EPISODE 011 : 05/20/2021

Coupontools – Bert Croimans describes how his team leads in loyalty and rewards worldwide

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Coupontools serves over ten thousand customers around the world in 85 countries on nearly every continent with a leading digital marketing platform used for rewards, loyalty, coupons, digital vouchers, gift cards and much more. Bert Croimans serves as Head of Sales and Marketing at Coupontools. Based in Belgium, Coupontools is now seeing renewed interest as the retail world recovers from Covid.

Host: Ned Hayes and Karen Jensen
Guest: Bert Croimans

Topics Discussed in this Episode

  • Detailed small business insights from Olympia, Washington
  • Small business resiliency and adaptation during COVID
  • Doubling community outreach during the pandemic
  • Opportunities for small business loyalty programs

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Audio Transcript

Ned Hayes [00:00:06] Welcome to SparkPlug, where we talk to smart people working at the intersection of business and technology. Brought to you by SnowShoe making mobile locations smarter today, SparkPlug is happy to welcome Bert Croimans head of sales and marketing for Coupontools, which is located in Belgium and services brands and companies in 80 countries around the world. They do digital coupon vouchers, loyalty cards, so they provide perfect tools for user engagement and interaction. We’re excited to talk to Bert Croimans about his loyalty programs and expertize. Welcome, Bert.

Bert Croimans [00:00:47] Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the invite. We are so happy with the Coupontools. We can do this podcast to tell more about our digital solutions. We are doing our best at the moment. We are active in 85 countries all over the world. 

Karen Jensen [00:01:03] Great. Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us. It’s so good to have you on our show today. So why don’t you start off by telling us and our listeners about yourself? 

Bert Croimans [00:01:13] I’m working for four years and the Coupontools company. I am the head of sales success and marketing, my job and the Coupontools organization as first of all, to sell the coupon to software, mismanaging our success flash sales and marketing team with the coupon to start from. We’re working with the biggest brands in the world, so most of them, they have also custom projects. 

Karen Jensen [00:01:39] Great. And by the way, congrats on your 85th country. What country was that? 

Bert Croimans [00:01:45] Our last country was Brunei

Ned Hayes [00:01:48] Great, so I’m curious, since you are based in Belgium, what is the retail situation like in Europe right now? 

Bert Croimans [00:01:57] It was a difficult period, mostly last year when the whole pandemic started. But at the moment, we’re still actually growing very fast in Europe. Actually, we noticed during this period everyone is looking for a digital solution, but most of them are looking for a touchless solution to great touchless coupons to distribute this coupon, such as produce our coupon just back from a perfect solution. Tools fully digital we also provide touchless validation methods. So also for the merchants, don’t have to take a paper coupon from a stranger. They can use our easy to use and secure validation method. So based on this everything’s going pretty well, but our biggest growth is actually for the United States. More than 50% of our customers is based in the United States, so our group and American American states is bigger than our COVID growth. 

Ned Hayes [00:02:54] So Coupontools vision is really to help retailers be more successful, correct? 

Bert Croimans [00:03:01] Yes, that’s correct. But it’s not only for with coupons. We have much more than only a coupon bill, but with our system you can collect customer data. And actually, when you’re collecting these customer data, your entire sales process will start because our tools very helpful to start with remarketing. 

Karen Jensen [00:03:20] So you provide retailers tools for success. Is there anyone that you can highlight specifically? 

Bert Croimans [00:03:27] I want to tell you more about two specific cases, but of course we have more cases. One of them is Coca-Cola Belgium with these two cases with the SnowShoe stance so specific for us. But of course, it will be a very helpful way. The first case was with Coca-Cola Belgium. They’re using our loyalty card data feature to marketing project, so they have to choose their specific language Dutch or French. And from that moment, they will send a WhatsApp message or text message to Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola will respond with a unique loyalty URL. So the person who send this message, they receive the loyalty link. They will go with this loyalty card to the commercial merchant would rather take this physical stuff. 

Karen Jensen [00:04:19] And I think along with QR codes, you also provide capacitive technology created by us SnowShoe. Can you tell me more about that? 

Bert Croimans [00:04:31] We are using the same sort of validation. So the company, whose platform was also a mother to distribute their group was customers can distribute the coupons with our own as a mass integration or text messaging integration, e-mail integration and social media. 

Karen Jensen [00:04:48] You guys are doing a lot of with gamification also making things interactive and fun. Is there any instances that you can talk about their image? 

Bert Croimans [00:04:57] We know is gamification is a very popular subject. We provide for the customers of digital scratch card, a spin wheel, a slot machine memory game and a match to win game, a coupon to start from as a white label software. So the customer can rebuild that they have platform with it on branding and even for coupons, regular coupons, or gamified coupons. They can build a component of branding and their branding or in the branding of a specific gift. 

Ned Hayes [00:05:26] That’s a really good context, Bert, thank you. I wondered in the world of loyalty programs, how is Coupontools positioned for success? How do you compete against and how do you see yourselves winning? 

