Loyalty Points | How to Setup Programs & Checkout Customers

Loyalty Points | How to Setup Programs & Checkout Customers

What is a Loyalty Points Program?

A points-based loyalty program is another option for retailers that is separate from other individual programs offered at the store.  These programs offer points to customers for participating in your events or buying certain items.  Once a customer earns enough points, they can redeem the points for rewards, also set up by the store. Most commonly, these programs are based on the number of dollars spent, where 1 point equals $1, but you can have points equal to any dollar amount you wish.

Astro Loyalty Points vs. Advanced Astro Points Program

There are now two types of Astro Loyalty Points Programs - Astro Loyalty Points & Advanced Astro Points.

An Astro Loyalty Points Program allows you to reward points based on purchases and actions, and customers can redeem their points for rewards. A Standard program is $15 per month. Loyalty Points | Design Ideas & Best Practices

An Advanced Astro Points Program (NEW) allows you to create a more robust program that can reward points based on purchases of specific items, completion of specific actions, create bonus point events based on the day of the week, tag customers once they reach a certain lifetime points threshold, give those tagged customers access to exclusive points rewards, and more. An Advanced Program is $15 per month and requires an active Astro Marketing Membership (Marketing Suite Pricing) to unlock the advanced features. 

Activating Astro Loyalty Points

Login to your Astro Account as an Admin User. Go to your Actions menu and select "Billing Information." Check and see if "Astro Loyalty Points" is listed under your Astro Membership. If it isn't listed, click the pencil icon to adjust your membership. Then click the box beside "Astro Loyalty Points" and click Update Membership to add the platform to your account. 
Click Update Membership to save your selection.
Now you should see Astro Loyalty Points listed under your updated Astro Membership.

How to setup a Loyalty Points Program

To set up loyalty programs, click on My Points Setup from the Actions drop-down menu.
Once inside My Loyalty Points, start by checking the box beside "Check this box to enable your points based loyalty program. This is separate from the individual program offers currently available." Doing so will allow you to start building the elements of your program. (Unchecking this box is also how you hide your Points Program entirely if you wish to suspend it for a period of time.)

What are Events & Rewards?
Loyalty Points programs require both an Event and a Reward to function properly.
  • An Event is the description of the Loyalty Points Platform you want to use and its program requirements. You can create an Action Event or a Purchase Event. An Action Event rewards points based on an action, such as volunteering at an adoption event or posting on your social media. A Purchase Event rewards points based on dollars spent at your store. You can choose how many points or fractions of a point you want customers to earn based on an Action performed or a Dollar spent.
  • A Reward is the offering when the program requirements have been met. This can literally be anything you wish, $ off, % off, an item, a service, get creative!
With this program, you are able to create and maintain a loyalty points program of your choosing.  You can set this up or if you need help, let us know.

My Points Setup - Step One - Creating Loyalty Events

You can set up Events that allow customers to earn points and designate the amount of points earned by each event.  These Events and the points generated by them are fully customizable for your store. You can also choose to run multiple events at one time if you would like to allow your customers to earn points more than one way. 

To set up a new event, click Add Event under the Event Title column.
A pop-up window will appear where you can enter the information for the new event.  This information includes the title, description, dollar amount, and number of points earned.  Make sure the Status is Active and click Save Changes when done.

The event you created will now be added to the list of events customers can participate in to earn points.  

If you need to edit the event, click on the Event Name and make any necessary changes. You can also set the Event Inactive or Delete it entirely this way.

My Points Setup - Step Two - Creating Loyalty Rewards

After setting up the Points Earning Events, you can set up Reward Opportunities for your customers.  Reward opportunities are typically products or store credit that a customer can receive when they earn enough points from participating in points-earning events.  

To add a new reward, click Add Reward under the Reward Title column.
A pop-up window will appear where you can enter in the information for the reward.  This information includes the title, description and required points.  Make sure the Status is Active and click Save Changes when done.

You can add as many rewards as you like, and your customers can "spend" their points as they like on these rewards. 

Checking Out a Customer with Loyalty Points

If a customer has participated in events and earned points in the past, their current points total will appear below their name on the left of the checkout screen.

Adding Points

To add the points they are earning during this transaction click the red Manage Loyalty Points button located below their current points total. This will bring up a pop-up. Depending on the style of your Points Event you will either be typing in the dollar amount associated with their current Purchase, or you will be entering the number of times they performed the Action you are rewarding points for.

