10 Jan

Getting Started with SoVou

Thank you everybody for signing up with SoVou! This tutorial series is meant to provide our admin users with step by step guides on how to use our Digital Voucher System. For those who have not signed up, please contact admin@sovou.com to create your business account today!

Introduction

SoVou is a Digital Voucher System designed for Offline Retailers. We make viral marketing ideas possible for Offline Retailers through digitalization and automation. No need to worry about distribution, logistics or complex promotion mechanics. SoVou handles all these tedious & time consuming tasks for you, so you can spend more time planning creative & viral campaigns.

For more information about Loyalty Marketing, please visit here.

For more information about Referral Marketing, please visit here.

For more information about our E-commerce Solutions, please visit here.

Contents

 

Setting up your Business Information

For security reasons, your display business information is managed by SoVou admin to ensure that our customers truly own the Brand. Please contact us at admin@sovou.com if you need to change any of your basic business information.

Editable Business Information:

  • Brand Name – Your brand name recognisable by your own customers.
  • Brand Description – A short description about your brand.
  • SMS ID – The SMS sender ID your customers will see when you send them vouchers via SMS.
  • Brand Logo – Logo for your brand.
  • Cover Image – Cover image to show in your vouchers page.
  • Country – Country you’re doing business in for time zone & IDD configuration.
  • Contact Number – Public contact number.
  • Contact Email – Public contact email address.
  • Custom URL – Custom URL for your voucher links.

 

Your Store Locations

For users that received your vouchers, they need to know where can the vouchers be claimed. You’ll need to setup your store locations to help people find you. For most cases, your store locations should have been setup for your by our sales representative. Incase you need to add more, edit or delete locations, please follow the steps below.

Creating a new Store Location:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Manage Stores” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on “Add New Store”
  • Step 3. Fill in your location information and click “Add Store” to save

Editable Store Location Information

  • Street Address – Street Address of your store
  • Postal Code – Postal code of your store
  • Contact – Contact number of your store
Editing a Store Location:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Manage Stores” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on the  button on the right of the store you wish to edit
  • Step 3. Edit your location information and click “Edit Store Details” to save
Deleting a Store Location:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Manage Stores” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on the  button on the right of the store you wish to delete

 

Backend User Accounts

Our system is divided into Sales Mode & Admin Mode to cater for the different access levels for your staff. The Sales Mode is designed for Cashiers or Customer Facing staff with working level access to issue and claim vouchers. And the Admin Mode is designed for Brand Managers to set up & track promotional campaigns for their business.

We have 4 levels of user accounts to cater for all your business needs.

  • Brand Admin – Full access to Admin Mode & Sales Mode
  • Cashier (Issue & Claim) – Full access to Sales Mode
  • Cashier (Issue only) – Only can issue vouchers in Sales Mode (ideal for Backend Marketing Staff)
  • Cashier (Claim only) – Only can claim vouchers in Sales Mode (ideal for Cashiers or Frontend Staff)
Creating a new User Account:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Manage Users” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on “Create new User”
  • Step 3. Fill in your user information and click “Add User” to save

Editable User Account Information

  • First Name -User’s First Name
  • Last Name – User’s Last name
  • Email – User’s Email address
  • Country – User’s assigned Country
  • Role – User’s assigned Role
  • Password – [Only when Editing] Set user’s password
Editing your User Account:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Manage Users” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on the  button on the right of the user you wish to edit
  • Step 3. Edit your user information and click “Edit User” to save
Deleting a User Account:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Manage Users” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on the  button on the right of the user you wish to delete

 

Your First Campaign

Great! Now that you have your business information, store locations & user accounts set up, you’re ready to run your first campaign.

How SoVou works is that a Campaign determines the message & quantity of vouchers to be sent to the user. And a Voucher determines the Terms & Conditions of the promotion. So before you create a campaign, you’ll need to create the vouchers required for the campaign first.

There are 3 different types of campaigns you can run using our Digital Voucher System.

