The Discounts Portal Checklist: Offers and Retailers

A list of key offer and retailer considerations for organisations about to integrate an employee discount portal with a voluntary benefits platform.

Image via sunshinecity at Flickr.

An employee discounts portal is one of the most popular voluntary benefits you could offer to your staff to increase engagement. They’re simple to implement, surprisingly inexpensive, and suit a wide range of employees.

As much as we’d like to say that we’re the only one, there are a number of employee discount portal providers out there, each with a slightly different approach. If you’ve been considering the range of employee discounts portals, we’ve developed a checklist of five key discount and supplier considerations you should keep in mind as you weigh up your options.

Run through these questions with each provider to ensure you’re getting a solution that will help you reach your engagement objectives.

1. The Range of Suppliers and Retailers

Your employee discount portal should provide employees with access to discounts from a wide range of suppliers. Here are some key issues to consider:

  • Which suppliers and retailers make discounts available through the platform?
  • Which brands do these suppliers and retailers represent?
  • Are there enough brands (on the portal and within each category) to provide your employees with choice?
  • Consider your workforce — are these the sort of brands they’d be excited to receive discounts from?
  • If your organisation has a diverse workforce, is the range of brands likely to meet the expectations of each workforce segment?

For some context, we have over 3,000 different suppliers and retailers on our platform, covering everything from grocery stores to automotive repairs. There are multiple suppliers in each category, which caters to diverse workforces and gives employees more choice

2. Competitive Discounts

After you’ve checked the range of suppliers on offer, take a closer look at the discounts offered by each. Many suppliers will sign on with multiple discount platform providers — but they might not offer the same discount across each platform. Compare a few key retailers across the platforms you are considering to ensure you’re getting access to deals that your employees will love.

3. Different Discount Types

Look for a platform that makes it easy for employees to access multiple discount formats. This is important as there are probably a number of different consumer behaviours represented in your workforce. A diverse range of discount formats increases the chances that you’ll cater to everyone’s preferred shopping behaviour.

We incorporate retail vouchers, reloadable cards, discount codes, integrated discounts and cashback offers in our platform. If you’d like to learn more about discount formats, refer to our earlier article How Do You Want Your Discount Today? — it explains each format in greater detail.

4. Offer Validity

If you’re satisfied with the range of offers and their value, check how long each offer is generally available to employees. Some providers prefer deals that are valid for six months, a year or even a few years. These longer-term deals are particularly valuable when offered by brands that employees will engage with on a regular basis — grocery stores, for example. By comparison, other providers prefer deals that can last just weeks, days or even hours. Many, like ourselves, use a combination of both — long lasting deals that provide continuity as well as special short term offers.

5. Regionally Relevant Discounts

It’s important to ensure that the discounts on offer are congruous with where your workforce is based. For example, if you’re an organisation based in the Midlands, you’ll get no value from an employee discounts portal that only provides instore vouchers for independent Soho retailers.

This is becoming less of an issue. Firstly, more and more people are now comfortable with online shopping and, secondly, a greater proportion of discounts available can now be redeemed online. The regional relevance of each platform is still something to compare and consider, however.

Supplier range, discount types, validity, competitiveness and regional relevance — these are the key discounts and supplier aspects that you should consider in your discount portal review. Feel free to contact us on or 0208 201 6483 if you want to talk through these issues with one of our account managers — we can also show you our approach to employee discount portals.

Stay tuned for further checklists. In these we’ll discuss the other aspects that need to be considered, including customer service, platform usability, programme integration and more.

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