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Plato’s Closet messages loyal, potential customers via flok’s merchant network

Plato’s Closet is directly messaging customers through a third-party mobile application called Flok while leveraging a business companion app to manage these interactions, including accessing a news feed of messages and a map of nearby customers.

Rather than make a significant investment in developing a branded app, some merchants are testing apps that create a network of local businesses. With Flok, merchants such as Plato’s Closet can send a message to customers when they are inside its stores and try to lure in outside consumers who are nearby.

“We use flok to connect with our customers in ways that create lasting relationships and drive loyalty,” said Steve Munzer, owner of multiple locations in Florida of used-clothing retailer Plato’s Closet. “The dashboard is very intuitive and we love the automation to keep up with customers around the clock.

“The UX varies depending on what is going on at the store,” he said. “For example, a customer might receive an automatic message on her birthday, or 30 days after her last visit – as incentive to visit the store. Or we could push out weekly specials and offers proactively.

“Flok makes it easy to set these things up and manage – and you can be as hands-on or hands-off as you want.

One-to-one messaging
Flok leverages AI chat, proximity messaging triggered by beacons, in-app purchasing and digital loyalty cards to help merchants connect with smartphone-savvy customers, who can earn rewards using a digitized version of the loyalty punch card.

Businesses have their own pages that live within the flok app and encourage customers to download flok to engage with them.

The app lets users directly message local businesses.

For example, someone with a dinner reservation can directly message the restaurant that someone in the party requires gluten-free food without having to know the restaurant’s telephone number.

On the business side, a gym could message customers that there three spots left in the 6 p.m. spin class.

Customer news feed
A recent addition to the program is the flok for Business app, which enables businesses to leverage flok’s engagement tools while on the go.

The app is structured like a customer news feed, enabling businesses to easily sort, segment and engage customers via messaging directly from their phones.

Flok has also introduced a new tool, Traffic Map, which enables businesses to view where opted-in loyalty club members are in proximity to the store and provide them with offers or incentives to visit the location.

Bigger merchants can use flok to empower their locations to handle one-to-one customer communications via mobile and move it out of the corporate office.

“In order for merchants to build their own app and keep it updated in terms of technology, you need to be a Starbucks,” said Ido Gaver, CEO and co-founder of flok.

“If they want something that is going to work right away, they need to be part of a larger network,” he said.