For the purpose of this review, I am only considering the basic fact that by becoming a Lyoness member FOR FREE you will immediately be able to save money (in the form of a cashback of between 1 and 5% on every transaction), as well as a number of Shopping Points (explained later) on most shopping that you would usually do anyway. By recommending the saving you are making to all of your friends (after all, what are friends for?), you can save even more! The Lyoness operation is definitely a win-win for shopper members and merchants alike, but how does it work, and are there any areas that could possibly be improved?
From the shopper's point of view, the overall concept could not really be any simpler. Getting started is free, and there are no ongoing membership fees. All the shopper has to do is to make sure that he or she makes as many of their usual purchases as possible from local or online Lyoness Merchants. By making sure they frequent a Lyoness Merchant to do their normal shopping, they would be assured that every sale will generate a cash back of between 1 and 5% of their total spend.
There are also ‘Friendship' bonuses and ‘Shopping Point' bonuses that can also be earned for free on top of these already amazing savings. Introduce these advantages to a friend and you immediately start earning a ‘ Friendship Bonus' based on their level of shopping done in Lyoness Merchants. When these friends introduce the Lyoness card to their friends (and why shouldn't they?) you will earn this Friendship Bonus from their spending as well. Imagine if you introduce just 5 friends a month, and they do the same…
There is even a free upgrade to Lyoness's ‘Lyconet' internet marketing package that will enable you to broaden your reach to friends around the world, with at least another 8 way of generating a substantial income. There are already nearly 50 countries live with Lyoness, with many more to follow. With Lyoness stated intent to become the biggest company in the world by 2020, it would seem to make sense to get involved now – especially as it will cost you nothing.
What about the merchant? After all, nobody in their right mind will offer a 1 – 5% cash discount to every Lyoness member unless there was something in it for the seller!
Every merchant's business needs to invest money in identifying new customers, and then making sure these new shoppers remain loyal to them. In exchange for the various Member Benefits offered to the shopper, Lyoness will put into operation a very powerful marketing support program that will not only drive new business to the merchants, but also help the merchant to create a strong loyalty bond with these new and existing customers. This is done with the help of a very useful online search facility from a PC, laptop, or smart phone that can identify Lyoness merchants in the shopper's current locality.
Once a merchant has secured a new customer, to keep them locked in, there is another incentive, in the form of ‘Shopping Points'. I will not go into the mechanics of these Shopping Points here, but in brief, every time you spend £90 with a Lyoness Merchant, you achieve one or more Shopping Points. There is no need for the shopper to spend this much in one visit, so two or three or many trips a month could easily add up to one or more Shopping Point awarded. Each Shopping Point is worth from minimum £4.50 in further discounts on already attractively priced deals from selected Lyoness Merchants. Some merchants will use this facility to increase a bonus to attract business in certain areas, and may give more than 1 Shopping Point per £90 spend.
For those of you old enough to remember Green Shield Stamps, this was a very early ‘open' loyalty scheme (not tied to any one company, unlike say a Tesco Club Card), where my car did not choose to run on BP, Shell, Texaco, or Jet Petrol, but on the garage giving away the most Green Shield Stamps. I would drive miles out of my way for ‘Quad Green Shield Stamps', and that is the effect that Lyoness is beginning to recreate – with far more benefits.
When you consider that Nectar© merchants (another common ‘open' loyalty card) now have over 90 million regular customers as opposed to Lyoness's total of around 5 million today and their optimistic target 1 Billion by 2020, you can see that if these targets are to be met, everyone involved today will be really thankful they did in just a few years' time. But who gets paid to recommend Nectar Points to their friends?
The levels of savings even when just considering the free cashback facility, and the Shopping Points, where you are already spending say £500 every month anyway, can be really worthwhile. Add to that the ‘Friendship Bonus' earnings you can get from just referring friends to sign up for free and then save money as well on their ‘Anyway Spend' monthly money, and this can be another money spinner. You can even earn that ‘Friendship Bonus' on friends that YOUR friends recommend. Imagine if you got ten of your friends every month signing up to save money, and they then do the same to ten of their friends.
