Story of Nlocation
Story of Nlocation
I had a family member begin a small business in here town a while back and she came to me about using technology within her store for marketing and other purposes. Since I was the resident tech guy in the family (and she knew she wouldn't have to pay me for consulting) she came to me.
She wanted some kind of loyalty program as well as develop some type of customer marketing list and anything else she could leverage to reach out to her customers and help grow her business. I didn't know much about what tools might be available for small local businesses, but I started my search for what might fit the bill.
Mobile is a big deal so I immediately found many apps that provide loyalty programs for small businesses. I thought I had hit on something. After further research it became clear that people love apps like Facebook, Instagram, games, etc., but people simply don't download apps for small businesses. App download and retention stats for anything other than games and social media are horrendous. A loyalty app was out of the question as it just wouldn't be effective, plus they were a little pricey.
I next starting looking at ways to communicate with customers. Email, of course, comes to mind first. I went to the usual suspects for such things like mailchimp, constant contact, etc. Pricing was fair so that wasn't a problem. I then began researching effectiveness. What I found was disappointing. Commercial email has about a 25% open rate. 25%?!? That's horrible! Not getting your message to 75% of your customer base is unacceptable. We had to find something more effective. That something is text messaging. It's true that texting isn't effectively free like email, however it has a 98% open rate. That's more like it.
I then thought about a birthday club like I'd seen in a handful of chain stores. After searching for an affordable and automated way to manage a birthday club that is small business friendly I came up empty handed. Why doesn't anyone provide this service? It's such a no brainer.
I then found some comprehensive tools like fivestars, tapmango, belly, and a couple others. These pretty much did what I was looking to accomplish. They had loyalty programs, text message marketing, and birthday club built into the system. This was pretty perfect until I saw the pricing. WHAT!!!! You've got to be kidding me! Hundreds of dollars per month? There is no possible way a small local business can achieve a positive return on investment using any of these systems. Don't believe me? Email me and I'll send you the ROI spreadsheet I created to prove it (scott AT nlocation.com).
After seeing what was available in the market, and not finding an acceptable solution, we decided to create Nlocation. Our system would be modular that would allow you to pick and choose the programs to offer. It would be simple and automated so once it was configured you were done. It would use only technology that people already possess and are familiar so no app downloads required. It would only offer effective means of communication to customers. Finally, it would be priced in a way that ANY small local business could afford it and experience a positive return on investment. Positive ROI would be achieved regardless of how much or little of the system was employed.
So there you go. My sister's need created Nlocation, and over time we've added some very innovated features such as our automated Customer Attrition Reduction system (aCARs) as well as the extraordinarily effective Sweepstakes Program. If you have a local business you really should take a look at Nlocation. It will, without a doubt, drive incremental revenue to your business and promote customer goodwill.