A hot new Hong Kong startup, Soda Card arrived on the scene with a passion for marketing at the local level and a fresh look at customer loyalty and rewards. Their vision was a universal loyalty system that helps people discover great local restaurants and y while earning rewards they actually want.
To make their vision into a reality, Flowloop helped Soda Card create a multi-platform custom system that allows merchants of all types to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and their behavior, and reward them with unique, meaningful offers at the click of a button. We provided design and brand identity, strategy, engineering and support.
To make a splash, Soda Card needed a fresh, fun, and versatile identity to allow it to bond with customers and merchants alike. We worked with the Soda Card team to create a memorable brand consistent across its entire platform.
Soda Card is a network linking together a variety of systems - a touch screen kiosk at each location, Android and iOS apps for customers to track their rewards, a front facing website for connecting to new users, and a merchant portal for merchants to analyze and manage their loyalty campaigns.
With hundreds to thousands of customer interactions a day on the Soda Card system, there is no room for failure. Soda Card uses a modern and flexible technology stack that allows the system to scale to high traffic loads with room to grow at a manageable pace.
There can be a dizzying number of events happening as customers make hundreds of transactions each day, and merchants try to communicate with them. Soda Card was designed to handle all the complex interactions without needing a room full of people. With a variety of smart processes and auto algorithms, thousands of emails are sent on time, offers and rewards are redeemed, and systems are updated all without a hitch.
Building such a huge system from scratch was a very involved undertaking. Flowloop started by looking at the various use cases that would comprise the system, and planning the architecture from there. Our main focus was flexibility from the outset, and being able to adapt the features with the growing business on a month to month basis.
The key to a customized loyalty system
One of Soda Card’s key features that make their merchants’ loyalty programs effective is the ability to gather the myriad data and activity that their customers perform on their system and make use of it.
Through the Merchant Portal, Soda Card merchants have access to all of their customer activity data presented in meaningful ways. From analyzing activity to creating custom rewards and offers for specific customers, Soda Card brings a whole new meaning to marketing on a local level where customers actually look forward to communicating with their favorite places.
Hong Kong is a multilingual city, with speakers mainly fluent in English and Chinese. To reach everyone, the entire Soda Card system had to be designed for multiple languages from the ground up. This meant designing the data architecture for different languages, as well as ensuring the visual design was consistent across the system regardless of which language it is displayed in. Currently, Soda Card has options to display in English, Chinese and Japanese, with room for more.
Built on a solid foundation of the most modern web and app technologies, the Soda Card is reliable, scalable, and very versatile. Here are some of the main technologies we used:
One of the premier modern web frameworks and used by such companies as Instagram, Disqus, Mozilla and Pinterest, Django is a high performance framework that is versatile enough to serve almost any type of system today. We chose Django to be the backbone of Soda Card’s system, which allows rapid development of modules while giving reliable performance, security, and stability.
For the Soda Card kiosk, we needed a robust mobile operating system that could be flexibly deployed onto a range of potential hardware devices. Google’s Android was the automatic solution as it is a proven operating system that is used on millions of different devices daily. Of key importance is that applications built on Android can scale to a wide range of screen sizes - which would allow the merchant kiosks to vary in design according to different requirements. We also built the customer app on both the Android and iOS platforms.
Helping the Soda Card team make their vision into a reality was a fun and rewarding experience. It is a rare chance to be able to take part in the start up process from beginning to operation, and always an opportunity at new learning experiences for us. Being involved in every part of the system enabled us to have a deep understanding of the complexities of operating such a business.
As Soda Card’s service begins expanding in Hong Kong and elsewhere, we look forward to seeing it truly grow out of its shell into a powerhouse service that will transform the way everyone looks at customer loyalty programs.