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Verdant Tea Launches a Loyalty Points Reward Program

36 Replies
Zeks said

By the way, is it possible to sign through g+? I hate facebook and would prefer avoiding to use it.

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inguna said

David, I don’t think this works because it’s too complicated (if I have to spend more than just a few seconds to understand how that works I’m out), I must have a FB account (which some people don’t preferring google + and twitter), potential to abuse etc.
Yes, you absolutely need a loyalty program and this is a step in the right direction but it’s not good enough. I hope you can review this after a while and make some improvements/changes.

Babble said

I have to agree. I think it’s skewed too much toward social media. There aren’t any rewards for people who make actual orders.

If you look at a program like adagios, you can earn a little for sharing or tweeting, but much more for actually making purchases.

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Thank you for the feedback. We understand that there is still room to refine the system. Let me give you the back story: the smaller tea companies that are utilizing purchase-based rewards are doing so because it is a built-in feature of the big-box easy to implement shopping carts like Bigcommerce and Shopify. We looked at these systems seriously when building our website and decided that they push you too far into cheap-looking templates and force your product presentation to adhere to standard forms. They also mean that you have to have a detached blog. We wanted to present product pages in a unique way and integrate the blog directly, making articles as important as tea pages. This means the whole site had to be hand-coded without the help of these big shopping carts. I am very happy with the result, and wouldn’t have done it differently.

The side-effect is that we don’t get plugins like rewards systems, etc. If we want to offer a new feature we need to code it ourselves or work with a third party developer. We found a developer that can integrate with our site, and they have helped us set up this rewards program. The difficulty is that it is not directly connected to the cart, making purchase-based points difficult to program. Still- this is a soft launch, and Geoffrey is continuing to work on new features to add on to what the developers had to offer as a foundation.

We plan to add 1000 points as a reward for purchases as soon as we can, and add points for commenting on the articles. That should help rebalance the system. We are also working to add a sign-on system that is linked with the accounts people create for checkout. It sounds simple, but with the security requirements for checkout and encryption, it is really difficult to connect them to anything else in a safe and reliable way. Geoffrey is a genius coder though, so given enough time, he will make something awesome work.

In any case, I want to stress that I envision this points system as a way to thank people who already are interested in sharing with their friends. I don’t expect people to log in every day and complete each action. Still, I think a lot of the teas and the articles are unique enough that people want to share. When they do, I want to give something back, because it helps us when we are recommended. I hope in the future to have more custom control over points to reward people for many other actions like sharing on Pinterest, reviewing on Steepster, signing up for the mailer, etc. It is just really tough to create those integrations from scratch.

As for the specific number of points available each day, I will have Geoffrey take a look again. It may in fact be just 400, with 500 possible only on the first use.

I hope that everyone can see this as a work in progress whose intent is to thank people who help us succeed by telling their friends what we do. That is my goal- just to thank people for their support. We will keep working to do this in better and better ways. Any suggestions left here are going straight to Geoffrey so that he can work to make them happen.

inguna said

Of course I realize your dilemma because I make websites (including e-commerce)
for a living and everything we do is hand coded from scratch and that is exactly why I made a comment.
I realize you can’t make everything at once unless you have unlimited budget :)
Nevertheless, in my opinion you will have to re-do your existing system at some point.

I will post an update on this thread when we are able to get some of the features I mentioned integrated. Probably in the next 2-3 weeks some of the other ways to earn points will be added. Alternate login is a bit further out still.

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Dinosara said

I’ve been having trouble getting the rewards window to open on one of my two computers. I am running Mac OS 10.7.4 and Safari 6.0 (build 7536.25). Even when I disable any ad-block plugins I’m running and don’t block popup windows, it still won’t open when I click on the flag. It does open on my other computer that is running an older version of Safari (sorry I don’t know exactly what version right now).

I have Geoffrey on the case. We will see what’s up. Thanks for letting me know.

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Good news, After all of your feedback here, and our own discussions, Geoffrey has preliminarily introduced some new ways to earn points.

First of all, you can earn 1000 points for a purchase. This helps me find another way to thank everyone who is supporting this project financially through your tea buying, and rebalances the points system a bit away from Facebook and Twitter. I know it isn’t perfect that the points are not directly related to the amount of the sale, but we are working on that. Once we get the points system hooked in directly with the cart, we will make this even better. The 1000 point reward can be triggered once every 24 hours for now. It should help get some of you closer to those rewards pretty fast.

We also got a 100 point reward introduced for commenting on blog posts. I want to encourage robust conversation on the articles and videos I put out every week, and this is a way to do so, while also providing points for another action not tied directly to a social network. This can also trigger once a day.

Very exciting! I will keep updating here as we add new features or rewards.

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