Promotion Campaign
Feature: Sends promotional vouchers to your customers for them to redeem at your stores
Use Case: Loyalty & Promotion Marketing
Voucher(s) required: Promotion Voucher(s)
Costs: 1 credit to send
Referral Campaign
Feature: Sends referral vouchers to your customers to share with their friends & automatically kick back a reward for every successful redemption
Use Case: Refer a Friend Programs
Voucher(s) required: Referral Voucher(s) & Gift Voucher(s)
Costs: 1 credit to send, 5 credits on successful redemptions
Gift Voucher Campaign
Feature: Sends secure stored value vouchers to customers to redeem at your stores
Use Case: Sell Gift Vouchers online or over the counter
Voucher(s) required: Gift Voucher(s)
Costs: 1 credit to send

Ok so now you’ve got a rough idea about how our our campaigns work, let’s get you started with your first campaign.

Creating a new Voucher:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Manage Vouchers” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on “Add Voucher”
  • Step 3. Fill in your voucher information and click “Create Voucher” to save

Editable Voucher Information

  • Upload Cover Image – Square image for your voucher, preferably 512px x 512px
  • Name – Voucher Name, identifier
  • Voucher Status – “Draft” or “Published” status
  • Voucher Form – Default “Digital” only
  • Voucher Type – “Promotion Voucher”, “Referral Voucher” or “Gift Voucher”
  • Validity (Months) – [Only for Gift Vouchers] Validity from date of issue
  • Value – [Only for Gift Vouchers] Value of the voucher for tracking
  • Transferable – Not in use at the moment
  • Voucher Description – Description of the voucher or promotion
  • Terms & Conditions – T&C for the voucher
Creating a new Campaign:
  • Step 1. From the Dashboard Screen, click on “Campaigns” on the left menu panel
  • Step 2. Click on “Create New Campaign”
  • Step 3. Fill in your campaign information and click “Create Campaign” to save

Editable Campaign Information

  • Campaign Name – Name to identify campaign
  • Campaign Type – “Promotion Campaign”, “Referral Campaign” or “Gift Voucher Campaign”
  • Start Date – Date when the campaign will be available for distribution
  • End Date – Expiry date of Promotion & Referral Vouchers & date to stop distribution
  • Shareable – Enable the sharing feature for Promotion or Referral Vouchers
  • Campaign Message – Template SMS message for your campaign
  • Campaign Vouchers – Vouchers to send to user
  • Reward Message – [Only for Referral Campaign] SMS message to notify user for successful claims
  • Reward Vouchers – [Only for Referral Campaign] Rewards to send to user per successful claim
  • * For the Messages, use “@name@” & “@url@” to mark where to insert the user’s name & voucher url in the message
Issuing Vouchers Over the Counter:

Now with the campaign setup correctly, you’re now ready to send out vouchers to your customers or at least to yourself first as a test.

  • Step 1. Enter “Sales Mode” from the top right link
  • Step 2. Click on “Issue Voucher(s)”
  • Step 3. Click on the Campaign you’ve just created
  • Step 4. Enter the user’s Name & Mobile number you want to send to
  • Step 5. Click on “Issue Voucher(s)”
  • Step 6. Double check the sending details and click “Yes” to send

 

That’s all we have for this tutorial!

For more detailed tutorials on the individual features, please subscribe to our Blog to receive the lastest information. For any other support queries, please contact us at admin@sovou.com.

Thank you so much for your time!

25 Nov
Increase Sales

The ONLY 3 ways for Retailers to Increase Sales

Most retail business models are pretty straightforward, they get paid when something is sold. Be it products or services, the fact is, there are only 3 ways for Retailers to increase sales. No matter how creative you may be in your marketing, every strategy is in some way related to one of these 3 methods.

We are not talking about other incomes methods from miscellaneous activities or cost saving methods to increase margins. But purely on how to get more sales from what you already have.

Here are the only 3 ways for Retailers to increase Sales:

1) Increase Prices

If you sell your product or services for $10, simply increase the price to $12 to increase sales. Assuming if all else stays the same of course. Customers stay loyal to you and continue to buy your product or services. In fact, we see this almost everytime due to inflation. Remember QB House?

Pricing strategy is a very important aspect for every Retail business. You need to know your bottom line and your value proposition in order to maximise your returns. Take 7-Eleven for example. With the right value proposition, the same product can be sold at a premium and people will still buy them.

It’s not always about keeping your prices in check with your competitors. Many great businesses fail because their prices can’t keep up with their bottom line. Seat back and focus on your value instead and don’t be afraid to charge what is right for your business.