Bert Croimans [00:05:40] There were a lot of similar softwares, but I didn’t find a software was similar for 90% because we are offering everything, everything in a sense of we have a coupon below. We provide several distribution methods like text messaging, email. It’s a web based software so we can always use integrates the coupon or coupon directly to the coupon catalog, any website or any mobile app. Then you can also add save coupons to the wallet. We also thought we also have options for the merchant to validate, and then we advance coupons at the six members of the competitors staff only one for, for example, API calls or only text messaging coupons. Yeah, that’s actually the strongest point of the entire coupon to start from. We have a very advanced solution that will work for everyone, everyone who has a customer database or every merchant or brand. They want to give away products they want to interact with, with their fans, with their customers. They can use the coupon platform. 

Ned Hayes [00:06:43] Great. Well, we spoke about COVID briefly earlier, and I’m curious if any of your model has changed during COVID. 

Bert Croimans [00:06:52] We didn’t change our model because we believe in our product and our product. We noticed customers. They’re not really scared that they will think twice before they will sell something. I think it’s something similar with other softwares in the first base. So first know that they will. They will think twice actually before they will sell the software or buy the software, or they will do a specific project. We know this project that actually since the beginning of this year, everything is restarted. 

Karen Jensen [00:07:25] That’s awesome. So touching on that. What did you do to provide safe experiences for your clients? Technology that you guys were implementing? 

Bert Croimans [00:07:34] No, actually, the distribution methods are the same. The only point about safety was everyone was asking for a safe method to celebrate. The main concern of the customers was the customer, the end user they need to control on their own mobile phone, and they want to validate on our own models for this issue. Their main concern was the safe and dangerous validation. But additionally. 

Ned Hayes [00:08:01] There are many different programs around the world. I’m curious, as Coupontools enters your 85th country, what markets are easier for you to get into which markets are harder? 

Bert Croimans [00:08:13] Actually, we are focusing on the restaurants. Those two are very strong and our as you that’s actually also admitted. Or we can find our customers and we noticed a lot of customers are restaurants they’re searching for in the restaurant. Search keywords. We all we all took the most notice in the restaurant business, but also big brands, digital marketing agencies. These are our most popular brands and difficult brands. That’s a good question. That’s maybe to read the grocery stores because they’re already after POS systems, and it’s very difficult to make it as integration and also for the SnowShoe stamps are very helpful because it is a standalone secure and touchless validation method. That’s also the reason why customers are asking you this question do validate and secure that trust. So yes, retail or the grocery stores are actually the most difficult business for us. 

Ned Hayes [00:09:18] So are grocery store is difficult because of the low margin or because of the specific use case that they have. 

Bert Croimans [00:09:26] No, it’s actually the validation goes every process. Start, they want to validate coupon with a barcode, and not every POS system can read digital barcodes or digital pupils and also do better validation with the data and things like that. You have to make a POS integration. That’s the most difficult part. 

Ned Hayes [00:09:48] Right. So what POS systems is Coupontools integrated with and which ones do you recommend? 

Bert Croimans [00:09:55] We dealt with the arrest integration. We are also looking to integrate standards with a POS integration because we are offering our own validtation. Actually, the reason why customers are choosing for Coupontools, that’s because they don’t have to make it integration. We provide a set of globalization methods like scanning back barcode. This can be scanned with a reader on a mobile device and on a solution for this office or burn button. Just click the button or enter a password. For example, one main password, or you have a group of restaurants at every restaurant will have their own location for their own validation location password. For our coupon statistics customer, the main account store manager, they can see how many validations they have for location. But it’s also possible to validate with a barcode only. It’s a little bit advanced, with insiders 

Karen Jensen [00:10:58] We’re excited to see what’s next for Coupontools. What can we expect to see post-pandemic? New regions, new experiences? 

Bert Croimans [00:11:04] We are expecting more people who want to use the software, more customers because they saw everything before the pandemic with the paper coupons. They saw everything during the pandemic with the digital methods, but the possibilities for most of them that it’s researched. So we expect more people who want to use the software, not more, just make hopefully more countries. So 200 countries there will be a nice as among those active in different countries. So we want to work through all of that also. But that is fair to start with one hundred and still working on a big project at the moment, we are still each day. Our developers are working to improve the software to make it better. We already have very good software, but each day we want to work very hard to make it better. 

Karen Jensen [00:11:54] That’s great. I have one final question. What is Coupoontools vision and mission moving forward? 

Bert Croimans [00:12:00] Our vision is to help all the merchants in the world with a digital coupon solution. What a good coupon solution to help their business growing. Yeah, our mission is to have them for every good software to make it a better and better to grow as a team. We have a very young with a very good potential and a very good team here in Belgium. It’s also strongest point. Everything is in house, Belgium and hopefully the future. We can improve until software with something in the United States itself because the market in the United States, the biggest market, also Canadian market and South America, Latin in America. So yeah, but in the near future, to work very hard to put on a very nice and very good and still grow and grow. 

Karen Jensen [00:12:49] It’s great. Thank you. 

Ned Hayes [00:12:50] Thanks so much. Really appreciate your time. 

Bert Croimans [00:12:52] Thank you. You do. I hope it was a little bit helpful and good for you. 

Ned Hayes [00:13:03] Thanks for listening today to the SparkPlug podcast hosted by me, Ned Hayes, and brought to you by SnowShoes Snow.sh For smarter mobile location, SparkPlug is a wholly owned property of SnowShoe all content and copyright 2021 SparkPlug Media.