In the example image below we are adding the Purchase amount, dollars and cents to the Qty field. So this Pet Owner's sale came to a total of $53.26. You can include the change, and don't worry about rounding up or down, Astro will handle that for you.  When you are finished, click Save Transactions.
It is up to you whether you reward your customer for the Sale Total (after tax is applied) of their Purchase, or for the Subtotal of their Purchase (before tax is applied).
Then Astro will add the points you just entered to Today's Purchases. 
The points are also added, temporarily, to a Loyalty Points card at the very bottom of the Pet Owner's Frequent Buyer cards. Here you will see how many points they just earned compared to the dollar amount they just spent. In this example when a customer spends one dollar they earn one Kat's Mutts Point.
The card will also showcase the Event and the Event description. The card is not permanent and will not appear again until after a customer earns more points. 
If you made a mistake you can either click the Remove button associated with the Points Earned under Today's Purchases, or you can click the brown X on the Loyalty Point Card.

If you notice, the customer has not been awarded their 53 points yet. Their current Loyalty Points total below their name is still showing their previously earned total of 262. Your customer will not be awarded the points you just added until after you click Checkout.
Once you are satisfied that you have entered the correct amount of points to their Pet Owner account you can save the loyalty transaction by clicking Checkout and move on to the next screen. Now you will see that your customer has been awarded their newly earned 53 points and their Loyalty Points total is now 315. You will also see the newly earned points mentioned under Loyalty Transactions This Visit. Here you will see exactly how many points the customer was awarded. Since the Points Event in this example is $1=1pt Astro will round up or down depending on the cents entered, so $53.26 became $53 since .26 is less than .50.
Once you have reviewed the transaction you can finalize it by clicking Finished.

Removing Points:

You can subtract points if a customer's points exceeded the amount they were suppose to have.  On the checkout screen, click Manage Loyalty Points.

Put a minus sign in front of the number that needs to be removed then click Save Transactions. Then select Checkout and Finish the transaction to save the changes to the customer's account. 

How to View Your Customer's Loyalty Points History and Possible Reward Options:

To view your customer's Points History click the red Loyalty Details button. You can find this button on either their first checkout screen (above where it says Checkout) or the second screen prior to clicking Checkout (above where it says Finished). This will bring up a pop-up that shows you every time your customer Earned Points and every time your customer spent their points earned on one of your Rewards. 

The Description column will show the name of either the Event or the Reward, Date reveals the date the transaction occurred, Qty is either how many dollars were spent (Dollars Spent Event), how many actions were performed (Actions Event) or how many Rewards were Redeemed, and finally Points reveals how many points were either awarded (positive number) or spent (negative number). 

If you click on Reward Options button in the top right corner;

You will see all Reward Options available on the your loyalty program regardless of whether or not the customers have enough points to earn those Rewards. This is to help the cashier remind the customers of what is available to them now and if they decide to hold out and earn more points. Click on Loyalty History to return to the previous page and can click on the Close button when done.

How to Redeem Points for a Reward

If your customer have earned enough points to redeem one of your Rewards there will be a notification on the customer's Pet Owner Checkout screen that will say, "Customer is eligible for Loyalty Redemption. Click to Redeem Loyalty Points after Checkout". 
To redeem some of your customer's points for a Reward click Checkout to move onto the Redemption screen. Then Click to Redeem Loyalty Points will appear on the same Redemption Alert as a clickable link. 
Clicking this link will open up a redemption pop-up for Loyalty Points. It will show you how many points your customer has to spend. The pop-up will only show you a list of Rewards that the customer has enough points to redeem with the points they currently have. Beside those Rewards there are drop-downs that will allow you to select the quantity (Qty) of that reward the customer wishes to redeem. In the example below the customer has 262 points they can spend, so technically they could redeem the first Reward, 5% off Any Package Treat twice. In this instance I am only going to redeem for one, so I selected 1 from the drop-down. Then to the right you will see the number of points that will be deducted once the Reward is redeemed. Once you have selected the Reward your customer wants to redeem select Save Redemption Selection

Remember, this is your Loyalty Points Program, so if you only want to redeem Rewards once per transaction you have every right to do that. Or you can redeem as many rewards per transaction that your customer can afford.

Now under Loyalty Transactions This Visit you will see the Reward your customer has redeemed minus the points they spent on it. You will also notice that under Loyalty Points it will show the customer's new points total now that those spent points have been deducted. 

If the customer had also earned some points during this transaction those would also be listed under Loyalty Transactions This Visit. 

Once you are satisfied, click Finished to finalize the transaction.

Need more help -- here is a video on how to Add, Remove, and Redeem Points Manually on a Pet Owner Account.

