low unemployment market, employee satisfaction and retention can be an ongoing challenge. By encouraging employees to use Access for their everyday purchases, they keep more money in their pocket. It's like raising their take-home pay without actually incurring higher salary costs.
Speaking of employees, Access works really hard to make sure ours are happy and healthy. Our efforts were lucky enough to be recognized in 2019:
- Salt Lake Tribune's Top Workplaces (#8 for Midsize Businesses)
- Utah Worksite Wellness Platinum Award
- Utah Business Magazine's Best Companies to Work For
- Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation
- National Best & Brightest in Wellness
Marketing Resources for Access Clients
Our product marketing and client success teams have been working tirelessly this past year to create valuable support materials to help our clients be more successful. They've produced multiple playbooks that provide key creative assets, examples of what to expect with the program, pre- and post-registration emails, guidance for onboarding and launching of new programs, mapping out of first year journey with the program, travel materials, messaging and more.
As all of these resources are built and provided to aid clients in the effectiveness of their program, one area the client success team focused on this year was onboarding. They made a goal to cut the 28 day average from contract signed to program launch in half - and guess what? They did it! In 2019, after taking a hard look at the current onboarding processes in place and tightening up the system, the average program launch was shortened to just 14 days.
Exciting Stuff Coming In 2020
As time forges ahead, so does Access. As a company, we are looking forward to focusing on some valuable updates to our mobile app that will make saving money easier than ever. And we will of course continue to bring more local deals to more local people everywhere.
Once again, we'd like to extend a gracious thank you to everyone who plays such an important part in our success. So to all of our employees, clients, merchant partners, members... cheers to you!
Best Wishes this Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!