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Bauer Media launches reader rewards to encourage newsagency magazine shoppers to purchase Bauer titles

Mark Fletcher
May 9th, 2014 · 41 Comments

The Bauer Media Connections program has launched Reader Reader rewards, an App-based loyalty program for Bauer titles purchased in participating newsagencies. Consumers are rewarded with free magazines Рcollected ar participating newsagencies. Funded 100% by Bauer. Click here to read more about this program and see a couple of videos and see how it will work in a newsagency.

The program in its current form is designed to encourage readers to purchase Bauer titles. If it does this to the detriment of non Bauer titles then newsagents would be concerned.

Bauer has been running road shows around the country over the last week.

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Category: magazine distribution · magazines

41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 shauns // May 9, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    Will there be pop up adds etc on their app for going direct to a subscription that is my only concern as far as the other tittles well they will just have to up their game to be competitive

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  • 2 Mark Fletcher // May 9, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    Shaun I am not aware of any plans for ads. My understanding is that the app is used in any newsagency you go into to purchase Bauer titles and it is is also used in the newsagency you go into to redeem your free magazine.

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  • 3 Peter // May 9, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    The app effectively replaces the magazine loyalty card. It is a one for 8 system over a total of 55 titles. It opens the customer to direct communication to Bauer and they becomes Bauer’s customer. The Free Magazine when collected will be refunded to us by Bauer. If it drives Magazine sales as I suspect it will I think it will be a good thing.

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  • 4 Helen // May 9, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    The app does not support loyalty to my shop as it is only for Bauer magazines. I will continue with my own loyalty offer to keep my customers shopping with me. I can’t imaging people fumbling with their phones. I don’t want that happening when we are very busy like on super draw days.

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  • 5 Brett // May 9, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    How will the issue of the free magazine be accounted for?

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  • 6 Mark // May 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Bauer Media have closed many smaller newsagency accounts forcing them to a sub-agency status. This will only make it harder for those stores to compete

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  • 7 Mark Fletcher // May 9, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    The customer chooses the magazine in the shop. They then go into the app, find the magazine on the app list and select it. This brings up a barcode on their screen. Next, you (the newsagent) scan the magazine for sale. Then you type in an eight digit number that comes up on their phone through the app. Then the customer scans a QR code you give them – Bauer gives you this. Your software reports the item back through XchangeIT and Bauer credits you.

    NOTE: on the Bauer website they say the newsagent can scan the barcode on the customer’s phone. This is inaccurate. Bauer has been told that the majority of newsagents do not have scanners that can read these so I am not sure why they are not clearer in their explanation.

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  • 8 Keith // May 9, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    WTF?

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  • 9 Brett // May 9, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    umm, OK, fine, meanwhile you have taken 3 times longer to process that one “sale” – I assume Bauer will compensate us with 110% of the mags value?

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  • 10 ken // May 9, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Brett, are you saying that its not worth your time to try it out? while youre missing out, newsagents who are putting in that little extra time and energy will be enjoying many more sales. if you don’t put in the effort, how will you reap the rewards?

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  • 11 Brett // May 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Ken,

    Thanks for your thoughts. A few points if I may.

    1. I didn’t say I would not try it.
    2. Time is money.
    3. The customer standing behind will also be less than impressed.
    4. Its 2014, surely we can integrate such a process into the POS.
    5. No proof yet that any extra sales will result – except for Bauer

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  • 12 Mark Fletcher // May 9, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    ‘ken’ I can see from your IP address and comment history under various names (jeff and carol) that you work at Bauer. I’m happy for anyone to comment on any topic. I think this comment would come with more useful context if you reminded people you’re with Bauer.

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  • 13 CRaigL // May 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    My reading is that you must be a Connections newsagent.

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  • 14 jenny // May 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Am glad you are blogging on this, I haven’t had time to read about this yet, just had a rep pop in for a whole 2 mins to ask if I am interested and leave me a pack. Comments here are really helpful.

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  • 15 Mark Fletcher // May 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Yes Craig. On the redemption, Bauer compensates you for the wholesale price of redemptions.

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  • 16 Brett // May 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    OK, so let me get this right, it will take me three times longer to “sell” a free magazine that I get wholesale price recompense for?

