Merchant Member Showcase #1

At Oz Web rewards, we are proud to have a large number of merchant members participating in our program, who offer high quality and unique products to the discerning customer. Sit back and read on as we begin our blog series showcasing some of these fantastic online stores…

Undiewarehouse is your one-stop online shop for all of your underwear needs: men’s, women’s and children’s undies, singlets, bras, socks and hosiery, and much more. Lingerie items, shape wear and accessories are sold here, as well as specialty items catering to maternity, post surgery, and plus size requirements. There are also exercise and leisure wear garments to be purchased. Located in Crows Nest, NSW, Undiewarehouse offers free shipping every Wednesday, or every day for orders over $100 in total value. Brands available include (but are not limited to) Bonds, Jockey, Obviously Underwear, Berlei, Platinum and Voodoo.

Hostile Bacon is home to unique, quirky and whimsical gifts for adults and children alike. From Papier d’Arménie (Paper of Armenia) booklets to beeswax candles; from eclectic home wares to jewellery; from kids’ games to stationery – there are gift ideas for every occasion from Fathers’ Day to 21st Birthdays or Kris Kringle. Brands available from Hostile Bacon include Hostile Bacon, Queen B, Sukie, Otto & Spike, Papier d’Armenie, the Turkish Towel Store and Once Upon A Tree.

Looking for luxury shoes at affordable prices? Jaspa King is a classy woman’s best friend – delivering high end stiletto heels and peep toe heels of premium quality at extremely competitive prices. Each pair of shoes in the range is made from 100% Napa leather, with a cushioned sole for optimal comfort and support. The shoes are exclusively hand made in artisan workshops, inspired by the latest fashion and style trends from Paris, Milan, new York, India, Hong Kong and Sydney, and are, as such, masterpieces of footwear design and engineering. The end result is a pair of shoes that are elegant, classy, and a pleasure to wear.

Head to Oz Web Rewards today to see what these merchant members, and many, many more, have to offer – and be rewarded when you shop!

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How To Survive the Post Christmas Sales Blues

The festive season has ended and the pre- and post-Christmas sales are over.  While many bricks and mortar stores are still offering “discounts”, are they really saving you money? Or have they bumped up their full prices so it just seems like you are getting a bargain?

There is no doubt that the retail industry exists to make money – and lots of it. It’s worth using a little know-how to play the same game and, hopefully, beat the big players at their own game!

How do you survive the post-Christmas sales blues, and make your hard earned money go further?

  • Choose your moment – if you don’t need it right now, wait. That dress you love, which currently costs $250, will be on sale in a mere couple of months. There’s a risk that it may no longer be available, but patience can win out and if you aren’t willing to pay top dollar, you might just get lucky as long as you watch carefully for sales – some are day-only, so be astute.
  • Haggle – don’t be embarrassed to ask if the displayed price is the best they can do. You’d be surprised how often there are “VIP” type discounts of up to 10% or more for certain goods – all you need to do is ask. If the answer is “no”, be prepared to walk away – sometimes the vendor is unable to comply with your request, but often they can. This writer actually worked for a “high end” fashion label – and to close a sale, we were instructed to be creative and could, at times, offer up to 30% discount. It’s worth asking.
  • Shop online – not only is it convenient, you have a myriad of stores at your fingertips. You can easily do your research – find the products you really love, compare prices (but don’t forget to account for shipping costs and currency exchange rates), and explore stores and products you might not have easy access to in your local area. You will also save by not paying for fuel or parking fees! As long as you purchase from reputable dealers and pay via secure server, with some care, internet shopping is the way to go – and the way of the future.
  • Loyalty programs – there are hundreds of loyalty programs from which to benefit. While most are limited to the store from which you make that purchase, not all are the same. For example; Oz web Rewards is a unique rewards portal in the Australian online shopping forum. With over seventy five participating merchant members, representing Australian small and medium online businesses, customer members can join for free and shop with any of these stores. Rewards are earned at a generous level over all stores and can be pooled to spend anywhere in the Oz web Rewards store – which showcases products from every merchant listed. Additionally, this company gives back on the customer’s behalf, donating to any participating charity or organisation at no cost to the customer. Everyone wins.

So with a little creativity and forethought, it’s not difficult to come out on top when you go shopping – even if the Christmas sales are over for another year.

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Will GST Kill Offshore Online Shopping?

Retailers in Australia during the last few years have been doing it tough, as the shopping landscape changes and people look outside traditional shopping markets. Consumers are looking for variety and better value.

