Aiming to connect more effectively with the tech savvy millennial market, Van Schaik Bookstore has extended its Rewards programme with an Android Rewards App. This innovative platform enables students to benefit from consumer rewards, exclusive competitions, freebies, deals and related information based on their preferences. Van Schaik has also launched a mobile virtual network called Van Schaik Mobile, with their own SIM card. Reward points can be spent on data, airtime or other products at any Van Schaik Bookstore in South Africa.
The initial extension of Van Schaik’s Rewards programme in February this year, offers customers the option to join the Van Schaik network as a prepaid customer, and/or as value-add, using the Van Schaik App.
To spearhead, develop strategy and management of both the SIM and Rewards App, as two separate entities, Van Schaik appointed Nick Wallander as a member of the Management team as Mobile Manager. Wallander has 20 years of experience in the mobile industry, from when it was still in its infancy to managing instrumental responsibilities in various technical, sales and marketing roles with leading companies such as Ericsson, Cell C, Nokia Siemens Networks and Visa Inc., throughout Africa and the Middle East.
One of the unique initiatives offered by the Van Schaik App, is that students can generate income (up to R60 per month) by simply engaging with lock screen content which includes relevant content, exclusive offers and competitions.
Stephan Erasmus, MD for Van Schaik Bookstores explains: “Funding is a challenge for university students, and Van Schaik Bookstore is striving to be proactive by introducing an easy way for students to make money for themselves. Students interact with their smartphones all the time, and using the Van Schaik Rewards App offers them an easy way to earn extra income.”
The points earned by unlocking their phones are available in the App Wallet and spending money using App Wallet is regulated via a User PIN.
To unlock more benefits, such as access to free Wi-Fi at all Always On hotspots, free WhatsApp, and special deals, users need to spend a minimum amount on airtime or data, purchased through the Van Schaik Rewards App, in-store or USSD within a 30-day period.
All Van Schaik customers can get a free SIM card which is conveniently RICA’d in-store and upon inserting it into their Android phones, are prompted to download the free Van Schaik Rewards App via a link.
The App offers an effective way for Van Schaik Bookstore, its partners and tertiary education institutions to reach a large body of students. Wallander explains: “Mobile has become a vital platform for advertisers, but users dislike in-app pop-ups and other intrusive display ads – and the last thing we want to do is to alienate loyal customers. The Van Schaik App users can be targeted based on indicated areas of interest, study, location, purchasing patterns and in-app usage, and engages them in a positive and relevant way.”
“For companies wanting to communicate and get their message through to students it’s an ideal platform, offering an affordable way for companies to focus their messages on niche, profiled target audiences, and gather data from the way the students interact with their adverts,” says Wallander.
“With 100 000+ students expected to use the Van Schaik Rewards App, it's a win-win solution: students benefit financially, academically and personally from their interaction with the App, our partners can benefit from affordable, targeted and interactive advertising, and Van Schaik will benefit with improved customer engagement and loyalty.” says Erasmus.
Being the proud recipient of the Sefika Academic Bookseller of the Year Award for the last six years running, Van Schaik is used to setting the benchmark for excellence in its field. Van Schaik Bookstore has identified the need for a rewards programme that lets its users see immediate benefits.
“When we repositioned the brand as far back as 2011, we introduced ourselves as a knowledge navigator – focusing on helping students to get ahead, by growing their knowledge, creating opportunities and leading the way,” says Erasmus.
“With this in mind, we launched our Rewards Card in 2015 to reward our customers. It has been exceptionally well received, and to date, membership numbers have grown to over 130 000. With the new App, we believe that members and partners alike will be able to secure even better benefits than before,” Erasmus concludes.