    I have arrived the mag, priced it, placed it on display, endured the risk of shrinkage and will then give it away with significant staff input added again?

    I’m sure that’s fair.

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  • 17 Richard // May 9, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    If I have to scan a code into the POS then the magazine barcode how will my POS recognise the code without setting something up in the system? This is something out of my control – not usual practice.

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  • 18 Mark Fletcher // May 9, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Richard when selling magazines you scan as usual. When you are giving away a magazine being redeemed you scan as usual and then you scan or type in the 8 digit code that comes up on the customer’s app and then scan your Bauer Rewards QR code using the customer’s app pin their phone – this is what gets you the credit for the wholesale price.

    XchangeIT will load codes for each Bauer title for redemption and these codes will line up with the codes that come up on the app for redemption.

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  • 19 June // May 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    I have decided to go with it because it is supposedly designed to bring the younger demographic (who are not purchasing the bauer mags apparently) into our shops and if they download the app and ask it where the nearest agent is that will supply this service I don’t want to miss out on that.
    I am a little cynical about the info that will be collected by smartphone and onsent to Bauer but, as usual, we didn’t have much input before this week and it is a fait accompli on the 2nd June.
    I was a little concerned that it was for connections agents only – how will the smartphone owner know this – only by us being in this exercise and it will show on their phone that we have the offer available at our store.
    This should be reason enough for us to do it but I would prefer that ALL newsagents who are direct to Bauer (AND I DON’T MEAN SUPERMARKETS OR SS’S)
    should be able to have this or the customer will get confused and lose interest if they have to travel too far to use the application. At the moment it appears that only connection members are
    eligible and I don’t think that is a wide enough audience.
    The round only guys are not happy but it simply isn’t applicable to them even if they have large subbies because large subbies should be direct to Bauer – which should automatically make them eligible.
    I would like a little more transparency but I applaud the effort and Nick from Bauer did an excellent job of explaining it to us in Adelaide on Wednesday.
    I guess we have to curb the cynicism and hope it works for us.

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  • 20 nh // May 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Well said June, my thoughts exactly…

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  • 21 Luke // May 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    I don’t like that I could be used for redemption of the free magazine but have not got any of the sales. This irks me especially given that the newsagent doing the redemption only gets the wholesale price and no compensation for carrying the stock. This is especially bad if the copy I give away is a copy I could have sold at full price.

    I have seen nothing from bauer that addresses this.

    My other concern is what sounds like a messy process for tracking and redeeming that free magazines. It seems like hard work for the customer and hard work for staff with barcodes to scan and a qr code to handle and a number to type in from the phone. And for the free magazine you have to do this for no margin.

    I run a loyalty program now and it works for me with my magazine sales growing and pretty good so I don’t need this to grow my own magazine sales.

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  • 22 June // May 9, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Luke I am old but I thought it was a great
    “young” initiative which gives the whole newsagency channel “youth relevance”
    in this day and age and I think we should
    embrace that concept so that we don’t appear outdated and outmoded.
    Even if if doesn’t work at least we can say
    that we have tried and we should at least
    accept that Bauer (I hope) are doing their bit to help us. (I could possibly be an idealogue but I hope not)

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  • 23 Clive // May 9, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Are Coles and Woolies part of the scheme?

    If not are Bauer not using the newsagency network to promote this scheme to then install it into other channels?

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  • 24 Keith // May 9, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    I reckon a marketing person with no retail experience has dreamed this up. It’s wat too messy.

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  • 25 John Fitzpatrick // May 9, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Bauer was open about the Reader Rewards Program at the event in Adelaide.

    Clearly this is not (in it’s current) form, something that Distribution guys can use.

    Lets not beat about the bush, Bauer are concerned about the on going drop in magazine sales through the Newsagency channel – Currently down to about 55% the real challenge for Bauer is going to happen when grocery reaches 50% plus and Newsagents are say 35% (as groceries are now), and it will happen.

    That’s when the Bauer’s of this world will be comforted with Coles and Woolworth”s aggressive pricing policies. They know there will be no negotiation on terms, its this buying price or you’re out and we’ll pay when we fill like it!