Gone are the days when your first port of call was your local shopping precinct or shopping mall. You can now do your browsing from home and find bargains and unique items with a few clicks of the mouse. This has of course resulted in an ever-increasing shift towards online shopping, a new frontier for shoppers and regulators alike.

Oz web Rewards supports Australian online businesses, mostly the small to medium size enterprises, who, like the big players, have to carve out a portion of the potential online retail pie. Most of our participating merchants offer great value for money, due to lower overheads than bigger brick and mortar stores; but if you believe the hype of the bigger chains,  the local Australian store is under threat due to offshore sites not having to pay GST. There has been a push by mainly big retailers to lower the threshold of GST to $20, so most incoming goods will result in a GST tariff being imposed. But is GST the reason shoppers go offshore to purchase goods, and will lowering the threshold be the remedy for all concerned?

We at Oz web Rewards, like everyone else in Australia, love a great quality bargain and will search widely for extra savings. While it is true that GST is a factor in the final cost paid, most people purchasing online do not do so to save 10%. GST. There are many other factors involved. The main influence is cost. Australians often pay much more than other countries for goods; sometimes over 100% more. This is the result by of distributors using GEO locking supply chains, and is an attempt to maximise profit margins in countries where competition is lower, meaning they can increase profit margins as well as keep the market share. With potential savings like, that introducing GST to purchases will not affect most buyers’ decisions to purchase goods or not. Why punish local Australian shoppers with extra tax just to prop up outdated big corporation profits?

The government should be looking at ways to support Australian retailer rights for comparable wholesale overseas prices; not only would it help Australian retailers directly compete with overseas suppliers, it would also mean all the sale proceeds are kept within Australia, not just the GST component.

As stated, the main push for lowering of the GST threshold is coming from the bigger end of retail, as they struggle with the new online economy. Smaller Australian retailers who have embraced the online process, such as all of the Oz web Rewards merchant members,  still offer great value for money, as they have lowered overheads to reduce costs and can hence offer value for money in competition to overseas stores.

Of course you will still find bargains overseas, but begin your search via Australia’s many great small online merchants; you will be surprised at the fantastic, quality bargains available locally. Lowering the GST threshold will not stop offshore online shopping, but will mean Australians continue to pay more for goods as offshore firms are allowed to GEO lock their supply chains.

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Shopping: Women versus Men

 

Men and women really do differ greatly when it comes to the shopping experience. Researchers have confirmed what many of us would have known to be true: with little exception, women LOVE to shop. With little exception, men – not so much.

Women, as a general rule, enjoy the whole experience of shopping. They are happy to browse, be distracted from their purpose, and be surprised by other things they weren’t even aware they wanted or needed. A woman’s attention span for shopping averages two hours.

Men, on the other hand, see shopping as a mission: go in, get the specific item they left home with the intention of acquiring, and get out of there again. A man is doing well if he retains attention for the whole endeavour for twenty five minutes.

The fact is, women love to shop. Men view shopping as a chore. The worst aspect of going out to shop for a woman tends to be lack of sales assistance; this is the single biggest factor which will lose a sale to a woman customer. Also detrimental are sales assistants who are unhelpful or rude. Men, on the other hand, are more concerned when they cannot find a parking space close to their destination store, and if an item is not in stock then and there, they will walk away.

In a nutshell: men are hunters; women are gatherers. Men enter a store with specifics in mind and are rarely distracted from their goal. Women, who according to scientific research, have better peripheral vision than men, go in and scan.

Shopping online is similar. Men want to go to a site seeking a specific item. Women like to browse all options and then choose.

This is where Oz web Rewards is perfect for everyone! It is your one-stop location for online shopping Australia-wide. There are over seventy five merchants participating in the program, and everything from children’s toys and games to women’s lingerie to hardware and tools to home wares and gourmet foods are available easily and at your fingertips. All merchants are Australian-based so shipping is fast and very much more affordable than anywhere else – and best of all, our loyalty program delivers generous rewards.

Join today! You will be very, very glad you did – whether your shopping style is that of a hunter or a gatherer.

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Oz Web Rewards is a Top 20 Loyalty program – WORLDWIDE!

Here at Oz web Rewards, we were very excited and humbled to learn last week that we have placed in the top 20 worldwide for Customer Loyalty Programs.

SIGNL is a company that provides real-time business intelligence and analysis, tracking company growth, from small start-up companies to big business players. They analyse more than forty million web-based data points every week, including social media, news, and mobile technology.