2) Get more Customers

More customers equals more sales! Most marketing strategies focus on this to increase sales for their business. You may be doing flyers, advertising or whatever gimmick you are doing, the whole idea is to generate more foot traffic and get more customers.

That said, the real challenge for all marketers will be how to spend the least amount of money to get the most amount of traffic. Big budget advertisements in major media channels aren’t for everyone. You need to know where to find your customers and focus on the most cost effective manner to reach them.

One effective way used by many online businesses now is referral marketing. Just like Grab & Uber, simply reward your customers for referring a friend. If done right, your customers will be the best sales team you will ever hire. At SoVou, we’ve created a referral marketing system for you to do the same for your Business. Leverage on the power of word of mouth to grow your business.

3) Get Customers to buy more

If a customer asks for something, recommend him something better or extra. Increase sales by simply asking! Yet many businesses are not doing this because they don’t want to appear as hard selling their customers or their staff are just not trained to do it.

There’s nothing wrong with recommending customers something better or extra. Most customers won’t know exactly what you have or what they want. That’s what your staff is there for – to inform them about it. Just don’t force it down their throat if they reject you.

Take McDonald’s for example.

Want a burger?

Would you like to get a meal instead?

Would you like to upsize?

If you never ask, you’ll never get it. But by simply asking, even if only 10 customers take up your offer and buys $10 more everyday. That’s $3,000 increase in sales every month. On McDonald’s scale, imagine how much more are they making every month up selling their customers. Take some time to look into your own business and come up with your own upselling strategy today. It’s definitely good to have one.

In Conclusion

No matter what kind of retail marketing strategies you apply, it should fall under one of these 3 categories. If it doesn’t, put some thought into it to figure out if it really does make you more money. Some examples:

  • Premium Pricing – Increase Prices
  • 20% off – Get more Customers
  • Buy 2 Get 1 Free – Get Customers to buy more

Not everything is about money though, if it does create value for your customers sometimes it’s worth investing. It’s always good to get your basics right first before investing in any marketing or even starting a business.

  • In F&B? Great food is expected
  • Selling products? Great products is expected
  • Providing services? Great services is expected

Probably nice ambience & environment too to keep your customers happy & comfortable. Retail is not a hit and run business. You’ll definitely need repeat customers to stay in business.

Feel free to contact me at jay.li@sovou.com find out more about our referral marketing system!

Everything expressed in this article is my personal opinion and might not be applicable for all businesses. Please share with us your ideas and thoughts too so we can grow & learn together!

Do subscribe to our newsletter too at the right column to receive the latest updates & marketing ideas for your Retail Business!

11 Nov
Retail Marketing

Retail Marketing: Brick & Mortar v.s. E-commerce

Depending on the type business and scale, all Retailers will have different goals for their marketing strategies. New retailers might want brand awareness or attract customers to try their products. And for those that want to increase sales might run promotions to boost activity. But no matter what they are doing, the ultimate goal for all retail marketing is to get people to buy.

With more and more E-commerce marketplaces like Shopify, Lazada, Qoo10 using powerful data & technology for their marketing. Can Brick & Mortar Retailers keep up with their online retail marketing strategies?

For this article we will be comparing traditional Brick & Mortar Retailers with E-commerce Retailers. And here are the key differences that affect how they approach their marketing strategies.

1) Purchasing Mechanics

The biggest difference in marketing for Brick & Mortar Retailers and E-commerce Retailers is that one has to bring the customer down to the store to buy and the other just need the customer to buy online.

Just this alone makes a whole lot of difference to their marketing approach. Brick & Mortar Retailers generally focus more on generating foot traffic to their stores. Be it promotions, events, live demos, live bands, etc. They generally try to give customers a reason to come down so there’s an opportunity to sell something.

But for E-commerce Retailers, it’s a different ball game. With information is so readily available and everyone selling similar items, price is usually the final decision maker for most people. Therefore, E-commerce Retailers generally run time-limited promotions to create urgency and attract people to purchase from their website.

2) Retail Marketing Targets

Marketing generally is a numbers game. If 0.01% buys because of your marketing, you’ll need to reach a million people to get 100 purchases.

For E-commerce Retailers, it is really simple to reach millions of people instantly and direct them to your shop. So their main challenge for them is not so much about how to get the numbers, but how to keep visitors for their websites. And for that, they need to create engaging content that gets their visitors browsing more and buying more.

