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On Tuesday, 3 November 2015, Cuan Chelin, Founder & Chief Executive of the Super-Brands Group of companies, spoke in a panel discussion at the Retail Congress Africa 2015 held at the CTICC in Cape Town. Members of the panel included Gary Hadfield (CEO of Loot Online and former CEO of at Naspers) as well as Michael Cotterell (GM of Online Shopping at Pick n Pay).

The conference was a huge success, bringing together more than 300 key industry players from both domestic and international retailer businesses and provided an invaluable opportunity to share ideas. Additional speakers at this world class event included Bernie Brookes, the recently appointed CEO of Edcon; Greg Solomon , Chief Executive of McDonalds South Africa; and Geoff Whyte,Chief Executive of Nandos.

The discussion focussed on how retailers can drive customer engagement and loyalty through the use of mobile.  Chelin discussed his history and experience in building the Sportingbet business in South Africa, which now generates more than 50% of its revenue through mobile, as well as how they are applying the knowledge gained from this to their Toy Kingdom Retail business. Toy Kingdom has grown to a number of stores across South Africa as well as having a franchise store in Tanzania, with the vision of becoming Africa’s most loved retail toy brand. In particular, Chelin focussed on how Smartphone owners = Smart shoppers, and that over 80% of customers in developed markets consult their mobiles before making purchases.

Chelin added that the group likes to think of loyalty programs as “an opportunity for brands to prove their loyalty to their best customers; not the other way around”, and are utilising a four-step strategy addressed to mobile engagement:

  1. Reach – Be there and in front of your target audience at the right time.
  2. Trigger – Call to actions that are relevant, useful and tailored to your customer
  3. Entertain – make it fun and easy to transact and engage with your brand
  4. Lock in – capture customers loyalty with rewards and engagement

“It was an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to take part in this conference and particularly given the high calibre of speakers and attendees, and I’m really looking forward to next year’s event.” said Chelin.