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Azim Esmail, founder and CEO of RewardOps, believes that his company has something unique and significant to offer loyalty marketers.
Esmail participated in a Q&A with Loyalty360 to talk about his company that launched in early 2013.
Can you tell our audience what RewardOps is and how it can impact loyalty marketers?
Esmail: RewardOps is an API-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that makes it easy to build, track and streamline rewards programs. With one simple integration, our clients can manage direct partnerships and access millions of products from a continuously growing marketplace of exciting reward suppliers. Best of all, our platform provides a highly technical solution geared for use by non-technical people. RewardOps takes care of the backend operations of supplier sourcing, management and fulfillment. Plus, our technology is flexible. We can integrate with existing platforms or help companies build new turnkey programs with ease.
What makes RewardOps unique in the loyalty industry?
Esmail: RewardOps was designed specifically for rewards fulfillment. Since we did not evolve out of an ecommerce platform, our features reflect what loyalty marketers are looking for – audience segmentation, dynamic pricing and rules-based catalog curation.
A few features that make us unique:
Self-service – we are one of the only truly self-service platforms to manage rewards redemption. By empowering Loyalty Programs to manage their own rewards catalog such as defining the rules for the rewards they want to offer (e.g. all blue headphones under $50) and price the rewards for redemption (e.g. 100 bps for all headphones from BestBuy), they save significantly on professional service fees.
SaaS platform model - Our clients don't have to install any software on their servers to access our platform, resulting in simpler and faster set-up. Also, as we add new functionality to the platform, all clients have access to it right away.
Comprehensive RESTful JSON APIs - All aspects of our platform, from rewards management to catalog display and orders, are available through a robust set of RESTful JSON APIs. This means our clients have the ultimate flexibility with how they integrate with us, how they design their user experiences and what platforms they serve them on.
Cloud-based infrastructure – We are able to add new clients easily and efficiently – saving them excessive setup fees. Our platform is setup to auto-scale as our clients grow, making it a scalable solution for clients of any size.
Growing marketplace of vendors - Clients are be able to continuously refresh the rewards they offer without having to engage with IT resources for a new integration or BD resources to contract with a new vendor
What has the feedback been from clients?
Esmail: Our clients and suppliers have been impressed by our platform. The features that they have highlighted to us as favorites are:
Dashboard and real-time data – being able to look up real time redemptions and track costs is really useful to managing a program closely. We had a client track fraud within hours due to being able to track redemptions in real-time
Real-time catalog management – the ability to update and change the catalog based on real-time info helps clients ensure they are promoting rewards that their members are most excited about
Custom properties – being able to customize the redemption rules and marketplace catalog based on specific program needs has enabled our clients to get creative with how they design their program and offer rewards for redemption
Single integration – our clients marvel at how easy it is to integrate with our platform. As we make updates to our platform or sign new supplier partners or reward programs, they don’t need more technology support to access the new features, marketplace items or programs. They appreciate that our APIs are clearly written, straightforward and thoughtfully designed
Flexibility – our API-based technology opens the doors for proprietary customer experiences
How is technology changing the loyalty industry?
Esmail: Technology has made it possible for the loyalty industry to listen to their members and customize their interactions to help individual programs stand out. The times of cookie cutter programs where all the rewards and redemption options were the same are over.
With flexible technology, programs are able to develop programs and experiences that speak to their members and showcase their products and brand.
What are your future plans for RewardOps?
Esmail: World domination – LOL
We have had healthy growth within the U.S. To keep the momentum going, we are looking at global expansion. Starting in Canada, then overseas.
At RewardOps, what are you most proud of?
Esmail: At RewardOps, we are most proud of how we build our platform. We follow the Agile development methodology and we are able to work collaboratively between our business and developer teams to build and design features that our customers want, leveraging real-time feedback from our clients. We are continuously thinking about how to take our platform to the next level. Our developers are passionate about building a platform that is easily scalable, flexible and can do tricks that no one else has thought of yet. It’s so gratifying to see the progress and our ideas come to life as new features are released every few weeks. As a result, we have built a platform that can keep up with our clients’ changing programs and often, we ignite new ideas for them. Our technology is only limited by the creativity and imagination of our team, clients and partners.
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