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Incentive specialist cadooz increased new customers, sales and brand awareness in 2020: 

> 25 % rise in new customers for cadooz in 2020

> 35 % brand awareness of the BestChoice digital gift card solution among top company decision-makers* 

> 50 % sales growth for two-tier gift cards, attributable to the BestChoice universal gift card which offers a selection of over 500 brands and shops. 

The coronavirus pandemic is posing new challenges for companies. Collaboration increasingly needs to be more digital and more flexible. New paths and instruments are required to ensure that a sense of connection is not lost, despite the physical distance separating people. That is why, in these difficult times, many companies are investing in new ways to motivate customers, business partners and employees and to create loyalty to the brand. They are increasingly achieving this by implementing digital and flexible rewards solutions that meet the demands of the new world of work. “The way our business is developing is proof of this. In 2020, the year of coronavirus, we recorded growth of 25 % for new corporate customers and 25 %-plus for total sales,” commented Stefan Grimm, Managing Director of cadooz GmbH. Corporate partners from the sectors of services, banking, telecommunications and insurance are investing more and more heavily in digitization, which is making them the strongest drivers of growth for cadooz. They are implementing digital incentive solutions in especially high numbers, for customer retention, customer acquisition, and as a benefit for their employees.

Sales increased significantly in the final quarter of 2020 in particular. Many cadooz customers took the opportunity to use incentives to add value for their sales partners or employees, offering them as an alternative to face-to-face meetings at trade fairs, or events such as Christmas celebrations that couldn’t be held. cadooz saw demand from its corporate customers, of which there are more than 3,000, concentrated specifically on digital incentive solutions such as the cadooz IPS rewards program, cadooz Ace advantage club, and the BestChoice universal gift card. This universal gift card, which has a brand portfolio now consisting of over 500 top brands, is particularly popular among corporate decision-makers and consumers. In an independent survey of top managers in German companies, conducted by the YouGov* research institute, brand awareness exceeding 35 % was recorded for BestChoice, meaning that it achieved pole position on the market among incentives offered. The universal gift card is designed as a two-tier solution, and is also popular with consumers, due to the wide selection and ease of acquisition: The company simply sends the gift card to the recipient by post or email, either on a one-off or regular basis. As a second step, the recipient can then exchange the universal gift card for a gift card from their preferred favorite brand or their favorite shop, based on their own individual preference. According to epay incentive specialist cadooz, particularly high numbers of gift cards were redeemed in the home & living, fashion, and entertainment sectors. The epay company, which distributes many gift cards and prepaid phone cards in the retail sector, confirms increased 2020 sales of gift cards in-store and online in these areas. From this data it is also possible to draw additional conclusions about the impact of the coronavirus. Lockdowns meant that customers did more shopping online, and much of it was focused on cocooning, which has become the latest trend. 

Employee benefits is also another area in which digitization is the megatrend. “In 2020, we sent 40 % more incentives to our customers than in the previous year. Of these, 90 % were digital – i.e. in the form of gift card codes,” comments Stefan Grimm. “This shows that our innovations and digital incentive solutions reach consumers, suppliers and employees of our business customers reliably, even in times of crisis.”

*The data used is based on an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 521 people participated between October 30 and November 9, 2020. The results were weighted and are representative of the proportion of employees by company size.

Digital solutions that take into account many areas of change and a heterogeneous workforce in retail companies are currently considered to be a future-proof investment in HR by incentive specialist cadooz.

In times of crisis in particular, it is important to motivate employees and retain them in the company. During periods of difficulty and economic uncertainty, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, there is little capacity for employers to show appreciation through salary increases which reward and retain top performers. Digitization is now taking on a key role in the area of employee motivation and loyalty. “Digital incentive solutions offer new opportunities for HR representatives to successfully meet new requirements on a long-term basis. These solutions are flexible and modular in structure, meaning they can reach all of a company’s employees across a very wide range of generations and areas of activity,” comments Stefan Grimm, Managing Director at cadooz. As an affiliate of epay, the leading gift card and prepaid partner to German retail, the company has supported the EHI study on coronavirus impact, trends and investments in retail HR. Among other aspects, EHI has identified remaining areas of change in the retail world, and surveyed HR representatives on their investment plans.

