Who are Droplet?
Droplet is an app that lets you pay in your favourite places hands-free and collect all your loyalty rewards on your phone. For merchants, Droplet combines customer data, messaging and unlimited fee-free payments.
The folks at Droplet are passionate about improving the relationships between people and the places they love to shop. The company was founded by Steffan Aquarone and Will Grant, two young entrepreneurs with a wealth of experience in technology and app development, marketing and business growth. The organisation is now 15 employees strong, bringing together a small core team with a number of regional ambassadors and business managers who are heavily invested in their local communities and take an extremely hands on approach to making Droplet a success for both merchants and their customers.
Where are you based?
Droplet was born in Birmingham, which remains its spiritual homeland! But we are a nationwide business and our team works remotely in locations as far flung as Exeter, Glasgow and occasionally mainland Europe. We have merchants across the UK, but our main community centres are in Norwich, London and Glasgow/Edinburgh.
What is your business & how did it start?
Droplet is a mobile payments and loyalty app. From within one simple interface it allows organisations to:
- Take fee-free card payments
- Reward loyal customers
- Gather actionable customer data and insight
- Communicate directly with customers via the app
Originally product development focused on mobile payments, giving merchants the ability to take card payments without costly transaction fees or the need for any expensive kit. Since then the product has evolved in response to feedback and the competitive landscape, with Droplet Rewards coming online in 2015. Droplet is now the only app to combine world-class loyalty tools with fee-free payments so customers can do two things with one button.
What are your core values & mission?
Droplet believes in fairness, transparency and building your business on great customer relationships. We believe that all businesses should have access to the tools, financial levers and knowledge that give the big players such an overwhelming competitive advantage (think Starbucks’ loyalty programme). And we believe that bricks and mortar businesses should be able to use online technology just as effectively as businesses on the web.
Our mission is put ‘big corporate technology’ in the hands of bricks and mortar businesses to accelerate growth through data-driven, differentiated customer experiences.
Why did you choose to work with Epos Now?
One of Droplet’s big advantages is that it doesn't require any costly equipment at the till – just an internet enabled device and a customer with a smart phone. Feedback from our merchants indicated that making Droplet an integrated part of their current POS system would make it even more accessible. We also believe integration would lower the barriers to entry for a broader audience nationwide.
Epos Now operates on many of the same principles as Droplet, making world-class technology affordable and accessible and focusing on saving customers time and money through simplicity. Epos Now’s client base aligns extremely well with Droplet’s aspirations and both companies are keen to explore new, disruptive ways of working to deliver tangible value to their customers. We’re really excited to become an Epos Now partner as both companies are going through periods of significant growth and development.
What are your predictions for the future of mobile payment apps?
We've seen dozens of mobile payments apps come to market and fail – mainly because there just isn't enough of a problem being solved for the end customer. Even Apple Pay has struggled because it’s clunkier than contactless.
The same goes for loyalty-only apps: we believe the future lies in combining payments with other, added-value functions – like Uber does for taxis, Deliveroo for take-aways, and Droplet for loyalty.
We also believe the future of mobile payments and loyalty is going to be platform based, not single-merchant (white-labelled or inhouse built). Why would you replace a problem of 'too many loyalty cards' in your wallet, with 'a different app for each merchant' on your phone?
Do you have any advice for business'?
For businesses who perhaps don’t have a lot of time or resource to manage their marketing activities, Droplet takes a lot of the pain out of making meaningful connections with your customers. But loyalty marketing is about building emotional connections, and it requires time and effort to get long-term results. Droplet’s three top tips:
- You get out what you put in. The first few weeks of getting customers signed up is crucial for your programme to work. Don’t skimp on doing what it takes – properly run, the long-term gains from loyalty marketing can far outweigh initial outlay.
- “Free stuff” beats money off or % discounts. Real loyalty comes from customers feeling recognised. Personalise your customer experience online and instore, use data to understand what your customers like and offer them an experience they can’t get elsewhere.
- Loyalty marketing is a long game. Yes, you can send out a promotional message and increase sales of lattes for a day. But the real value comes building long-term relationships and advocacy amongst your your top customers to keep them coming back. Over a year they can be worth over 100 times what a one-off customer might spend. Don’t wait to notice them until they’re gone.