On 24th October 2013, we were thrilled to learn that of 411 loyalty program companies ranked worldwide by SIGNL, Web Prosperity Pty Ltd placed number 19. Web Prosperity Pty Ltd is the parent company under which Oz web Rewards operates.

We truly believe this is an amazing achievement, and it reiterates for us what we have been saying about the Oz web Rewards Loyalty Program all along: that we offer a unique rewards portal to benefit both Australian consumers and merchants, that is generous and comprehensive, and far superior to most other reward schemes available in the market today. We are also unique in that we have a sponsor program in place by which we can “pay it forward” and give something back to others who can most benefit.

Check out Oz web Rewards today – both for your online shopping needs, and also our enormous rewards store. Joining is free and points earned never expire.

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Fat Wallet?

A recent article on a Perth News website questions the reader, “Do you have Fat Wallet Syndrome?”

It refers to an old Seinfeld episode where George Kostanza just can’t fit one more thing into his overloaded, bursting at the seams wallet. And it’s not bursting at the seams with money!

It seems, too, that wallets of Australians are also bursting at the seams – with an immeasurable number of loyalty cards from various stores and brands. Market research suggests that well more than two million of us belong to a loyalty program, and more than one in ten of those who do, belong to more than ten. We may be carrying plastic loyalty cards, or cardboard throw-aways when every square gets stamped and we receive our freebie (like in massage clinics and coffee shops). Either way – they fill up our wallets with just more stuff.

Men and women are both targeted in this way – and many will admit more is spent with the idea of reward in mind. But the plethora of loyalty cards and programs has saturated the market and the competitive advantage of one retailer over another has been threatened by the fact that it is now the norm.

Not only is a fat wallet bad for health (men out their wallet in their back pocket; and then sit on it, misaligning the spine over time), but according to Chinese Feng Shui, a wallet full of “stuff” leaves no room for it to become full of money. Which, let’s face it, is what a wallet is for, is it not?

But the loyalty program we have here at Oz web Rewards is different – in a great way.

For starters, there is no card! All you need is a login and a password to our site (given when you join for free) and you can shop with our listed merchants from any computer. We have over 76 Australian online merchants onboard with our program, offering unique rewards; you shop with any of these, pool your generous 5% rewards redemption rate, and then (similar to credit card reward programs) you can shop in our rewards store. All of the products in this store come from our merchants and there are literally hundreds of items from which you can choose. Rewards are real, tangible, and easy to earn.

Best of all – you will be supporting Australian small to medium business.

Check out Oz web Rewards today – you will be very happy you did!

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Loyalty Programs: Why They Are Worth It

A recently published Consumer Study, the For Love or Money? 2013 Consumer Study into Australian Loyalty Programs, found that customer loyalty schemes do indeed motivate stronger brand loyalty, higher spending, and provide businesses which have loyalty programs with a competitive edge over their non-rewarding counterparts.

A majority of shoppers surveyed stated that they will buy more if there are reward incentives, and they will choose to shop where they are members of a reward program over other businesses.

Customer loyalty is deemed to be the greatest asset a business can possess; happy and loyal customers will bring in repeat business as well as referrals and recommendations to other potential customers. The best loyalty programs will recognise and reward brand loyalty and commitment, not just repeat purchasing by their members.

So it’s unfortunate that a high percentage of consumers in Australia don’t believe they receive true value from their reward programs; most find communication to members from the progams to be poor and that benefits are not valuable enough to warrant active membership.

At Oz web Rewards, we are proud to offer a unique rewards program which is truly comprehensive, relevant to Australian consumers and merchant business owners, and sustainable. We are a one-stop portal to over 75 unique Australian online merchants, offering online shopping and products from a varied range of categories, and we allow pooling of rewards earned over our merchant base to redeem for rewards from those same merchants in our rewards store. Our rewards system is generous, at a reward rate of 5% – significantly higher than many other programs in the marketplace. Finally, we offer a unique sponsor program, by which customers can nominate charities or organisations of their choice to benefit from donations by Oz web Rewards based on dollars spent on our program by customer members. It is simply our way of giving back.

Visit Oz web Rewards today and browse our merchant database. Joining is free, and as a member, everytime you shop with one of our merchant members via our website, you are guaranteed not only great products, but fabulous rewards for your loyalty.