    To try and hold off dealing with the big 2, the Reader Rewards is a step in the right direction – but the redemption should have had some margin in it for the retail newsagent.

    The argument, look what we’re doing in this program and how much we have spent is meaningless in terms of what the big 2 will do to them.

    SA is about 7.7% of the total print market in Australia, Distribution guys probably handle 40% plus of that market – it’s sad that these loyal readers will probably not be able to access the Reader Rewards program unless they change shopping habits and if they do (change shopping habits) it may just be the beginning of distribution handing back accounts as magazine distribution will be unprofitable.

    John Fitzpatrick

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  • 26 Jeff // May 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    While this could increase customer traffic, I doubt it will increase magazine sales enough to pay for the extra time it will take and the slow down at the counter. My customers are mainly old and I shudder at the thought of them fumbling with their phones.

    If Bauer want to attract young shoppers they need to publish magazines for them.

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  • 27 June // May 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    John this is not aimed at Bauer’s “loyal customers” – it is aimed at “new prospects” and that was made pretty clear
    last Wednesday.
    I understand the Dist. pain (I used to be one) but this is not designed at existing customers.

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  • 28 Chris // May 10, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Good luck trying to bring new initiatives into the newsagency channel! If I was reading this as a supplier I would steer away. Bauer have actually been strong supporters of the newsagency channel (and so they should as we supply so much of their income). They have conferences and provide pos and I feel they actually try to help our industry. Do we get the same level of support or new ideas, promotions etc from our other main suppliers? Why not give it a go? if it does not work or it becomes too time consuming for you then cancel it.
    I am looking forward to promoting it. The main reason is that it makes my customer see an added benefit in shopping in my store plus it will give customers the impression that we are using advanced technology to bring them their products. I cant see this being bad.

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  • 29 Mark Fletcher // May 10, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Chris plenty of suppliers have offered and do offer initiatives that support newsagents: Pacific Magazines, Lovatts, Universal Magazines, Hallmark, John Sands, Fairfax and News Corp. and plenty of gift suppliers.

    Theis Bauer initiative seeks to drive purchases of Bauer titles whereas the Pacific Nexus program can be used to support any product – including Bauer titles. It take a generous supplier to fund a newsagency marketing platform that can be used to promote their competition. It’s this benchmark from Pacific that many will judge future promotions against.

    For me, I think Bauer has not got the in-store execution model right. While they can fix this over time, as it stands today, the mechanics are clumsy at best in my view.

    Shopper traffic throughput is a major issue in newsagencies, especially those with lottery products and high-volume newspaper sales. Both these categories are driven by time sensitive shoppers.

    I also think that a newsagent getting just the redemption will feel frustrated that they are only compensated at wholesale price as an earlier commenter noted.

    Every supplier needs to be open to constructive criticism and to opportunity it presents.

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  • 30 Luke // May 11, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    June the Bauer research indicates that newsagents are places where older people shop. Unless Bauer is spending big to attract younger shoppers with advertising and new younger people targeted magazine titles then I fail to see how this app will attract younger shoppers.

    I would much rather Bauer financially support the loyalty program I run because this is already giving them more sales than usual.

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  • 31 Ben // May 13, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    I think that this is a strong initiative from a company that could quite easily have just pushed sales through supermarkets. These are mainstream titles that they are promoting. Titles that are ALL in supermarkets.

    I think it is unreasonable to think that Bauer would fund the retail price of the magazine – many newsagents currently fund their own program. I know I have in the past. With this we are 75% better off than we were.

    Bauer is not forcing any newsagency to participate, so if you don’t like it, don’t join. Pretty simple.

    I agree that the transactional side of this program is clunky, however as is seen in this blog this is a fragmented channel and to get all POS providers and ALL newsagents to have the ability to redeem in exactly the same way would be a mammoth task. Mark can probably attest to this.

    At the end of the day it is a step in the right direction. It will not arrest the trending decline through media disruption. It is not the panacea that non progressive newsagents may be hoping for.

    I see it as a positive step from Bauer to support the newsagency channel. Only time will tell if it works, if there is an ulterior motive, or if it is too little too late.

