We reported recently on Perka, a company offering a cardless loyalty platform for local merchants. Designed, in their words, to “enable sustainable and highly personal marketing and incentive programs”, Perka is designed to allow small businesses to compete against larger competitors by supporting them with a loyalty program model that should make the paper punch card obsolete.
It’s tough to know which of the many offerings in this category will be the winner. Perka is not alone, competing with Belly, LevelUp, and Shopkick for preference among brick and mortar merchants seeking an affordable, technology-friendly loyalty solution.
By virtue of its inclusion on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company’s list for 2013, Perka may have leaped to the front of the competitive pack. Perka was not only on the list, but was voted #8 behind Target, Yelp, Foursquare, American Express and others.
As Rob Bethge, an executive with Perka, shared with me recently, hyper-local marketing, mobile loyalty/payment and enabling technologies, like iPad POS systems continue to evolve at a frenzied pace. While new entrants that flood the space seem to come and go with regularity, Rob celebrated inclusion on the Fast Company list, saying “Perka can be proud of this recognition as well as recent client wins including an international veterinary
Most small business owners are seeking to connect more deeply with their customers. Each has their own business objectives foremost in mind and struggles with unique challenges. They realize that loyalty solutions centered on a mobile device represent the future of consumer marketing, but aren’t sure where to invest. As marketers, we’ve got to remember that the flood of new technology solutions into the market can leave small business owners overwhelmed by choice and frozen by indecision. They need signposts along the digital marketing roadway to build confidence they are going in the right direction.
If Fast Company has it right, Perka might be separating itself from the pack to become a more clear choice for local merchants seeking a platform to build customer loyalty.