Facing a Challenge
Auggie’s Pet Supplies is a single location brick/mortar neighborhood store that focuses on nutritional and natural solutions to pet’s health care. Every product in our Supplies and Spa are fully vetted by our management team to ensure that we provide the highest quality and unique products for our furry family.
Prior to using Astro, we would submit our frequent buyer requests directly to the Distributor. It was cumbersome and time consuming for the office to process. It was also time consuming for the sales team to manage customer purchases, and it was a burden for the customer to manage their purchases. We initially tried to store the paper credits for our customers, but that task became too unwieldly, so we placed the ownness onto the customer. Overall, handling physical slips of paper coupons and envelopes negatively impacted our customer experience.
Working with the Astro team has been a pleasure, for the most part. We didn’t join Astro Loyalty until the program was able to integrate with our current POS system, Lightspeed, and be administered withing the sale. The initial iteration of Astro didn’t provide us with that ease of use, so we had to wait until it provided a seamless operation. Once Astro had an API installed in Lightspeed, the decision was made to use Astro for loyalty reimbursements.
The Astro Team is very attentive when tickets are submitted, so we’ve been very pleased with customer support. The additional features of Astro – running special discounts, offering coupons – have also been easy to administer. If there was a frustration that I could address, however, it was trying to link our Astro account with our EtailPets ecommerce account. We were never able to apply Astro Loyalty points to purchases made via EtailPets, and when asked, both parties blamed the other on the failure to add the API into the Ecommerce platform. We have resolved that issues, thought, because beginning Spring 2021, we will be using EtailPlus as our POS system. One of the features that helped us make a final decision was the partnership between Etail and Astro, so I certainly hope this works.
Currently we’re still using Lightspeed POS, so our day to day use of Astro is incorporated into the sale. Prior to finalizing a transaction, the sales team presses as button which opens up the Astro ap. They confirm the items either is or isn’t included in an Astro offer, they check out, and move seamlessly back to the Lightspeed POS sale. Astro has made the loyalty reimbursement faster and more accurate, and places absolutely no burden on the customer. The experience is the same for both loyalty offers and special offers and coupons. We have used some Astro marketing but will be transitioning to fully once we have completely transitioned to EtailPlus. Currently we use a combination of Mailchimp, Lightspeed Marketing and Astro, which are just too many platforms to manage. Streamlining our marketing efforts will make our campaigns more focused and timely, and hopefully more effective.
Our Astro experience has overall been quite positive. We have recommended Astro to both manufacturers and retail store alike. It’s made our process more efficient, more cost effective, and enhanced our customer’s instore experience.