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Garden centres enjoy sales growth through ACT's loyalty platform, GEL

09 July 2010

Despite the ongoing recession and poor trading conditions in retail, Garden Centres continue to see business growth in a very competitive market. In particular, independent garden centres have maintained and grown a loyal customer base assisted by flexible, cost effective loyalty card solutions.

The Choice Marketing Group provide shared services for 26 independent garden centres which enables each centre to operate the "Gardeners Reward" card, managed and operated by ACT on their GEL loyalty managed service platform.

The "Gardeners Reward" card gives individual garden centres the freedom to manage existing and new membership to the scheme and generate targeted marketing campaigns and offers to drive repeat business and increase customer retention.

Before approaching ACT, the loyalty scheme had been operated by another supplier for 5 years. However the previous service had inherent problems with flexibility and provision of valuable reporting information necessary to provide targeted offers. ACT was therefore contracted in February 2009 to take over the existing system, migrate the existing database and develop a new, improved scheme on their GEL loyalty platform. ACTs GEL platform provides a host of new functionality and is fully backed by ACT's service infrastructure giving each garden centre personalised support via the ServiceDesk support operation.

Paul Elding, Chairman, Choice Marketing Group commented "The gardeners reward card scheme is the most important part of our marketing and every member centre can see real benefits in sales and customer retention. The flexibility and opportunities offered by ACT and the GEL system have allowed us all to stay ahead of the competition in the last 2 years of recession."

Since putting the new system in place, membership has increased by over 10% and targeted campaigns have successfully reactivated a large number of dormant accounts. Additionally, redemption rates on campaign offers of between 25% and 40% have generated significant sales growth.

According to Nigel Cullum, ACT Commercial Director, the success of this scheme is down to the adaptability of the GEL technology combined with the personal support for additional reports and mailing requirements provided by ACT's ServiceDesk. Nigel commented, "The Gardeners Reward Card plays a key role in the way the independent Garden Centres communicate with their customers. GEL continues to provide a wealth of online, real time transactional information on customer spend patterns, campaign redemptions and special promotional days."

GEL's fully scalable platform provides a powerful reward scheme that allows the garden centre's to compete favourably with the major national centres that offer similar products and offers.


For more information, please contact: Joanne Hutchinson, Marketing Manager, Applied Card Technologies Limited.

T: 01249 751200
F: 01249 751201