Implementing Plastic Card Innovation to Reward Customers
Fashion and jewelry wholesaler thanks customers with the help of a loyalty card
- By Julie Kuepers
- Aug 15, 2016
Fashion-Forward from the Very Beginning
For more than three decades, SW Trading Accessory Plaza in Houston, Texas has operated as a wholesaler of fashion handbags and scarves, luxury jewelry, luggage, and the latest in trendy couture accessories.
Since owner Mark Song established the brick-and-mortar company in a 1,000 square foot location in 1982, the family-owned and operated business has grown to five separate stores with a combined total of 55,000 square feet. Additionally, the company has an e-commerce website showcasing their entire inventory of quality merchandise.
Although SW Trading Accessory Plaza sells their merchandise to retail customers, they have a dedicated customer base of more than 15,000 small business wholesale clients.
Create a More Distinctive Loyalty Card for Wholesale Clients
When the company first implemented a loyalty program for the wholesale side of the business nearly 10 years ago, they printed SW Trading Accessory Plaza information on standard business cards with a regular inkjet printer. The business cards were then laminated to increase their longevity and use.
As their customer base steadily grew, however, Song realized it was time for a more durable and professional-looking card. He wanted a high-quality printed card that featured the company's branding more prominently for this important client reward and retention initiative.
Another integral requirement for Song included the use of a plastic card that featured his brand's colors and brandmark elements already pre-printed on the card stock. In addition, Song wanted a high-performance ID card printer that enabled him to both encode and print barcode information on the back of the cards. It would prevent having to overhaul his entire point-of-sale (POS) system already in place. This would provide more control and accuracy when managing the customer data he intended to store in the barcodes: the wholesale customer's name and corresponding account holder identification number.
Unfortunately, the identification vendors he sought only offered pre-printed cards with sequentially-numbered barcodes already encoded on them.
Song continued his online research for alternative vendors that could accommodate his unique business needs. The prospects he was able to find fulfilled most of his requirements, but not all of them, specifically the ability to print his own barcode information on the pre-printed cards.
When he found IDWholesaler.com as a result of one of his searches, he decided to learn more about the photo identification company. Along with a wide variety of photo ID printers, equipment, and supplies, they also produced pre-printed cards to spec. He decided to call and discuss whether they could fulfill his card program requirements.
A Superior, Multi-Purpose Printer & Customizable Pre-printed Cards
Ryan Gade, Senior Account Manager at ID Wholesaler, answered Song's call. "I spent some time with Mark, asking the right questions to get a comprehensive understanding of what his card program's needs were and how we could help him achieve his end goals," Gade commented. "Mark had not dealt with ID card printers in the past and had questions about the types of printers that were available. We discussed which printer would be an optimal solution for his needs as well as the process for encoding and printing the barcodes on the pre-printed card stock," Gade said.
"Ryan walked me through everything, detailing the various features of the different printer models ID Wholesaler carries," Song explained. "I finally ended up purchasing the high-definition Fargo HDP5000 single-sided ID card printer, based on Ryan's recommendation. I was really impressed with this printer's ability to produce exceptionally crisp, sharp barcodes on cards that could easily be scanned and tracked by our POS system," Song stated.
Next, Song asked about his options for plastic cards. He wanted a unique and flexible card option that reflected the distinctive merchandise and accessories he marketed in his online and offline stores. "I felt our 2-Up Key Tag cards would be perfect for Mark's wholesale clientele," Gade said. "They're perforated and create two separate cards, each with a pre-punched key ring. It allows customers to carry the cards in a pocketbook or wallet with the other affixed to a keychain or lanyard, so they're an economical choice," Gade clarified.
A Fully Integrated Loyalty Program Coupled with Superior Quality Cards
Transitioning from a paper, manually laminated business card to a professional-grade, durable, and fully branded loyalty card has been a categorical success for SW Trading Accessory Plaza. Song noted that one of the things he liked best about his experience with ID Wholesaler was how simple and fast it was to streamline his new loyalty card program and get in motion with his new printer and cards. "Our new HDP5000 printer was very easy to set up. And working with Ryan was great! He was constantly in touch with me, helping coordinate the entire process of getting the pre-printed cards produced exactly how I wanted them," Song said.
"My customers have commented a number of times how much they like the new cards. They look better, they last longer, and they're easy for them to track their loyalty points." Song summed his experience up by saying, "ID Wholesaler delivered on everything that SW Trading Accessory Plaza was promised and on time!"