Asheville is home to thousands of locally owned, independent businesses that often run on a shoestring budget. Oftentimes, the business owner is also the bookkeeper, employee, janitor, and customer service rep, which does not leave a lot of time or brainpower for keeping up with a loyalty program. This is where Lolo steps in.
Locals Supporting Locals is the brainchild of Clark Harris and Matthew Simpson, a project that came to fruition in late 2013. Unlike traditional loyalty programs that require a physical card that you carry around, Lolo keeps track of your spending card free. How many cards do you have to earn rewards and discounts at other stores like Ingles Advantage, Harris Teeter VIP, and Bi-Lo Bonus cards? Keeping track of each physical card can be frustrating, and it is easy for you to forget to use your card at less frequently visited locations. With Lolo, none of this is a concern.
Users create a simple and secure profile at loloeffect.com. You are prompted to enter your debit card and/or frequently used credit card to your profile. The team at Lolo has created a secure platform that simply registers every time you use your electronic form of payment at a participating location and credits your account. Each initial transaction to a brand new partner gives you 10% of your purchase back, and 5% for every purchase after. You earn credit in form of ‘LoDough’, or points. Once you have LoDough in your account, you can cash in your dough for rewards or experiences at local establishments. For example, currently available in the Lolo Marketplace is the opportunity to Royal Treatment Brunch. Redeem 25 LoDough for a $32 brunch that includes one jar and two plates at King James Public House. Don’t have enough LoDough just yet? You can also cash in 5 LoDough for a $5 gift certificate to Asheville Sandwich Company.
“Lolo wants to help deepen customer relationships by offering things that you cannot get from big box stores,” Harris explains. “We want to reinforce current spending habits and encourage people to support local.” Lolo is a coalition loyalty program, and by working with independent, local businesses the Lolo team offers all the benefits of a loyalty program with none of the hassle to businesses. The platform is sophisticated but affordable, and pricing is based on performance so that businesses will not be paying for a service their customers may not be taking advantage of.
Lolo encourages interaction from their users – the more you interact with local businesses and spend, the more rewards you get. If you’ve racked up LoDough that you aren’t sure what to do with, Lolo offers the option to donate your LoDough to a local nonprofit. Unlike discount deals websites like Groupon, businesses don’t take a hit from dramatically lowered prices, and unlike traditional frequent buyer cards the rewards you earn don’t go outside of your local economy.
Lolo isn’t the only business in town that wants to stop entrepreneurs from paying too much to build a loyal customer base. MobRocket is a new local startup that aims to take down large deals based websites that hurt more then help small businesses. With such a strong loyalty to local entrepreneurs, Asheville offers consumers many different ways to support your local economy without feeling pressured to spend more than your budget allows. If you are someone who lives and works in Asheville, take advantage of all that Lolo has to offer.
Don’t currently live in Asheville? Lolo wants to hear from you! Shoutout in the comments where you live, and if you are interested in being a part of Locals Supporting Locals.
Visit http://loloeffect.com to learn more