No rewards program

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Posts 31
-- | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Mar 16 2016 5:15 AM

I've been thinking a lot about what Faithlife could/should change as the company's paradigm shifts from growth to sustainability.  One suggestion I made earlier was to move to Southwest Airlines-style pricing for everyone rather than the "legacy airline" model, which seems to fit the company's current modus operandus.

I was wondering, though, why Faithlife has never embraced a rewards program, particularly with the elimination of external sales recently.  Obviously, the vast majority of frequent purchasers don't benefit from human intervention on making purchasing decisions (I actually found the cold sales calls really annoying and never beneficial), so throwing a few bucks back at the customer would be worth serious consideration.

I'd imagine 10% back for Lexham-branded titles and 5% back for other publishers would be more than feasible for Faithlife and also demonstrate the company's appreciation to its most important audience: the customers who make repeat purchases and upgrades.

I don't think "sales" really qualify as an alternative simply because the entire pricing model currently employed already feels like a circus/mattress store/legacy airline, and anything not purchased on "sale" is typically perceived as being exorbitantly overpriced.  (My fear is that Bob may have read the same pricing book that I did--you artificially lead with high/unrealistic prices that you expect nobody to pay in order to make lower-cost items seem to be a value when, in reality, they're just normally priced.)

Anyhow, if the sales and marketing guys at Faithlife would be willing to employ such a system, it would make me feel better about Faithlife's overall pricing scheme.

Posts 1416
Myke Harbuck | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2016 6:16 PM

Herein lies the problem - and I know this having worked in the Visa and MasterCard industry for so long - those points have to be paid for somehow, or at least the monetary value of the redemption of the points. This would, in fact, drive up costs for everyone, and could drive them up somewhat significantly. 

For example, a merchant at at typical retail store pays an interchange rate of approx 1.59% when someone uses a Visa or MasterCard in their store. However, if that same consumer uses a Rewards Card, a "mid [or non]-qualified surcharge" is added to the merchants fee by the associations (Visa or MasterCard). Why? To pay for the rewards the consumer enjoys. 

While we'd all like to be naive enough to think that FL could implement a rewards system without raising prices (and maybe they could, at first), it really would not be much of a reward system at all if they did not raise prices. And if they implement the program without a price increase, then that actually becomes counterproductive to your original concern, which was the profitability of FL. If they had to pay for the rewards program out of current net profits, then overall net profit margins would decrease, thus resulting in either 1) increased prices on our resources, or 2) even more layoffs, or 3) maybe less research and development. In either of those cases, it's not a good thing for any of us. 

It's much like all of the government programs that everyone wants and many politicians promise. What they don't realize is that someone has to pay for those things. They don't come from virtual money, they come from real money. I, for one, don't wish to supply the real money necessary for either the government programs or the rewards program that that FL implement.

Just my humble two sense. 

Big Smile Wink

Myke Harbuck
Lead Pastor, www.ByronCity.Church
Adjunct Professor, Georgia Military College

Posts 31
-- | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2016 7:06 PM

Great feedback.  Thanks for such a thoughtful response.  My only counter would be that FL is already raising prices and has done so regularly over the years: just last weekend was the latest "update."  Some items in my cart went up just a bit ($6.95 to $6.99) while others took an 8%ish jump ($72 to $77 and change).

Hardly any business has pricing power nowadays unless it's a monopoly. Typically, prices are frozen or going down.  I figured out a while ago that he book costs rise in excess of inflation every year, so it is to one's advantage to buy early and then stop, if possible.

I suspect that I am not the only one to notice this trend, which is why sales are stagnating and some resources have now drifted in price to levels that seem excessive.  I would rather skip the rewards games and have simple, low pricing on everything for everybody (I am not academic nor in full time ministry), but I suspect that shifting the paradigm so far seems too radical/unpredictable to FL, which is why I think this would be a fair intermediate step that would also spur sales again.

Posts 26
Kevin Nelson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 26 2016 10:50 PM

Simple economics points out that the less expensive something is, the greater the demand. I have tons of resources in other Bible applications, particularly those that are out of copyright. Most of those I got for free. How inclined am I to add those to my Logos collection when I already have gotten them for free? Not much. Especially if I am forced by FL to pay non-discounted *paper edition* prices for works I get for free on my Kindle. 

I know Logos has to spend money to convert works to their format. I won't begrudge them that. If that pricing was reasonable, I would buy a whole lot more classical works from them. I love the functionality that only Logos has. But at the same time, they must keep in mind the economics of their product with respect to their competition. There are many classic works that are nice add-ons only, not serious, useful works for many of us. 

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