This article deals with the RICS Enterprise Frequent Buyer Program and the various options and configurations that can be enabled for Frequent Buyer.
Manage Frequent Buyer Options
The following options are available on the Manage Frequent Buyer screen. They are grouped into two basic categories: those that affect the accumulation towards rewards, and those that affect when and how the rewards may be redeemed. There are also some general settings that are not closely related to accumulating or redeeming rewards.
Note that Frequent Buyer Plans will only be saved at the level where the customers are stored within the organization (usually the Store Owner level). While plans can be edited at any level where the customers are stored or below, they will always be saved at the Customer Save At Level. For this reason, RICS Software recommends managing all Frequent Buyer Plans at the level where customers are stored.
Accumulate Rewards: This option determines whether the plan is currently ‘active.’ If it is turned on, rewards will accumulate as normal. If not, customers will not accumulate or be granted any new rewards on this plan. However, any existing rewards may still be used. This option is generally used when a store is phasing out a plan (though RICS recommends using a Graduation Plan instead; see below).
Minimum Price: This is the minimum price a product must cost (after all discounts and coupons have been applied), in order for it to count towards accumulation. This is often used with the quantity-based plans, such as Method 1 and Method 4.
Accumulating Classes: These are the classes that will count towards Frequent Buyer accumulations. The user can select any or all of the classes from the tree view. If no classes are selected, the POS will assume that all classes are to be included (this is the default for a new plan).
Maximum Markdown Percent: This setting determines the maximum allowable discount on a product that will still count towards Frequent Buyer. The POS will take the difference between the retail price of the item and the item’s final price (including all discounts, but not coupons), and divide it by the retail price of the item. If the percentage is more than the Maximum Markdown Percent, the item will not be counted as accumulating. For example, suppose an item costs $100 retail, and is selling for $60 on markdown. If the Maximum Markdown Percent were set to 50%, the item would still accumulate (since the item is currently 40% off, which is less than the maximum of 50%). If the user at the POS applied another 20% discount to the item (making the final price $48), it would not accumulate.
A Maximum Markdown Percent of 100 means that all items will accumulate regardless of price, and a value of zero means that any discount or markdown will cause an item to be disqualified from accumulation.
Break Point: This option determines how many items must be purchased (for plans using Methods 1 or 4) or how many dollars must be spent (for plans using Methods 2 or 5) in order to be eligible for a reward. Note that the customer is eligible for a reward when he or she meets the breakpoint. In order to actually claim the reward, the breakpoint must be passed.
For Method 3 plans (which grant a reward on every qualifying ticket), Break Point instead is used to trigger a Graduation onto another plan (see Graduation Plan, below). In this case, for Method 3 plans, a Break Point of zero indicates that the plan will never graduate.
Discount Percent, Discount Amount, or Discount % of Average Purchase: This field stores the value of the reward. For Method 1 plans, this is the percent of the average purchase price that the reward is worth. For Method 2, it is the dollar value of the reward. For Method 3, it represents the percent that will be taken off all items on the ticket. Finally, for Methods 4 and 5, it is the percent that will be taken off the highest-priced item on the ticket when the reward is claimed.
Maximum Discount % or Maximum Discount Amount: This option will set a maximum discount beyond which the reward will not be applied.
For a percent-off plan, this option will represent the dollar value of the reward. For example, if a plan were set to grant a 50% reward with a Maximum Discount Amount of $60, then an item worth $100 would get a $50 reward, while an item worth $200 would only get a $60 reward.
For a dollar-off plan, this option will represent the percent off the highest-priced item that the reward is worth. For example, if the plan were set to grant a $20 reward with a Maximum Discount % of 50%, then an item worth $50 would get a $20 reward, while an item worth $15 would only get a reward of $7.50.
Any excess rewards may be carried over to future tickets, as described below.
Retain Partial Rewards: This option controls whether any excess reward value that cannot be applied to the current ticket will be saved to apply to future tickets. This option is only available for Methods 1 and 2. Partially-used percent-off rewards cannot be saved.
There may be excess reward value if the ticket on which the reward is claimed is affected by the Maximum Discount % option, or if the value of the item on which the reward is claimed is less than the value of the reward itself.
Discount Full Price Only: If this option is selected, only items selling at their full retail price will be eligible to claim a reward. Any items on Markdown or with a Discount applied at the POS will not cause the POS to prompt for using a reward.
