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With the most recent news of a formal recession, a 41-year-high annual inflation rate of 11.1% and yes, even an egg shortage, it’s clear that the cost of living crisis is far from over.

And while employers can’t solve everything for their employees, there are low-cost, high-impact initiatives employers can leverage to help their people manage everyday costs. No surprises here, but in my role as Group Director of Retail, my favourite benefit is our SmartSpending employee discounts programme, which helps more than 5 million employees achieve cost savings and receive generous Cashback. 

Recently, we’ve worked towards simplifying our SmartSpending launch process and I’m proud that we’ve reduced our implementation time to launch in as little as 48 hours – yes, that means if you connect with us on a Monday, your scheme can be available no later than Wednesday. 

Learn how to deliver meaningful discounts to extend employees' disposable  income in as little as 48 hours See solution

With Black Friday coming up, this is a hectic time for my team who are busily checking in with our 1,500+ retail partners to ensure we can offer our clients the best possible discounts available on the market. Still, I couldn’t be prouder to share some of the steps we’re taking to smash our Black Friday records.

  1. We make sure that our team secures the best deals available for all of our clients – boosting discounts rates wherever possible is really important to us, as we want to maximise the savings our users can enjoy, especially in a time of need.
  2. We ramp up the communications engine with a variety of newsletters, emails, alerts and push notifications to highlight our top retailers and a reminder that our clients can save even more on top of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. 
  3. For the past 5 years, we’ve run an annual week of Daily Deals, which allows our clients to enjoy a range of exclusive increased promotions at top retailers, refreshing every 24 hours with brand new deals. This year is proving to be better than ever and I can’t wait to share them with our clients and customers.

2022 SmartSpending innovations

Since the start of the cost of living pressures, we’ve seen a steady increase in our clients’ and their employees' use of their discounts programmes, with a 30% increase in usage year-over-year. Already at record sales growth and with last year’s two biggest weeks of Black Friday and Daily Deals topping £34.5m in employee sales in the UK alone, we couldn’t be more excited to see what this year brings.

Most importantly, we are hugely proud of the fact that we’ve saved UK employees more than £28 million on groceries, clothing, utilities and more, in the past 12 months alone, and as we head in to even more challenging times the difference we make is felt even more greatly across our user base.

An employee discounts programme is a fantastic way for employers to ensure a positive return on their overall investment – an employer pays just one fee, and their employees become part of an exclusive group that now has access to hundreds of discounts at nearly 800 different retailers. When employees actively engage with their discounts scheme, they can see up to £1,000 in savings annually, which stretches their income much farther than a one-time bonus or a lower-than-expected pay rise.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to bring your employees more savings, please reach out to a member of our team.

Talk to an Engagement Consultant »

Molly Pemberton

As Group Director of Retail, Molly is responsible for the largest product at Reward Gateway, our employee discounts program. She oversees partnerships and operations, working with a very talented team of individuals across the globe to deliver a continually evolving employee discounts platform to drive profit and growth.

Global Director of Retail

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