Loyalty Points and the Lightspeed-Astro Integration

If you want your points program to be able to communicate with Lightspeed you will need to designate a Loyalty Event as a Lightspeed Event. Selecting Yes will make it so that every time you click the Astro Loyalty button on your Lightspeed interface the integration will translate the dollars spent into points automatically according to the dollar to point ratio you designate on the loyalty event.
Select Yes to make it a Lightspeed Event
Now you can choose whether you want your points to be based on one of three ways.
  1. Sale Subtotal - This is the before tax and discount total. Astro will default to this setting if you do not change it. This is the best option for you if you do not want to reward points for tax dollars spent and you do not have a high volume of programmed discounts applied to your LS items.
  2. Sale Total - This is the after tax and discount total, which is the total amount your customer will owe you at the close of their transaction.
  3. SKU Subtotal - This will allow you to reward points based on specific inventory items as long as they have an assigned Category in Lightspeed. You are able to Include specific categories and/or Exclude specific categories. This allows you to run more than one Event in Lightspeed at a time and to only issue points for items that are not a part of a Frequent Buyer Program.

For SKU Subtotal categories, sometimes Astro doesn't always like categories that contain numbers, or categories with multiple spaces. So if you find that Astro is not recognising a LS category that you have assigned to your inventory items, such as "Buy 12 FB" try changing it to something like "FB" or "Frequent Buyer" or "FrequentBuyer" in Lightspeed then perform a test transaction to test to make sure your points program excluded or included what you intended. 

Assigning Categories to Inventory Items in Lightspeed

Setting up Multiple Lightspeed Events Using SKU Subtotal

 This is useful for a couple scenarios. 
  • You want to only issue points for items that are not a part of a Frequent Buyer Program
  • You want to reward one point value for some items and a different point value for other items. This is great if you want to reward double points for services such as dog washes and grooming, or if you only want to reward half points for food items. There are so many possibilities.
First choose SKU Subtotal as your Dollars Based On option. 
SKU Subtotal with Include and Exclude Fields

This will create two additional fields. Include Lightspeed Category Words & Exclude Lightspeed Category Words

How to Exclude or Include Categories from an Event

This system was not actually designed to work with your existing Categories as is, but instead it is designed to allow you to add a keyword to existing categories that you wanted excluded or included.  So here is an example of how it would work.

  1. You create a points event in Astro and add a keyword, such as AstroExclude to the Exclude Lightspeed Category Words field for the event.
  2. In Lightspeed, you would add “ – AstroExclude” to the category or categories you wanted excluded from the points events.  If you want an entire category excluded, you can just add AstroExclude to the main category.  If you just want certain sub categories excluded, you can add AstroExclude to each sub category.
  3. Conversely, if you have more categories you want to exclude than ones you don’t, you could add something like AstroPoints to the Include Lightspeed Category Words and leave the Exclude Lightspeed Category Words blank.

The points exclusion was designed to work with a single word, so right now “Operational” will exclude but that’s it.  And again, it was really designed to have you add a word to your categories and not use the existing categories. 

FAQ for Points Events Based on Dollars Spent

If I remove items listed under Today's Purchases in Astro will it also remove the points that were rewarded for the purchase of that item?
The points totals are gathered as the data is retrieved from Lightspeed and added as a single loyalty transaction at that time.  So making adjustments the products in Today’s Purchases does not affect that.

Lightspeed Events Based on Actions

These Events are for rewarding points for an action performed instead of dollars spent. An Action Event could be setup to reward your customers for posting on your social media, or for donating something to a local rescue that you sponsor, or for volunteering at an adoption event; the possibilities are endless. 
To create an Action Event select Action from the drop-down menu beside Based On.
These Events will not integrate with Lightspeed and will require you to reward points to customers manually. This can still be done once you are in Astro under the customer's Astro account during checkout, and the points program will function just like it would on a Standard Astro account. Click the Manage Points button and add your points accordingly. 
These Events most likely have larger ratios, so you could have 1 Action reward 10 pts.

Redeeming Points with the Astro-Lightspeed Integration

Redeeming points while the Lightspeed Integration is enabled works exactly like it does normally. You can redeem points for a customer while under the Redemption/Finished screen by selecting Redeem Points. Then once you return to Lightspeed you can manually apply the discount they earned to your customer's bill before collecting payment.

Astro will not apply the earned points discount to Lightspeed for you. 

The points earned do not show up on your customer's Lightspeed receipt as of right now, but your customer can follow along with their points earned and spent via the Astro Mobile App.

If you do not see Lightspeed Event on your point event you still need to Enable the Lightspeed Integration

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do points actually expire? 
If you have a customer that has a current points total of 210, with 10 of those points being earned during a transaction that occurred 12-months ago. If you have your points set to expire after 12-months of being earned, then tomorrow this customer's points total will drop to 200 since those 10 points were earned outside of the permitted 12-month range.

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