Redeem Classes (Accumulating Only): If this option is selected, then rewards may only be used on items that are in one of the Accumulating Classes specified for the plan, as described above. If the option is turned off, then any product, regardless of class, may be a valid target for a reward.
Rewards Expire After X days: This option allows the store owner to set rewards to expire after a certain number of days. After that point, the rewards will no longer show up on the customer’s receipt, and the store may decline to offer the reward to a customer.
Note that the expiration date is stored on the individual rewards, rather than the plan. This means that if the expiration days on the plan are changed, any existing rewards will continue to use the same expiration date they had when they were created.
This option is not available on plans using Method 1 or 3.
Expiration Grace Period: If this option is set, expired rewards will not be deleted for the given number of days after they expire. This allows the store to be flexible and allow a user to claim a reward even after it is expired. Note that expired rewards will still be deleted from the system once the grace period has elapsed; after that point they may no longer be selected on the POS.
Note that the Grace Period is stored on the Frequent Buyer Plan, not on the rewards themselves. This means that if the Grace Period on the plan is changed, it will immediately affect all expired rewards outstanding for the plan.
This option is not available on plans using Method 1 or 3.
Ticket Redemption: This option controls when a reward may be redeemed. There are two options: Current Ticket and Next Ticket.
If Current Ticket is selected, then a reward may be used on the same ticket on which it was earned (provided there is another item beyond the plan breakpoint on which the reward might be claimed).
If Next Ticket is selected, then the user will be notified that the reward is available, but it may not be claimed until the customer’s next ticket.
This option is not available on Method 3 plans (since the reward will always be applied). On Method 1 plans, the only option is Current Ticket.
Set as Default Plan: This option makes the current plan the default plan, which will be applied to all new customers. If a user loads a customer on the Manage Customer screen, and the customer is not already on a Frequent Buyer Plan, the default plan will be automatically selected. See also the “Auto-Enroll customers in FBP” option, below.
Graduation Plan: This option tells RICS what to do with the customer once the customer has earned a reward. The default option is “Same,” which will restart the customer on the same plan as before (carrying over any excess accumulations from the previous iteration of the plan).
If “None” is selected, then the customer will be removed from Frequent Buyer once the reward is earned.
The user can also choose any other Frequent Buyer Plan in the system to be the Graduation Plan. If another plan is used, the customer will immediately begin accumulating towards a reward on the new plan.
For consistency, RICS recommends that graduation plans use the same calculation type as the original plan, but this is not required.
Points Factor: This option can be used to print “points” on the customer receipt rather than a dollar value. The customer’s accumulation will continue to be measured in terms of dollars. However, the dollar value of the accumulation will be divided by the Points Factor before being displayed to the customer. The Points Factor must be a positive number greater than zero, but it may be a decimal. The same calculation will be applied to the Break Point in order to display how many Points the customer must earn in order to get a reward.
For example, if the customer has an accumulation of $54.32, and the Points Factor is set to 5, then the customer would have 10 points. If the Points Factor were instead set to 0.2, then the customer would have 271 points.
This option is only available on plans using Method 2 or 5.
Show Total Accumulations: If this option is checked, the customer’s current accumulation will be displayed on the POS receipt. Plans using Method 1, 2, or 5 will show the total dollars accumulated, and plans using Methods 1 or 4 will show the total quantity accumulated.
Show Estimated Discount: This option will display the estimated reward on the POS receipt. If the customer has outstanding rewards, the value of those rewards will be printed. Also, if a customer’s reward will expire, the expiration date of the reward will be printed (if multiple rewards will expire, the earliest expiration date will be shown).
If the customer does not have any outstanding rewards, the POS receipt will show the reward value based on the plan reward amount. However, if the customer is on a Method 1 plan, an “Estimated Reward” will be shown instead. This is the average purchase price of the items accumulated divided by the quantity purchased. Because Method 1 plans are based on the average price at the time the reward is used, this estimate might change before the customer uses the reward.
Show Remaining Purchases Needed: This option will print the customer’s remaining purchases to go (if using Methods 1 or 4), or dollars/points to go (if using Methods 2 or 5) in order to be eligible for a reward. If the customer has already met the plan Break Point, the receipt will instead show “Reward Achieved!”