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Oz web Rewards’ Sponsorship Program

Here at Oz web Rewards, we are proud and excited to announce our brand new Sponsorship Program: a great way to passively raise funds for the organisation of your choice while purchasing great products from Australian merchants and being personally rewarded at the same time.

Donor fatigue is one of the biggest problems facing organisations looking to fund raise; with the Oz web Rewards Sponsorship Program, any organisation may mobilize their members to earn donations for them by simply joining Oz web Rewards (free to sign up) and then shopping for themselves online via our rewards portal. Active members will be not only shopping for what they want, when they want it; they will also be generating generous rewards for themselves while at the same time earning donations with every purchase for their nominated charity, sporting team, local school or community group.

Any Australian-based charity or community group is eligible to join this exciting new program: sporting teams, charity organisations, community groups, social clubs, school P&C associations, etc. Once signed up to the program (free), all the organisation needs to do is promote  the program to their member base. When a new customer member joins, they can nominate their chosen sponsorship organisation from the list and any purchase made via our portal and our 75+ merchant members that is eligible for customer rewards will also earn automatic donations for the organisation: nothing to sell to family or workmates, no volunteers required.

Sponsorship rewards are separate from customer rewards; so customers may rest assured that whether they nominate a sponsorship organisation or not, their own personal reward level will be the same generous 5% of the value of their purchases.

The Oz web Rewards Sponsorship Program launched just this week; we already have a fabulous charity organisation signed up and waiting for customer sponsors: The Orangutan Project.

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Check out Oz web Rewards and our Sponsorship Program today!

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Coca Cola – The “Healthy” Option!

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“An offer of Coca-Cola is more than just an invitation to refresh. It’s a way of saying with assurance, “here’s something wholesome and delicious for you to enjoy.”

So said this vintage advertisement for Coca-Cola from circa 1950. And to prove the point, who better to espouse the health benefits of this refreshment than the image of a nurse – wholesome in and of herself?

Coca-Cola has a long and illustrious history: first formulated in the 1800′s as an alcoholic beverage known as Pemberton’s French Wine Coca, prohibition in 1886 resulted in the non-alcoholic version of Coca-Cola being developed. It was initially sold in a pharmacy as a patent medicine; it was claimed to cure headache, morphine addiction, digestive reflux, nerve pain and impotence. By the time the drink celebrated its fiftieth anniversary  in 1935, it had been certified as a “kosher” product. Today it is one of, if not the, world’s most highly selling soft drinks.

But is it healthy? Today we would respond to that question with a resounding “no”! Containing carbonated water (the only healthy constituent), sugar, caffeine, caramel colouring, flavourings and phosphoric acid, there can be no illusion of any real health benefit  - though it can honestly provide some energy boost (all that sugar!)  and for some, can in fact be helpful for headache sufferers (thanks to the caffeine content).

Oz web Rewards might not have merchants selling coca-cola, but we do have discount shopping offerings on a range of gourmet food items, including one dedicated to American food novelties. Check it out at www.ozwebrewards.com.au under the Food and Alcohol Category.

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Some Toys Really Do Last Forever

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How many of our readers grew up with Lego?

This popular construction toy, with blocks for building all kinds of magnificent things, originated in Denmark in 1932. Previously made from wooden blocks, Lego started producing plastic toys in 1947 and in 1949 the first interlocking blocks we’re all  now familiar with were produced for the first time.

It’s reassuring to know that some things really do never change. With all the technological gizmos and computer-based games today’s kids have, children still have good, old-fashioned fun with some of the simpler things which their parents, and even their grandparents, enjoyed in their own childhood days.

It’s also amusing that parenthood hasn’t, in many ways, changed either. The 1950s and before are often presented as halcyon days where all was perfect – perfect working husbands came home after a hard day to perfect wives;  perfect children already bathed and fed and ready for bed. This print commercial suggests otherwise! Any parent can relate to a desire for their children to play quietly for hours with quiet toys and games. Mothers were obviously a bit frazzled! Lego had this benefit as well as others: children using their imaginations and creativity for good – not playing war games, which at the time were popular with little boys but tiresome for their parents in a recent post-war world.

At Oz web Rewards we have a very large number of online stores who sell toys of all kinds and also offer rewards in our generous loyalty program. We are your one-stop portal for online shopping Australia-wide, and we guarantee that if you browse our games merchants, you will find myriad toys to suit your needs – old fashioned, educational, and very modern toys are all available here. It’s free to join – and you get 5% in rewards points every time you shop via our website. Check it out today – you can even do your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your computer!

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