Retooling Customer Relations with Vantiv Prepaid Cards
Sunex Tools builds successful end-user rebate program for a 75 percent sales increase
For over 35 years, Sunex has been putting the right tools in the hands of professional auto technicians and do-it-yourself motor enthusiasts. Based in South Carolina, Sunex develops and manufactures innovative automotive tools, serving both the automotive aftermarkets and the industrial and commercial sectors.
Originally selling through a two-step distribution of wholesalers to resellers, Sunex Tools had little end user contact. But as eCommerce sales increased from online accounts such as Amazon, Sunex recognized the potential for direct-to-consumer business and realized the need for an improved end-user-reaching channel. By building a closer relationship with their end users, Sunex could increase brand engagement, boosting brand loyalty and enticing buyers to try new or featured products from the Sunex website.
"In addition to rewarding the distributors, we wanted to reward our end users." — Henry Kao, Sunex Tools
However, Sunex Tools found it difficult to identify these end user consumers. Without a comprehensive customer list, Sunex didn’t know who these end users were – or how to contact them directly about products or promotional opportunities.
Sunex wanted to build a better channel to reach their end users, and turned to Vantiv for help. Having successfully used Vantiv for prepaid cards several years prior, Sunex trusted Vantiv to implement a mail-in rebate program – a first for Sunex – that would promote choice products while collecting end user contact information. Rebates distributed in prepaid cards by Vantiv allow simple management for businesses looking to run promotions or reward consumers. This single source solution is designed to act as a branded payment tool to drive sales and strengthen customer relationships.
By rewarding customers with the prepaid rebates for supplying their contact information and becoming a part of the Sunex network, the company could then use that data to craft brand messages to them directly through emails and other marketing tactics.
Initiating the Vantiv prepaid program in 2013, Sunex saw significant sales growth as a direct result of the mail-in rebates. In 2014, they offered rebates between $25 and $100 on 22 various tools. As a result, Sunex reported 50 percent higher unit sales in the third quarter with 75 percent higher sales dollars and approximately $334,000 sales growth over the other quarters.
"We've tripled the amount of end users that we had in mail-in rebates this year versus last," said Kao. "As a whole, we're gathering infinite percent more because we had none—we had no method of grabbing end user information that we were activating and implementing. This is really our primary method of collecting information and our number one tactic for increased sales."
Additionally, with the new found capacity for targeted communication and marketing, Sunex finds they can better reach, reward, and retain their end user consumers, Henry explained. Now benefiting from three years of past successes, Sunex is currently planning another round of mail-in rebate promotions using Vantiv’s prepaid program.