Interested in creating your own commuter store filled with enticing incentives, but not really sure how to start?  We’ll give you some rules of thumb that we have found to help be effective and engaging.

Tip #1: Offer a strategic balance of low-value, easy to obtain rewards, and mid-value, harder to obtain rewards.

Why: Remember when you were a kid and would go to the arcade and win tickets from accomplishments at certain games? Those tickets could then be exchanged at the counter for prizes.

Were you that person that would immediately exchange your tickets for small things like bouncy balls or jax or parachute men? Or were you saving up for that lava lamp?  Providing both low-value prizes and higher-value prizes ensures that your commuter store appeals to both types – instant gratification or saver.

How: Offer low-value ($10-$20) gift cards to vendors where smaller amounts make sense, such as restaurants or general retail. Make a significant amount of these rewards available, and offer them at a fairly low/obtainable point value. Next, offer some middle-value prizes ($20-$50) that would appeal to those who like to strive toward bigger goals. You won’t need quite as many of these – aim for around a 5:1 ratio between low-value and mid-value. But, be sure to save some of your incentive budget for high-value prizes too, which are best distributed via raffles (see below.)

Tip #2:  Offer prizes to a number of different types or vendors.

Why:  Let’s say you walked into a store purporting to offer useful tools for commuters but then all they offered was bikes.  If you don’t bike, and won’t even consider biking, you’d probably walk out immediately. Well – you don’t want your users walking away from your commuter store (and as a result no longer logging trips) just because you don’t offer any rewards that are relevant to them.  By offering a range of rewards you avoid losing good commuters.

How: Picking the just-right number of prize types can be tricky. Gift cards are typically a great all-purpose prize. Cards that can be used for a wide array of products, such as Visa or Amazon cards, are always popular. So are restaurants and grocery stores (everyone has to eat!) Leisure-related vendors like sporting goods stores and movie theaters might help people feel like they’ve earned an opportunity to splurge. If you have some logo gear from your organization or program, like sunglasses, notebooks, or t-shirts, these items can also make for great entry-level prizes. Just be sure to offer a couple differently-targeted prizes at various point values and you’ll be set.

Tip #3:  Offer large rewards as a raffle prize rather than a purchase opportunity.

Why: There are a lot of great reasons for this approach:

  1. By providing chances at one high-value item rather than as many items as your users could redeem allows you to better manage your prize budget.
  2. Really high point totals that might be necessary to obtain a large value item are often off-putting to users, smaller point values necessary to get a raffle ticket feel more obtainable and those users that are accruing a lot of points can simply purchase multiple raffle tickets and give themselves a better chance to win.
  3. The more raffle tickets purchased, the higher the chance of a user winning, which encourages your users to do the desired activity more.
  4. People often overestimate their chances of winning a raffle and therefore are more participatory.  In fact, random chances to win large prizes are chosen more often than smaller set-value prizes at approximately 75% choosing raffle tickets to 25% choosing set-value prizes.  Don’t believe it? Raise your hand if you know someone that regularly plays the lottery!
  5. Combining raffles alongside low- and medium-value guaranteed rewards allows you to appeal to the widest audience possible: those who want near-instant gratification, those who like to save toward a goal, and those willing to take a chance at receiving a big reward.

How: Rather than creating an inventory of one or two items for a large reward and setting it an exorbitant point value, offer raffle tickets for a raffle for the item at a lower point value. Raffles are best run over a specific amount of time, to keep interest high. If you have multiple raffle tickets available for different items, or for different timeframes, be sure it’s easy for users to tell them apart. Once the raffle timeframe has passed, make a big announcement of the raffle winner – another opportunity to market your commuter store program!

We hope these tips for creating your own commuter store rewards help get your programs up and going quickly and easily. If you have any questions about how to set up a commuter store using RideAmigos, don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re happy to help!