Clarus Commerce: Bringing Subscription-based Loyalty Programs to Retailers

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Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus
Modern-day consumers no longer want to wait to receive benefits from loyalty programs. On the other hand, traditional loyalty programs make customers transact first to receive benefits later. These programs consume a lot of time to rack up points after transactions and generate benefits. And retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart witnessed the customer attitude toward traditional loyalty programs and brought fee-based premium loyalty programs into practice, where the customers can access exclusive benefits immediately without having to make purchases over time for discounts later. While customers join premium loyalty programs to access exclusive benefits, the retailers benefit from the premium loyalty program with an additional revenue stream that the membership fees generate and see an increase in order frequency, customer engagement, and brand advocacy. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. Though there are a lot of advantages a premium loyalty program offers to retailers, they are not equipped to handle the subscription and billing management component of it as many of them are used to the traditional loyalty programs. Or their mindset is more on merchandising their site or store. Addressing this gap is Clarus Commerce, a company with almost two decades of experience helping retailers launch and manage successful premium loyalty programs. “As consumers are getting a lot of choices to shop at, it is harder than ever to maintain their loyalty. We open up premium loyalty to retailers of all sizes to help them strengthen the relationship with their customers to retain them,” remarks Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus.

Possessing the unique skill set that a premium loyalty program requires, Clarus understands their clients’ market scenario, analyzes the data by integrating with various outlets such as CRM, POS, or payment gateways, and provides them with the appropriate program. Caporaso notes, “Your brand is everything, so your loyalty program needs to look and feel like it’s part of your brand. As to meet this requirement, every loyalty program we launch is fully customized to match the feel of your brand. Hence, we offer turnkey solutions to bring a premium or paid subscription, loyalty program to the retailers who might not have the skillset in-house to do that.”

Clarus offers premium loyalty programs to clients through a streamlined process that starts with a strategy and alignment workshop. At this stage, the company understands that each retailer has different KPIs and demographics of customers and sketches out a program design that answers the consumer pain points and meets KPIs. Clarus then proceeds to a financial model considering the subscription and billing program and understands if the client requires a monthly or annual subscription for their customers. Clarus further does a full deep dive into the financial modeling by conducting a sensitivity analysis based on price point and conversion into the program through different metrics.

Caporaso remarks that Clarus offers more than just a loyalty platform, as it is an end-to-end service provider that handles all the IT heavy lifting. The company also has great managed services of tech implementation, marketing, product development, product strategy, creative services, member management, and analytics and billing.
Moving to the marketing and communications plan, Clarus analyzes the consumer touchpoints and navigates the clients to create a better communication or a member marketing plan. Then the company does a technology assessment to understand the clients’ systems and considers the relationships Clarus has to meld the two together. As a final step, the company bundles up all these inputs to provide strategic recommendations for its clients that have the best product for the consumers at the best price point. And Clarus, being built for speed and customization, completes the whole cycle of this process in just a matter of 90 days. Caporaso remarks, “By dealing exclusively with premium loyalty, we are able to set up our platform and get to the market quickly while taking inputs constantly to continue optimization and enhancement of the program from that point forward.”


As consumers are getting a lot of choices to shop at, it is harder than ever to maintain their loyalty. We open up premium loyalty to retailers of all sizes to help them strengthen the relationship with their customers to retain them

As to reinstate the applicability of these solutions, Caporaso recollects a success story with a leading apparel, footwear, and sporting goods retailer, who had a traditional free loyalty program. The client wanted to drive more value from their high-value customers and engage the less frequenting customers with its brands. So, Clarus understood their KPIs and pain points, and conceptualized their build, and launched a customized premium loyalty program. As a result, the client organization increased the annual purchase frequency by over 40 percent, and the annual spend online, and in-store jumped about 24 percent.

Caporaso considers the rich experience and the technology that Clarus has in the premium loyalty space by working for the past 20 years to be the key differentiating factor amongst other market players. Secondly, Clarus has a unique financial model; as Caporaso notes, “Most loyalty providers charge an upfront and ongoing fee whereas, Clarus does not charge anything from the ongoing fee, and imposes no additional costs for the services, rather it splits the revenue from the subscription fee with the retailer.” He considers this payment model to positively impact clients, as it is a no-risk opportunity for them to grab and reach the market within 90 days.

Clarus has a set roadmap in which the company would continue to optimize the technology and build on to the platform with new features and functionalities. In addition to premium loyalty programs, Clarus plans to become an end-to-end loyalty solutions provider, as numerous prospects and clients approach the company for the traditional program. Caporaso believes, “The end-to-end loyalty program will open up a lot more opportunities to talk with retailers and other organizations about the features and functionalities that Clarus has.”

Company
Clarus Commerce

Headquarters
Rocky Hill, CT

Management
Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus

Description
Clarus Commerce has almost two decades of experience in helping retailers launch and manage successful premium loyalty programs. It understands their clients’ market scenario, analyzes the data by integrating with various outlets such as CRM, POS, or payment gateways, and provides them with the appropriate program. Clarus offers premium loyalty programs to clients through a streamlined process that starts with a strategy and alignment workshop. It is also an end-to-end service provider that handles all the IT heavy lifting. The company has great managed services of tech implementation, marketing, product development, product strategy, creative services, member management, and analytics and billing

Clarus Commerce