A generous benefits package is key in today’s job environment to attract and retain top talent. According to the 2015 Glassdoor Employee Confidence Survey, about 60 percent of people say that incentives and rewards are a major factor in accepting a job offer. The survey also found that an extra incentive would be preferred by 80% of workers over a pay raise.
Google is known for its over-the-top perks, including professional chef lunches, bi-weekly chair massages, yoga classes, and haircuts. Twitter staff enjoy three catered meals a day, therapy on-site, and improv lessons. SAS has a college scholarship scheme for employee children.
Large and small companies across the U.S. also provide corporate discount programs not only to add additional employee benefits but also to create a little extra revenue from partnership. While those platforms can be perfect for those who are eligible for them, the difficulties of making these services well known and accessible cripple their potential.
Either company can negotiate directly with retailers and suppliers to receive employee discounts and community prices, or they can use the services of an online platform for an employee discount program.
Let’s take a look at the kind of corporate discounts available in today’s marketplace and how can employers get the most of them.
Types of Employee Programs Available in the Market
There are three types of programs-merchant discount, employee discount, and employee purchase programs. These three provide a way for employees to get their choice of items and services. Employers have little or no direct costs and very low if any, administrative costs for those services.
Manufacturers and service providers also offer discounts for employees of large companies and members of associations. The method is straight forward. When the employee or member chooses to buy this item or service, at the point of purchase they will simply need to identify their employer and obtain the discount specified.
Merchant discount may include computers and electronics; hotels, resorts, and amusement parks; car rental; home and auto insurance; and mobile phone service.
Many discounts are from big, national suppliers or service providers with identifiable labels. Nonetheless, several government organizations and colleges are also getting discounts from local sources, including apartment rental, restaurants, and local retail stores.
Employee Discount Program
Discount Programs for employees offer workers access to a discount on a wide variety of consumer products and services. Either the company can negotiate directly with retailers and suppliers to receive employee discounts and community prices, or they can engage the online platform of an employee discount program.
Most businesses have online platforms that allow employees to easily log into the database of the company and receive offers on items and services from a multitude of companies. The platforms are negotiating contracts with the different vendors so employers need not be involved.
Employers usually have to pay a nominal fee to use a network but there is little effort needed beyond that.
Discount programs for employees offer a variety of company-related products and services. These range from hotels and holiday destinations; consumer products and home services; movie tickets; entertainment and sporting events passes; cars and parts repair; cable network packages; personal, beauty and salon treatments; and financial services.
The available discounts will vary from the premium brands to the local pizza shop.
Employee Purchase Program
An employee benefits program provides workers with a convenient way to get interest-free access to products and services via payroll deduction. Employers can provide this as a reciprocal incentive or as a low- or no-cost addition to the employee benefits policy.
Premier employee purchase programs offer thousands of brand names, holiday packages, and educational services, including:
- Computers and electronics
- Automotive services
- Educational services, including tuitions, prep school, extra-curricular courses, and certificate programs
- Furniture and appliances
- Toys, baby and kid products
- Sports and fitness equipment
- Luggage and travel
Why Would Employees Use These Programs?
The corporate discount programs are popular with workers for a variety of different reasons:
- Receive discounts on products that are likely to be purchased anyway, such as mobile phone service, sports and entertainment tickets, hotel stays, etc.,
- Easily purchased by payroll deduction; either shop online without having to go to a retail store or other location;
- Buy items through a controlled payment system that they would otherwise not be able to obtain due to poor loans.
Now that we have learned about the different kinds of corporate discounts available, what can companies do to get their employees to take the most benefit out of them?
How to Promote Your Corporate Discount Program?
Make Them Accessible
One of the biggest challenges companies face when it comes to corporate discount programs is that the employees often have difficulty getting to it. Buried in an internal database, located in a marketplace behind a forgettable username and password, or in an obscure cloud spot, employees often do not take advantage of these offers because they literally have no time or energy to jump through different loops to find it.
With eligibility confirmation in place, brands can place the link to their corporate discounts anywhere they want even at a location as public as their website.
Brands should feel comfortable knowing that only those who are eligible to receive the discount will be able to do so through the power of eligibility verification. The others will be excluded from the scheme, thereby ensuring margins and revenue aren’t abused.
Eliminate Barriers in Verification
Although making these channels easy to find is a crucial step in driving more traffic, if you want to see growing conversion rates, you need to eliminate barriers that prevent many from actually pursuing their purchases.
Too often, qualified customers, whether the employees or others who have been considered eligible for the corporate discount channel, go shopping and find that they have to jump through a variety of hoops to actually complete their transaction. Sending identification forms, which are usually followed by a waiting period, significantly reduces the chance of completing the purchase.
Organizations can simplify the checkout process by introducing eligibility verification software into the process, simply by requesting a few credentials (name, email, etc.). Such credentials are checked with real-time, actionable sources of data, frequently returning the verification within minutes. Without wasting time and effort, you boost the customer experience dramatically and have a positive impact on your conversion rates.
Open Up to New Markets
The scope for revenue growth is often limited as traditional corporate discount schemes focus only on employees. And while these networks are generally used as an HR perk and a small additional revenue stream, there are significant opportunities to open the flood gates to revenue.
Through expanding such networks to new customers, such as military members, teachers, and students, you will dramatically increase the employee channel’s revenue potential. Eligibility screening can help ensure that each transaction checks these groups ensuring additional revenue is secured.
The Future of Corporate Discounts
Today’s employee benefits packages have a direct effect on the recruitment and retention activities of a company. Employees are searching for more than just a paycheck; they want to be able to choose benefits that matter to them even if it means paying for those benefits.
Merchant and discount programs for employees will remain a favourite of employees as they can receive a discount on something they already planned to buy. Employee purchasing plans are a perfect mutual opportunity to provide because they are low-or no-cost to the employer while at the same time providing a great value to the staff.