On the other hand for Brick & Mortar Retailers, most are tied down by their location, servicing a local market. With little to no differentiation in their products or services, they usually wait for customers to come to them. They usually do location specific marketing like flyers, posters, events, etc. Because it’s a need based market, their main focus is to get their name out so that customers can drop by if they ever need what they are providing.

3) Costs Mechanics

Costs is pretty straightforward for E-commerce Marketing. You pay only for the successful clicks or successful sale in most cases. This means you pay only when someone walks in your store or when someone buys from you. So to get sales without spending too much money, E-commerce Retailers need to target their keywords and customer profiles very carefully. And by doing so, make sure they are not marketing to people that will not be interested in their products.

For most Brick & Mortar Retailers, marketing is usually an upfront cost buying the channels, printing the materials and paying for the distribution. Because they usually serve a general market, their main focus is to get as many eyeballs as possible from people in the area. Be it putting posters or distributing flyers in high traffic areas, they usually reach out to almost everyone that walks by. Probably with a little selectivity if their distributors are good. E.g. Gender, Age, etc.

Although Brick & Mortar Retailers can run online campaigns too. But unless they have a decent scale or differentiation where their customers will be willing to travel for their products or services. Online or mass marketing campaigns might not be cost effective for them.

4) Operational Issues

With simple voucher codes to determine promotions and discount for customers, there is almost no operational issues for E-commerce Retailers. Unless it’s a technical issue or system error, every sale will be automatically captured in their system. So their main focus is usually to work with as many advertising partners and affiliates as possible to sell & market their products.

For Brick & Mortar Retailers, all their staff needs to be informed on the mechanics of the promotions they are doing. So when customers come, the right promotion can be given to them. The more promotions or partners they work with, the more confusing it will be for their staff. So most retailers usually do generic promotions and work with a few partners to avoid the trouble and confusion.


So to conclude, because of Brick & Mortar & E-commerce Retailers are competing on very different terms, they take very different approach for their marketing strategies. Eventually Brick & Mortar Retailers will need a way to leverage on the same technologies that make E-commerce successful to stay relevant. That is where we at SoVou are working on to bring online marketing tactics to Brick & Mortar Retailers.

Feel free to contact me at jay.li@sovou.com find out more!

Everything expressed in this article is my personal opinion and might not be applicable for all businesses. Please share with us your ideas and thoughts too so we can grow & learn together!

Do subscribe to our newsletter too at the right column to receive the latest updates & marketing ideas for your Retail Business!

31 Oct
Nylon Coffee Roasters Retail Location

Retail Location: Should you get a High traffic location or Low traffic location?

I was at a training session by OnCoffeeMakers when this question was asked about Retail Location.

When it comes to deciding on a retail location for your business, which will your choose?

Option A
Low Traffic Location
$20 per sqft
1,000 sqft
Option B
High Traffic Location
$30 per sqft
1,000 sqft

I believe there are many more questions one might ask before they can make a decision. E.g. how much difference in traffic, where’s the location, what’s the consumer profile at each retail location, etc. It’s always a balance between cost and benefits a location can give to you. But let’s just assume that the cheaper place just is a little out of the way, with significantly less traffic and all else the same.

Will you take Option A for your Retail Location?

Just on rental alone, it’s a monthly $10k difference. Over a 6 months period, that’s a lot of money for marketing! So the question is will you be able to achieve similar or better sales than the premium retail location by investing the difference on rental in marketing?

With so much competition in the market, the biggest challenge for most businesses these days is how to differentiate and build a loyal base of customers. With the increasing accessibility of urban areas, consumers are now more willing than ever to travel to get something that they want. So location, though still important, plays a much smaller role in a consumer’s decision making process on whether anot to visit a retailer that they like.

Over the years, we have seen many niche brands & cafes appearing in ulu areas and still achieving the crowd major retailers get at premium locations. So what makes these brands successful besides the quality food/service/product that they provide?

Their niche & reputation, impressive social media presence, superb customer relations and awesome publicity.

Nylon Coffee Roasters

A great example will be Nylon Coffee Roasters. It’s location is a little out of the way, but it certainly does have a strong following. It takes a lot more work and effort to build a brand and customer base that is truly yours. But in the long run, it is definitely cheaper to sustain loyal customers than constantly competing for foot traffic at your location. Your customers are your biggest asset, treasure them and you shall be rewarded!