Used in conjunction with any existing Store Customer Loyalty cards, the Lyoness shopper gets the best of all the special offers and other loyalty schemes. For instance, if a Lyoness member shops regularly in one particular store, and holds a Loyalty card specifically for that store, not only will they get their Lyoness cashback paid into the bank account, they will also benefit from the offers made from the store they are visiting.
You would be very surprised and impressed at the range and calibre of Lyoness Loyalty merchants already involved in this, but although membership is free, it is by ‘invitation only' from another Lyoness member, so if you want to be pleasantly surprised, speak to a known existing Lyoness shopper, and ask them to sign you up.
But it is not just the large chain stores that can become approved Merchants, and Lyoness are making great efforts to court and encourage small to medium sized businesses, such as local grocery stores, dentists, hairdressers, and other local specialist stores to become Lyoness SME Merchants. It is outside the scope of this review to describe the Lyoness SME program, but suffice it to say that where a small firm joins the scheme, not only will they get a massive amount of marketing support, and if approved, a unique catchment area for their new customers from Lyoness, but also another massive boost to their income.
If an SME such as a local grocery store cum deli has say several hundred existing regular customers, then where a percentage of these customers sign up for a unique free Merchant/Lyoness membership, if they spend say £50 every month in the SME store, but also spend some £500 or more every month in other Lyoness outlets ( the list is growing daily), every time any one of these customers gets a haircut, has a pizza, drinks a coffee, or does their monthly shop in another big Lyoness Loyalty Merchant – the SME owner gets 1% of the total spend from their loyal customer base – and an extra 0.5% from their friends that also sign up for free Lyoness membership.
It is not just the humdrum regular shopping involved here. As well as groceries, petrol, gas and electricity, the concept from Lyoness is that eventually you should be able to buy just about any product or service from a Lyoness Loyalty Merchant. How about a wonderful overseas holiday, a new kitchen suite, or even a new Mercedes? Imagine introducing a friend who then goes out and buys a new car via Lyoness. What a wonderful Friendship Bonus that would create for you?
By getting your friends and family involved in these savings as well, you actually have the basis of a very easy word-of-mouth referral business, which could grow into a powerful home-based business.
If your friends then recommend their friends to join Lyoness as well, then you will also get the same level of commission (0.5%) from their spending as well. I know this may seem small, especially if each friend only spends say £200 per month at Lyoness merchants, you will get just £1 paid in your bank. But say you introduce 10 friends, and they introduce a further 10 friends, you will then have some 100+ friends earning you in total the grand sum of £100 every month. Imagine if you introduced 10 new friends every month, and they all spend over £500 every month on food, petrol and entertaining…
You can accelerate the growth of this home based business if you wish by upgrading (again for FREE) to the Lyconet internet marketing solution, and perhaps even go International with your members. This will enable you to follow Lyoness's Career Path Program, which, at Level 8, they reckon will be able to generate in excess of £50,000 every month.
So this all sounds great, and perhaps too good to be true – so what about the down side (if any?)
What can be the downside in joining an International Shopping Community with a Free membership, just making sure you spend your ‘already spend' monthly money in any Lyoness Merchants (on or off line stores). This will ensure:-
- Getting up to 5% cashback on every transaction paid into your bank every Tuesday
- Getting one or more Shopping Points (worth around £4.50 in extra discounts from product and services from the ever-expanding Lyoness Shopping Mall) as a loyalty bonus for every £90 spent
- Getting an ongoing Friendship Bonus just for recommending your friends to join – which goes down 2 levels
- Expanding your network of potential friends by upgrading to a Lyconet Member (Lyoness network marketer – also free to do), where you can build a very rewarding international home business, with as many levels as you can create.
I am definitely starting to look at this opportunity in more detail and have already enrolled in Lyoness's marketing division, the Lyconet internet marketing facility, which is the next stage in building a successful home based business with Lyoness.
With all of the improvement that I have now seen in the pipeline, now is the time to get involved in what is looking like becoming the largest company in the world by 2020. Better to be on the inside feeling warm and cosy than on the frozen outside.