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New mobile rewards app launched in South Africa

September 19, 2017 • Education, Online & Social, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Van Schaik Bookstore has enhanced its rewards programme with a lock-screen replacement android Rewards App.

Van Schaik Bookstore has enhanced its rewards programme with a lock-screen replacement android Rewards App.

Van Schaik Bookstore has enhanced its rewards programme with a lock-screen replacement android Rewards App. The app will offer student consumers rewards, freebies, deals and information, as well as free Wi-Fi and WhatsApp benefits. Van Schaik has also launched a mobile virtual network called Van Schaik Mobile, that through a Van Schaik SIM card, offers airtime and data linked to rewards in the app.

Through the app, students can generate income and stay informed and be entertained with a wide range of general, course-related and university-specific content.

Stephan Erasmus, MD for Van Schaik Bookstores explained that, “Funding is an issue for university students, and Van Schaik Bookstore is striving to be proactive about the problems that their customers face by introducing an easy way for students to make money for themselves. Students interact with their smartphones all the time, and using the Van Schaik Rewards App offers them an easy way to earn extra income while on their mobiles.”

It also provides students with relevant information that enhances their lives… Erasmus said. Erasmus added that “The Van Schaik Rewards App makes the lock screen on Android phones a source to view, and enjoy interesting content, and at the same time, rewarding the user with points every time they interact with the lock screen, which includes simply swiping to unlock the screen. The points earned by unlocking the phone will be available on the App Wallet for spending on Airtime and Data as well as purchases at any Van Schaik Bookstore. Spending money from the App wallet is regulated via a User PIN.”

To unlock certain benefits, such as access to free Wi-Fi at all Always On hotspots, free WhatsApp, and special deals, users must spend a minimum amount on airtime or data, purchased through the Van Schaik Rewards App or USSD.

Nick Wallander, who has been appointed as mobile manager to bring more focus to the MVNO and App, said: “Providing content that’s relevant to students’ lives and giving them the ability to earn rewards by simply engaging with it, makes the Van Schaik App a really attractive offering.”

“And the rewards are tangible – For instance, students can earn up to R2 per day to spend on items available through the app.”

All Van Schaik customers can get a free SIM card which needs to be RICA’d instore and upon inserting it into their Android phones, are prompted to download the free Van Schaik Rewards App via a link. Students register on the app and create a unique, customised profile by selecting topics they would like to receive info about, from fashion and beauty, to sport, recipes, news, what’s on in their area, and information on the courses they are studying.

App advertisers
The app offers an effective way for Van Schaik Bookstore, its partners and tertiary education institutions to reach a large body of students. Erasmus explained that: “Mobile has become a vital platform for advertisers, but users dislike in-app pop-ups and other intrusive display ads – and the last thing we want to do is to alienate loyal customers. The Van Schaik Rewards App target users based on indicated areas of interest, study, location, purchasing patterns and in-app usage, and engages them in a positive and relevant way.”

For companies wanting to communicate and get their message through to the students it’s an ideal platform, says Erasmus: “The app offers an affordable way for companies to focus their messages on niche, profiled target audiences, and gather data from the way the students interact with their adverts.”

Erasmus said that with 100 000+ students expected to use the Van Schaik Rewards App it’s a win-win: “The students will benefit financially, academically and personally from their interaction with the App, our partners can benefit from affordable, targeted and interactive advertising, and Van Schaik will benefit with improved customer engagement and loyalty.”

Stephan Erasmus added that: “When we repositioned the brand as far back as 2011, we introduced ourselves as a knowledge navigator – somebody that students could partner with on their journey to knowledge and future success. We shifted our focus so that it is all about helping students to get ahead, by growing their knowledge, creating opportunities and leading the way.

“With this in mind, we launched our Rewards Card in 2015 – quite a milestone for an academic textbook supplier and a great way to reward our customers. It has been exceptionally well received, and to date, our Rewards Card membership numbers have grown to over 130 000. With the new app, we believe that members and partners alike will be able to secure even better rewards than before,” Erasmus noted.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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