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The Surrey ice cream business that’s profiting from the BetterPoints app

The Surrey ice cream business that’s profiting from the BetterPoints app

We all know the importance of a healthy local economy: it provides jobs, supports businesses, fosters community and belonging, and creates a shared stake in the prosperity and wellbeing of an area.

Surrey’s Greener Future is a BetterPoints programme for Surrey County Council that rewards people for travelling more sustainably and shopping locally. Many of these rewards are vouchers for local shops and services, because vouchers can be great at generating income – people often spend more than the value of the voucher – and at increasing footfall.

Dylan’s Ice Cream in Haslemere signed up to list vouchers in the Surrey’s Greener Future rewards catalogue. Within a year, it had generated nearly £600 in sales for them.

It’s brought new customers in… It has boosted sales too

‘It has definitely worked,’ says Ben Govier, the company’s founding owner.

‘It’s brought new customers in, particularly sixth formers and those linked with the local active travel group, which we weren’t getting huge numbers of beforehand.

‘It has boosted sales too, with people coming in to use their BetterPoints voucher but then staying to have a coffee as well.’

Christmas boost

‘Where it has been really valuable of late has been generating sales over winter, a time when people tend to forget about ice cream shops’, says Ben.

‘It is very hard to capture people’s attention during the festive period through the website and social media as there is so much else going on.

‘Being promoted through the app got people in the door and buying our Christmas items. Once they’re in the shop, they will stick around because it is cold outside and spot our special offers on display.

‘The app has done really well for us in this regard.’

Promotes values

Ben was keen for his business to get behind the Surrey’s Greener Future programme because ”it fits with our values’, he says.

‘We try to be as sustainable as we can. We don’t use takeaway cups, only glass bowls which we take back in, whilst we use local ingredients as much as possible. We also use fruit that would otherwise go to waste.

‘Plus, it looks good for us to be part of a campaign that is doing good’, says Ben.

Easy to use

The vouchers themselves were easy to set up and manage, he says.

‘Signing up was very little effort and it has been the same to administer.

‘We’ve eight staff, and it took no time at all to get them up to speed. We set up a BetterPoints button on the till and they simply have to push that instead of the cash or card buttons. That’s it.

‘Similarly, all of the customers that come in know how the app works. It’s all very smooth.

‘We’ve done embarrassingly little to make it a success! I’ve only got positive things to say, not a single negative.’