Loyalty program turns to SAS to share data

A national loyalty program that helps Canadian families save money for financial goals is using business intelligence software to provide its member companies a better sense of how their customers are buying products and services.

Futura Rewards, formerly known as KidsFutures, said Monday it was working with SAS Canada to give its partner companies reports based on analysis of their transaction data. KidsFutures, which allowed members to earn points from purchases that went towards educational savings products, rebranded as Futura last month to offer members a broader array of investment vehicles. These includes retirement savings plans, paying off student debt or contributing to charities. It has more than 300,000 members in Canada and hundreds of retail partners.

Through the program, companies that allow customers to earn Futura points through the purchase of consumer goods will provide data that Futura will use to create reports on customer segments. Futura COO Byron Holland said the organization has always provided some level of reporting to partners, but the SAS partnership will allow it to create an “a la carte menu” of reporting options.

“For grocery partners, for example, they could see who are the people coming in and cherry picking low-margin items, so they can identify that segment and work on strategies to improve the product mix from grocer’s point of view,” he said. “That way they’re not just buying the loss-leader items but move up the food chain and also purchase other items that have higher margin.”

Futura partners like Proctor + Gamble may already be SAS customers, Holland added, but many of them are mid-market firms that could benefit from some additional business intelligence capabilities. Futura will never release individual member’s information but only examine it as a group, he said.

SAS already works with many other well-known rewards programs, said outsourcing business development executive Pat McKenna, including Air Miles and Aeroplan.

“They want to understand the customers better to be able to offer more benefits to their partner organizations,” he said. “We’ve recognized the reality in the ASP space and through the flexibility in our sales process, we are able to let ASP clients leverage analytics and BI capabilities which align closer to their business model.”

Futura started discussions with SAS last spring and continued over the course of the summer, Holland said. “We have always looked to SAS as a benchmark in this area (of analytics),” he said. “It was just a question of getting to the size and scale where we would have some value in being partnered with them to this extent.”

Some of Futura’s retail partners include Budget and Sleep Country Canada.

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