Operating the nation's largest discount network is lots of fun. We get to work with cool brands, mom and pop joints, amusement parks, and other fun stuff. We help people save money on things they actually need to buy, which is even better.
For the end user, getting access to a discount program is a little like Christmas morning. It's fun to tear through the program and see all the places you love that are on it, plus inspiration that comes from knowing they can save on places they've never been before. Most Americans probably haven't considered picking up some Pakistani food before, but a mobile coupon for 30% off tends to open minds. (Personal recommendation: start with seekh kebabs.)
In the midst of all that excitement there's also usually a bit of a letdown when people don't see some of their favorite brands.
"Where's Walmart? Or Whole Foods? Or (insert popular brand name here)?"
Dude, Where's My Brand?
We hear from people frequently about these brands. We're constantly putting forth the effort to partner with those brands. Usage - or consumers redeeming our deals - is very important to our clients, so we try very hard to work with the brands they want.
All that being said, we've had some great success with huge brands, including a majority of the nation's top 50 retailers. Heck, we're the only third party offer sourcing provider many of them work with. We retained 98.9% of our merchants last year, so we know how to drive business to these brands and meet their needs.
So why don’t all merchants participate in the Access network?
Here's a little "inside baseball" from the world of discount programs.
Essentially, we see four primary reasons why some don’t:
1. Low margins: Retailers such as gas stations or Walmart® compete in the low-price retail space. They typically sell their products at very low profit margins. Consequently, they have little or no margins to offer additional discounts.
2. Exclusivity: Merchants like supermarkets use mostly manufacturer coupons, or they offer discounts exclusively through their own loyalty platform.
3. Branding: High-end or niche merchants like Rolex® have a philosophy that discounting is contrary to their reputation as a premium brand.
4. Demand: Many popular retail outlets can generate enough consumer demand without offering discounts.
One Way or Another, We'll Get 'Em
Of course, some of these popular brands simply don't do coupons. We work with quite a few of them on our card-linked offers platform, or as part of our experiential offers programs. (See here for a breakdown of how different discounting concepts can help reach different audiences.)
Our merchant team continues to reach out to invite popular merchants to our network. We never get tired of hearing from members with suggestions on brands to add. And we'll never give up on finding ways to partner with those brands.
Access is in the process of adding new APIs that will offer functionality to better track coupon redemptions. This will help us attract new merchants, including some popular national chain restaurants who have been asking for this specific capability.
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300,000 merchant locations and most of the top 50 US brands is great, but as long as people want more added to our network, we'll keep doing everything we can to secure those relationships.
(brand image courtesy of wackystuff)