Top 3 remaining changes 

According to the study, the pandemic has resulted in tangible transformation in the retail world. Some of these changes will be lasting, and pose new requirements for the setup of HR departments. The HR representatives surveyed by the EHI identified the following top 3 changes that are here to stay: 

1 Flexible working and digital communication (65%),

2 Relevance of one-on-one engagement (30%) and

3 E-learning / upskilling & reskilling / mobility (each 25%).

Top 3 planned investments for HR representatives in retail for 2021

HR departments are being asked to shape the new requirements for HR management now. Accordingly, the respondents to the new EHI study identified the following top 3 investment areas for 2021:

1 Staff development (70%),

2 HR software (60%) and

3 Recruitment, employer branding and digitization (each 20%).

"The new ways of working triggered by the pandemic also require new skills and competences of the employees. Promoting these will be at the top of the agenda for retailers over the next two years,” Ulrike Witt, Head of the EHI Research Project "Human Resources in Retail".

Networking with a digital incentive solution

It is necessary to fulfill as many requirements as possible from limited budgets, and as such investment options need careful consideration. The growth of digitization means there is now the possibility of using a single solution to track many aspects of HR and to reach different groups and generations of employees. Stefan Grimm at cadooz: “Our digital incentive solution cadooz IPS integrates employee development and organizational development, as well as teambuilding, with flexible reward models – and it can be used across all devices.” In the area of advanced training and e-learning for example, employees can view video tutorials via the digital platform or take part in webinars using a PC, tablet or smartphone – in the office, on the move, or when working from home – all while collecting points in the process. 

cadooz IPS promotes engagement and the opportunity to make meaningful contributions through the integration of idea management, so employees can also collect points for submitting ideas and suggestions for improvement. The points accrued can then be exchanged for incentives such as gift cards or rewards from popular brands in the directly connected redemption shop. Depending on their preference, employees can choose from fashion, lifestyle, electronics, sport and entertainment; they receive their gift card digitally or by post, and then redeem it the next time they make a purchase. 

For regular incentivization, the €44 option offers a legal basis for companies to offer their employees a tax-free reward – for example with the BestChoice ShoppingGiftCard, which can be redeemed at over 500 different retailers worldwide. “We have noticed that coronavirus has changed how employee benefits are used by our many business clients. Rewards are now being offered in digital form to an even greater degree. 90% of the gift card orders we receive are no longer printed and sent by post, but instead are used in the form of digital gift card codes. The entire customer journey – from placing an order to finally redeeming the gift card in the preferred retailer’s online shop – is digital,” comments Stefan Grimm from cadooz.

Further information on this topic is available at:

Further information on the EHI study (in German) is available at: 

The digital redemption site for BonusCard.ch AG, on which points can be exchanged for attractive rewards, meets up-to-date requirements and offers a modern customer experience 

cadooz, an incentives specialist and business unit of epay, a leading full-service provider of payment and prepaid solutions in Europe, has created the new online rewards shop for BonusCard.ch AG, one of the most popular rewards programs in Switzerland. Every time a user makes a purchase with their Visa credit card, they earn valuable reward points. These reward points can either be converted into a credit towards their statement or be redeemed for attractive rewards. As a digital incentive specialist, cadooz has completely relaunched the online rewards shop. Among the respective websites of Visa Bonus Card and Visa LibertyCard customers, a rewards shop is now available which satisfies up-to-date demands for security and convenience as well as offering a modern user experience.    

In developing the new rewards shop for the Swiss BonusCard.ch AG, the German-based incentive specialist cadooz has implemented a leading digital incentive solution and gained another important customer in Europe. “With this step, we are continuing our international growth path. The rewards shop for BonusCard.ch AG delivers a front end experience for the perfect customer journey and coupled at the back end with efficient processes and seamless integration,” explains Stefan Grimm, managing director of cadooz.

The challenge of integrating the shop into the existing system

Particularly challenging was the integration of the redemption shop into the existing rewards program system, as well as the implementation of a number of interfaces, including one for loading points. A flexible redemption system was also developed, since the cards are available in different forms (Visa Bonus Card Classic, Gold and Exclusive, LibertyCard and LibertyCard plus). The shop had to be able to display different rewards for the different credit cards. Since the new rewards shop went live in March 2019, a significant increase in rewards collected has been registered – an indication that users are impressed by the convenience and usability of the digital shop.

“By introducing this new, state-of-the-art rewards shop, we are bringing our rewards program a qualitative step forward and offering our customers and partners a modern e-commerce platform which meets our user experience requirements,” explains Max Nunziata, CEO of BonusCard.ch.

The BonusCard is one of the most popular rewards programs in Switzerland. Around every 50th resident uses the versatile services of this credit card. Consumers pay by cell phone and at the contactless terminal, can use the credit card abroad, and also use numerous insurance services. BonusCard customers collect reward points every time they use the card, too, and can collect particularly large numbers of points at certain stationary and online retailers.