In December 2018, the bakery chain Backstube Herrmann Härdtner, in cooperation with the loyalty experts from secucard and Kalicom Kassensysteme Liebers e.K. the electronic “Härdtner customer card” and achieved a lot more than with a conventional discount card. With around 60 branches in and around the headquarters in Neckarsulm, the bakery chain Backstube Herrmann Härdtner is one of the large and successful companies in the industry.
The reason for this success lies in the successful combination of tradition and innovation. Because Härdtner is now in the third generation of baking according to the founder’s proven recipes. To this day, every single bread is shaped by hand. It goes without saying that this traditional, high product quality inspires regular and new customers. The Härdtners act very differently in corporate management. Here they rely on modern tools to assert themselves in the market and to offer their customers a special service, such as the electronic customer card.
In the morning at half past eight in bakeries
We all know this picture. While most of the shops are still closed or slowly open their doors tired of the morning, a line has already formed in front of your favorite bakery. Whether a few breakfast rolls, a coffee for the journey or a baggage for the breakfast break, between half past seven and half past nine it is very busy in German bakeries. But it doesn’t always go as fast as the customers in a hurry would like. The friendly sales staff do their best.
Nevertheless, it cannot prevent the first customers in line from turning off due to impatience or lack of time. At the latest when the third customer laboriously collects his change or tries to pay with a 50 euro note and there is no change in the cash register, resentment arises. And the stamping of discount cards also costs valuable time in this situation and strains the nerves of those waiting. Too bad for the bakery. Because whether annoyed customers start a new attempt the next day or are lost to a competitor is in the stars. It goes without saying that this process is repeated during the lunch break for soup, salad or snack and on Sunday afternoon at coffee time.
Customer card: It’s more relaxed at Härdtner
Of course, the branches of the Herrmann Härdtner bakery subject to the daily highs and lows in demand. But here paying is made easy. In particular, contactless payment with a customer card or a credit or debit card works faster and more easily than in other bakeries. Because thanks to the consistent integration of the card or EC terminal in the Kalikom cash register system, the terminal can be permanently on the sales counter and all you have to do is press a button to start the checkout process. The previously cumbersome fetching of the card reader, activation and entry of the amount are no longer necessary. In this way, cashless payment works faster than any other payment method.
This also eliminates the need to change money and the annoying small change rummaging around. And sales can be processed considerably faster and more efficiently, especially in times of great demand. The fastest way is with the electronic Härdtner customer card, of which around 145,000 copies are now in circulation. By implementing the secucard software in the Kalicom cash register system, the card does not only automatically credit bonus percentages, it also serves as a credit card for cashless payments without entering a PIN or signature. And important in Corona times: Payment is completely contactless. The card only needs to be held in front of the cash register scanner. The result: more sales, more security and happier customers.
Customer card: the shopping cart is used for the bonus
Another advantage: By integrating the secucard solution into the cash register system, the actually purchased shopping cart is used as the basis for the bonus, so that the different VAT rates for different products are documented. In this way, any misuse that occurs with analog stamp cards through multiple stamping or stamping, although the purchased product is not discountable, is excluded. And the booking of the bonuses used takes place as a sales tax-relevant reduction in income.
Incidentally, Härdtner also passes the current VAT reduction on to regular customers via the bonus program. The abolition of analog stamp cards also means a considerable simplification for accounting. Because there is no need to count or archive the cards. secucard also offers an online dealer portal through which all transactions can be tracked in real time. All data can be exported from the system for further processing
Added value of the customer card in customer communication
The Härdtner customer card has also become an effective instrument for marketing: The card can also be used as a gift voucher with any amount of credit. In this way, the convinced bakery customer becomes a brand ambassador himself. For the Herrmann Härdtner bakery, prepaid cards also mean a welcome increase in liquidity, which increases the financial scope for investments. Another plus point is that the card can be used anonymously as well as with stored personal data, which gives customers freedom of choice.
Personalization has the advantage that stolen or lost cards can be blocked and replaced with new ones to which the existing credit is transferred. That is why many customers like to use this option. At the same time, this opens up the possibility for the bakery chain to keep in contact with regular customers with the direct marketing tool secuAction provided by secucard and to make special offers for them. For example, a birthday greeting that is automatically sent at the right time with an additional birthday bonus on the next purchase only for the recipient or the claiming of a happy hour, for example between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., to counteract idle times in sales.
Further projects are being planned
After the success of the electronic customer card, the Härdtner chain is currently working with secucard GmbH to set up an online shop. The shop should enable pre-orders for baked goods, breakfast and lunch, which can then be picked up at the agreed time or consumed in the branch. Later, parts of the range should also be available for delivery by courier on the requested date. The customer card should be seamlessly integrated into the shop, both for bonusing online purchases and as a payment option.
The secupay AG based in Pulsnitz near Dresden is the largest owner-managed and BaFin-approved payment institution. The company, founded in 2000 by Hans-Peter Weber as a provider of EC terminals, developed with the constantly changing requirements of the payment market into a specialist for customized payment and loyalty solutions online, offline and crosschannel for stationary retail , E-commerce and marketplace and platform businesses. In this way, secupay enables a seamless and secure payment experience for every sales channel – for both retailers and their customers.
With secucard secupay offers customer loyalty solutions for retail and online trading. Via the dealer portal secuOffice all card, eCom and loyalty transactions and sales can be tracked in detail at any time. With the direct marketing tool integrated in secuOffice secuAction customers can be addressed individually, vouchers and coupons sent or information about product launches and promotions. With the Collecting Service In payment transactions, secupay bundles the incoming payments of all payment methods so that the merchant’s accounting can better coordinate the income. In addition to accounts receivable management, factoring with a payment guarantee is also offered for purchase on account and SEPA direct debits.
About the author: Cora Rosenkranz works for the Wordfinder PR agency.
Also read: Omnichannel strategy: With these 4 tips, retailers can cope with the consequences of the Corona