Delivering Game-Changing Innovation
Coniq leads the world in providing shopping engagement and loyalty solutions for the most advanced retail destinations. In this interview, RLI speaks with Coniq CEO Ben Chesser to learn more about this unique company and what exactly it offers its clients.
Having grown from working with SME companies, such as its first client, Byron Burgers, Coniq now works predominantly in the shopping mall industry and its digital platform enables entire organisations to connect with and engage customers in-store and online across multiple touchpoints.
“In terms of sectors our focus is very much on shopping retail destinations so shopping centres, city centres, airports, anywhere where you’ve got a collection of brands together,” explains Ben Chesser, CEO of Coniq. “But we are also moving quite rapidly into pure retail as well, so we have in a way come full circle back to working with restaurants and high-street retailers.”
What the business offers its clients is ‘The Total Engagement Platform’, which is essentially out of the box solutions for creating great customer experiences that they believe will then in turn create loyalty and data for businesses.
“You have got to give the customer a great experience, something that they find interesting and compelling and then they will give you their loyalty and you can track and measure the value of their loyalty which in turn gives you data to really understand who your customers are and how they are behaving and what motivates them. What we bring to the table is a readymade technology platform,” Chesser explains.
Despite the past year being difficult, Coniq has discovered a silver lining as the retail sector has moved on and advanced greatly in the past year, so they have invested a lot in product innovation. Their IQ platform has advanced what would be the equivalent of three to four years in less than one.
Back in October last year, the company invented the concept of ‘Geo-Loyalty’, which Chesser says is a result of the Covid-19 situation. It was designed to really help retailers and retail destinations understand where people are, and if they are interacting with them physically or digitally. So Geo-Loyalty is a system for rewarding customers based on their physical location.
“So if I go into a mall, even if I don’t shop necessarily, the Geo-Loyalty programme can recognise that and reward me for that. It is this idea of recognising and rewarding physical presence in a location and not just their spend amount.”
Speaking about Coniq’s Total Customer Engagement and Loyalty Platform, Chesser explains that it is an end-to-end platform so the customer experience can be completely joined up. Whether it is in-store interaction, the use of a mobile app or even shopping online, he feels it should all be joined up as far as the consumer is concerned because it’s the same brand delivering the same services and products to the end consumer.
“At its heart, it’s a loyalty engine so that we can reward people, we can encourage good behaviour and we can give our most loyal and valued customers a really tailored experience. It is fully integrated with platforms like mobile apps, e-commerce websites, but it is also integrated into the POS systems in-store so that we can track transactions in-store as well. So it gives the client the ability to have full end-to-end total coverage of the customer experience and it gives the consumers a really joined-up, seamless experience with your retail destination.”
The core products from Coniq are the IQ Reach, IQ Connect and IQ Engage platforms. These were all born out of what the company has completed with malls over the years and what they have learnt- in that not only do different clients have different needs, but even within a single client, if they’ve got a large portfolio, some sites will need a more sophisticated technology solution than others.
Looking ahead to the rest of this year and next, Coniq are working to put in place really good digital touch points with their clients that currently have closures or restrictions on trade, who want to invest really heavily and move really quickly when restrictions are lifted. In addition, a massive focus for the company is expansion into the US and the Middle East because those markets are less affected by lockdowns as parts of Europe are.
So what does Chesser feel is the greatest challenge currently facing Coniq moving forward?
“The speed of growth we are experiencing for sure. The industry is changing very fast and the industry experts and our clients expect huge amounts of innovation because suddenly we have to have e-commerce propositions joined up to physical ones which was not needed previously. So the challenge for us is hiring really great people, I want to create a bigger and bigger team but keep the passion and expertise with the company as it grows.”
“At the end of the day for us, it’s about really delivering game-changing value to our clients, we’re not doing stuff just to win prizes in innovation, and we’re doing things to actually and actively change the industry,” Chesser concludes.