Lastly, I would like to thank Ebenezer from OnCoffeeMakers for the awesome training session that inspired this article. We will be researching and writing more articles on Retail Marketing in time to come. Do subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates & marketing ideas for your Retail Outlet!

Feel free to contact me at jay.li@sovou.com to share your thoughts & ideas!

* Disclaimer – Everything expressed in this article is my personal opinion and may not be applicable for all businesses. Please share with us your ideas and thoughts too so we can grow & learn together!

16 Oct
Shopping for Gift Vouchers

SG Gift Voucher Buying Guide

Ever wondered who’s selling Gift Vouchers in Singapore & where can you buy them?

Well, we have compiled a list of all the Brands selling Gift Vouchers in Singapore just for you!

Feel free to visit our Gift Voucher Market too if you’re looking to purchase Gift Vouchers as gifts or rewards for any occasion. We provide a complete purchase & delivery service at a small convenience fee.

1. Shopping Vouchers

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
AsiaMalls $10, $20, $50 Information Counter

  • Century Square
  • Hougang Mall
  • Liang Court
  • Tampines 1
  • Tiong Bahru Plaza
  • White Sands
website
Capitaland Malls $5, $10, $50 Information Counter

  • All Capitaland Malls
website
Far East Organization Mall $5, $10, $50 Information Counter

  • Orchard Central
website
Forum Shopping Mall $10, $25, $50 Information Counter website
Isetan $5, $10, $50 Online website
Jem $10, $50 Information Counter website
Jurong Point $10, $20, $50 Information Counter website
Marina Bay Link Mall $5, $10, $50 Information Counter website
Marina Square $5, $10, $50 Information Counter website
Metro $10, $20, $50, $100 Online website
nex $10, $50 Information Counter website
Parkway Parade $10, $20, $50 Information Counter website
Robinson $10, $50 Contact website
SPH Malls $5, $10, $50  Information Counter

  • Paragon
  • The Clementi Mall
  • The Seletar Mall
website

2. Book Vouchers

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
Kinokuniya $5, $10, $20, $50 All Outlets
MPH $5, $10, $20, $50 All Outlets website
POPULAR $5, $10, $20 All Outlets website
Times Bookstore $5, $10, $20, $50 All Outlets website

3. Gift Vouchers for Electronics

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
Best-Denki $10, $50, $100 Contact website
COURTS $10, $50, $100 Contact website
nübox $10, $50, $100 Contact website

3. Grocery Vouchers

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
Dairy Farm $10, $20, $50 Customer Service Counters website
NTUC Fairprice $5, $10, $20 Customer Service Counters website

3. Food Vouchers

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
Emicakes $10 Online website
JUMBO Group $50, $100 Online website
POLAR $5, $10 Contact website
SENSO Restaurant & Bar $20, $50, $100, $200, $300 Online website
Sushi Tei $10, $50 All Outlets except:

  • West Coast
  • JEM
  • Tampines 1
website
Toastbox $5 Contact website
Zingrill $20, $50, $100 All Outlets

  • Seoul Garden
  • Seoul Garden Hotpot
  • Chef’s Noodle
  • KorBi Grill
website

4. Travel Gift Vouchers

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
Chan Brothers Travel $100, $200, $500 Contact website
CTC Travel $100, $200, $500, $1,000 Contact website
SA Tours $50, $100, $500, $1,000 Contact website

5. Gift Vouchers for Hotels

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
Capri $10, $50 Contact website
Hotel Fort Canning $25, $50 Contact website
Resort World $25, $100 Group Sales Counter website

6. Other Gift Vouchers

Brand Denominations Where to buy Source
Kenko Wellness $20, $50 Online website
Paris Miki $10, $20, $50 All Outlets website
SPORTSLINK $10, $20 All Outlets website
Spring Maternity $10, $50 Online website

That’s all we have for the list, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter to receive more updates about Gift Vouchers and Retail Marketing Concepts.

* Disclaimer

  • We do not guarantee that all the brands are still selling Gift Voucher at your time of reference.
  • We try our best to keep this list updated, so please contact us at admin@sovou.com if you find any errors or if there are new Brands to be added to this list.