Daily deals site Womply focuses on customer loyalty


Womply wants to help you save without the need to tote around coupons or vouchers. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
December 8, 2011

The daily deals space is a crowded place and there are plenty of companies looking to distinguish themselves from the pack.

Womply, a D.C.-based daily deals site, has carved out a niche by offering invisible discounts that credits the amount of the discount directly to your account. Now, the company is focusing on customer loyalty by rolling out a new program that rewards repeat customers.

The product is called the Loyalty Cloud. Womply chief executive and co-founder Toby Scammell said that the objective of the program is to create the “simplest loyalty program ever for local merchants,” after coming to the conclusion that merchants looking to push out deals should start with their loyal customer base first.

“It works with a merchant’s existing business,” Scammell said, adding that Womply’s frictionless discounts are suited for merchants who want to reward their repeat customers but don’t want to do anything to interrupt a merchant’s business. Business owners can adverstise their Womply deals via their existing e-mail lists or other outreach programs.

Scammell said the company can only see purchases that customers make at participating merchants through linked credit cards, and doesn’t sell personal information. He said the company tries to be as transparent as possible to build customer trust — an important component of any frictionless deal. And while users have the option to hook their accounts to Facebook, Womply added the ability to use the site with a username and password for customers who said they didn’t want their purchasing histories linked to the social network. The frictionless nature of Womply’s discounts, Scammell said, cuts down on fraud from people who misuse coupons, punchcards and other traditional offers.

Right now, Womply works only with Visa debit and credit cards, though it has plans to add more brands in the future. It refunds customer accounts through its relationship with Visa and with banks.

Merchants starts by setting up rewards through Womply — for example, saying that customers who visit three times in a month and receive $25 in credit. Womply can track what transactions the program participants make at the store and automatically credit the discount to qualifying accounts.

Womply currently has over 100 merchant partners in D.C., Scammell said, and restaurants involved in the loyalty cloud program include Cashion’s Eat Place, Smith Commons, 1905 Restaurant, Todd Gray’s Watershed and Michel.

The loyalty cloud program rolled out in D.C. earlier this week, and any merchant in the country can sign on to work with Womply. The company currently had “thousands of users in DC,” and has a waitlist of over 15,000 people nationally, he said.

Scammells said that the company “will be rolling out the loyalty cloud to other cities and other merchants as they come to us.”

Related stories:

LivingSocial seeks $400 million in funding, cushion could put off an IPO

Black Friday: Daily-deal sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial vie for holiday sales

Daily deals and the demise of Black Friday

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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