Rewardle brings in data insights to help cafés cope with heat

Coffee loyalty startup saw lower sales of hot drinks during heatwave

Credit: Rewardle
Credit: Rewardle

A coffee loyalty start-up has tapped its data in Melbourne to help small cafés adapt their marketing to the summer heat.

Rewardle is an electronic coffee loyalty program that lets customers earn points for buying beverages. Members check in to cafés on a tablet at the counter, using either a card or an app on their smartphone.

During a summer heatwave in Melbourne, with temperatures up around 40 degrees Celsius, Rewardle noticed cafés in its loyalty program were selling fewer coffees. The company’s data showed a 17 per cent drop off in check-ins at cafés using Rewardle, indicating regular customers were avoiding hot drinks as they attempted to stay cool.

Rewardle responded by proactively suggesting to its merchants that they reach out to customers by email, social or mobile with offers for iced coffee, iced tea and other cold drinks.

The next day, merchants began to sell double to triple the number of cold beverages, according to anecdotal feedback, said Rewardle CEO, Ruwan Weerasooriya.

“This is typically the type of campaign managed by a sophisticated marketing team for chains like Starbucks,” he said. “Our aim is to play this role for the little guys out there.”

“By empowering café owners to create a digital connection with their customers through our membership, points and rewards system we were able to help them reach out to customers during the heatwave and entice them in with a highly contextual, targeted offer.”

Rewardle, which recently added the ability to pay for coffee with a prepaid or gift card, is now looking to add a way for customers to order pre-order coffee either online or through the mobile app. The feature is similar to what’s offered by Sydney start-up and PayPal partner, Beat The Q .

“A number of start-ups have attempted online and mobile pre-ordering without gathering what I would consider commercially viable critical mass,” said Weerasooriya. “Like all things we do as a lean start-up, we’ve been working closely for many months with a group of pilot merchants to develop a solution that adds value for both merchants and members.”

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