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BellyCard Review with Ryan Jeffery

BellyCard Review with Ryan Jeffery

Our mission is simple: To create and enhance digital connections that strengthen customer loyalty. Belly’s VP of Business Development, Ryan Jeffery, recently interviewed with Mobilized to expand on this mission, explain the need Belly solves, and what our merchants and members can expect as 2014 unfolds.

Mobilized: What moved you to pursue to build Belly? What does it do different than other products?

Ryan Jeffery: We saw a need in the market and wanted to solve a very real problem small business owners face on a daily basis – improving customer loyalty and retention. We didn't see effective digital tools that helped the individual proprietor (or even large franchisees) to bring back their customers more frequently. There were plenty of tools for a small business to utilize for digital acquisition of new customers – Groupon, LivingSocial, Foursquare, Google, Yelp etc – but once these customer walked into the business, the connection was lost. We set out to help solve this problem with a very simple (yet difficult to execute) mission: to create and enhance digital connections that strengthen customer loyalty.

M: What has been the most challenging experience in building Belly?

RJ: We provide the digital connection between a business and its customers through a loyalty program that enables each business the ability to offer unique and exceptional rewards in-store. We started with rewards, but because we create this connection, there is a huge opportunity for us to deliver much more than just loyalty in the form of additional value for the businesses we work with. A major challenge for us has been figuring out which additional products to focus on. We have tried to overcome this by establishing and deepening the relationships we have with the businesses we work with—keeping constant communication with the over 7,000 businesses in our network has allowed us to focus on the products we know they will find most beneficial. We're able to roll out new features and products that our businesses tell us they actually want.

M: What has been a major influence for the design or idea behind Belly?

RJ: We provide the digital connection between a business and its customers through a loyalty program that enables each business the ability to offer unique and exceptional rewards in-store. We started with rewards, but because we create this connection, there is a huge opportunity for us to deliver much more than just loyalty in the form of additional value for the businesses we work with. A major challenge for us has been figuring out which additional products to focus on. We have tried to overcome this by establishing and deepening the relationships we have with the businesses we work with—keeping constant communication with the over 7,000 businesses in our network has allowed us to focus on the products we know they will find most beneficial. We're able to roll out new features and products that our businesses tell us they actually want.

M: What has been a major influence for the design or idea behind BellyCard?

RJ: Our platform is inherently fun and quirky. Not just for the sake of being fun and quirky, but because we understand the behavioral psychology behind customer retention. Customers go back into places not because they are getting a discount 2 weeks later on their credit card, or because they are getting the same stale item they've just purchased 10 of, but rather because they've become buddies with the owner, or they have a crush on the barista behind the counter, or they love the way the tacos are prepared. These are the connections we help solidify in-store. Belly offers very real rewards, both monetary and experiential, that get customers excited about returning. For this reason, our design needs to reflect the light-hearted nature and unique personalities of our partner businesses. You can see this in Flop, our mascot dog, and the way in which we approach our brand and copy.

M: Who is this app for?

RJ: Any consumer who is annoyed with multiple loyalty cards weighing down their wallet and wants to actually get rewarded for their loyalty to a business. Any business owner who wants to engage and connect with their customers in a deeper way and provide incentives for guests to return more frequently. We are solving a problem that has been around since the beginning of commerce—and are utilizing tools that have just recently become accessible to business owners and consumers. It's a problem that needs a solution.

M: Who would be a better spokesperson for Belly: Sasquatch, the Loch Ness, or a Roswell Alien?

RJ; The best spokesperson for BellyCard would be our iPads! The Belly tablet has become synonymous with loyalty, marketing expertise, and merchant success. Our Merchants recognize it as the hub for their business's loyalty program, and our Members know that it's where they can earn points for rewards they'll love. Even as we've grown as a company and expanded on what we're able to offer, the Belly iPad has remained the portal for our loyalty platform.

M: What is in store for the future for Belly?

RJ: We will continue to provide tools that allow businesses the ability to make smarter, more actionable decisions about their customers. Loyalty will be the foundation, but there will be plenty of other value we will drive for both consumers and businesses. We want Belly to be synonymous with loyalty, customer retention and rewards by every business owner across the country. We are building a lasting company that will drive real impact for thousands of businesses and will ultimately change the landscape of physical commerce for the better.

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