    At the end of the day we can, as newsagents, embrace the positive and make it our own, or not.

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  • 32 Mark Fletcher // May 13, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    Ben, the issue of the in-store mechanics is not a function of lack of cohesion among software companies, it has to do with what I consider to be poor IT decisions made within Bauer.

    On the question of a panacea. There is no single one. Take a look at my recent benchmark study reports. Many newsagents are enjoying good news from many small steps.

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  • 33 Luke // May 14, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Ben Bauer Rewards is a strong initiative for Bauer. It supports only their magazines. The data is completely under their control. They offer no guarantees that they will not use this to push subscriptions.

    I think in a year or two, if this rewards program works, which I have serious doubts about because of the complexity in the newsagency because of what doubts like a dumb app that real Bauer customers will not like, newsagents will not have seen any data from customers about what they buy. Instead, Bauer will have been quietly using the data to push subscriptions.

    Imagine how you will feel when a customer gets a free magazine in your newsagency and the App sends a second reward of a discount subscription. Bauer offers no comfort about this.

    I went to a presentation and Bauer people ducked some hard questions.

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  • 34 Bretts // May 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I see no strong initiative from Bauer for the Newsagent, only about Bauer. And I could not see the Supermarkets happy to run a free delivery service.
    Time is Money and of that there is only Traffic sounds familiar?
    All I see here is another form of delivery for the Newspaper oops Magazine Company
    At no cost to them, why not even allow people to pick up subscription magazines
    From us?
    And we need to redeem our credit and more checking of our accounts to make sure it appears.
    I myself see no upside for me here and I am 90% sure I will not jump on board with this.
    I am over selling products or services for no return at all and I have stopped all but phone credit.
    Not to mention the marketing that will be given to the customer on discount magazine Purchases that they get a free magazine to choose from our range.

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  • 35 shauns // May 15, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    only reason I jumped on board is because maybe the other 2 agents in town might and I don’t want to miss out , someone passing through town looks at there app and notices that I am part of it well I get the sale ,that is what I am aiming for . I hope to grab a few of woollies customers as well some new younger generation customers

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  • 36 BrettS // May 15, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I hear you but What sale?
    ow the credit of the cost of the magazine that’s not a sale.
    ow wait the Traffic bit got you.

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  • 37 shauns // May 15, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    The sale ,well they still have to buy 7 or what ever it is before the free one ,so I figure that’s a sale better me getting it than someone else . If they only offerd the APP to wollies we would be winging and crying about it till the end of time ,what have we got to loose by doing this

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  • 38 Mark Fletcher // May 15, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Shaun your point about other newsagents in town is interesting. It is good this is a newsagent only promotion. It would certainly be confusing for shoppers to get a reward in one newsagency and not another.

    I am yet to decide if I’ll do this primarily because my own in-store offer is more valuable and it has the benefit of being 100% about my business and that is more important to me.

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  • 39 BrettS // May 16, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Just had the Rep in talking to me about this.
    I now see shauns point as I had not though the purchase HAD to be with a newsagent connected with the program but only redeemed through them.
    It will mean dropping my in-store offer though, not sure now if I can afford not to be in it due to other Newsagents in my area.

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  • 40 Peter // May 16, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    BrettS why drop your in store offer. All I will do is refuse to accept a Free Magazine from Bayer as counting towards a free mag in my in store offer.

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  • 41 June // May 19, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    I had thousands of flybuys points and have never had time (or the energy) to
    explore but today I did for the first time.
    When I went to the rewards site it showed
    a huge amount of Bauer mags offered on
    a subscription basis for the redemption of
    2,000 points. I had enough points to purchase subs to 14 magazines.
    My point being that if there are people out there who are cash conscious they are getting plenty of good offers from Coles, Liquorland, Target, KMart etc.
    I am joining readers rewards with Bauer, simply to be seen as “relevant” and not being relegated to the dinosaurial image that some newsagents maintain.
    If it doesn’t work – nothing lost.
    If I don’t join – nothing gained.
    I find that a simple logistic and I am totally positive that it won’t work unless it is available at ALL BAUER DIRECT newsagencies and not just the connect ones.
    Customers are too easily confused.

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