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Sugar Rush and Clearhill revolutionising leisure vending with mobile loyalty app

Tim Wilson

Digital Marketing Manager

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Any parent who recalls visiting a retail park or shopping centre will remember well the bright lights and attention-grabbing sounds of the kiddie rides and amusement machines. Intentionally designed to draw children’s enthusiastic zeal to play on them, they will often result in parents digging in pockets and purses for coins and currency to placate the child and a peaceful trip to the shops frequently depends on having the right coin type, shape or amount.

It’s a tale many years old now and just like so many other consumer focused industries, the business world of kiddie rides and amusements has had demands placed upon it to capitalise on every available revenue opportunity, facilitate cashless payments and understand their markets in evermore granular ways.

Only a few years back, the lack of a pound or 50p in the pocket or purse of a parent would result in a disappointed child, a noisy car ride home and to the operator, a lost sale.

Observing the evolution of many other fragmented and cash only industries, leisure vending visionaries Clearhill have offered Shopping centres & Grocery stores a cleaner, more lucrative and simpler to operate leisure vending model by placing these revenue generating amusement areas together with a revenue share in commercial retail properties ,and it’s big business!

Clearhill are the only company in the world to bring this innovation to the leisure vending market and are now operating 1,700 machines across 400 locations in UK and Ireland.

Clearhill has clear vision for this unique consumer market and has invested heavily in areas like cashless payments and mobile phone payments, to ensure that such opportunities are no longer lost in an increasingly cashless retail world.

This future proofing mentality forms the basis of Clearhill’s latest mission to understand at a deeper and individual level, the personal buying habits of all types of their customers and how to instill and grow loyalty within them.

Clearhill approached Sugar Rush with these aims in mind with a view to discover how mobile app technology would offer additional unique value and opportunity to their market model.

Sugar Rush’s mobile app development pedigree across multiple markets enabled us to quickly understand Clearhill’s needs and deliver a mobile app which aligns with the ground-breaking mentality they adopt and bring a level of true digital transformation to their business through a mobile-first approach.

Sugar Rush created a mobile app, FunHub which created a frictionless user experience for users, task serving functionality for locating nearby rides and attractions, and the inception of a loyalty point system (FunCoins) that also allowed for cashless redemption for free rides which are triggered by the app and can start the machine from a mobile device, without the need for any other payment method!

Yes you read that right, the machines can be started by the customer using only loyalty points in the app, effectively making the FunHub and FunCoins an industry specific everyday digital wallet, which is highly controllable by the operator. This digital wallet functions in the same manner as the globally popular My Starbucks Reward (which counts for 40% of it’s sales) in that the rewards can be earned and redeemed without the need for bulk or pre-buying points in advance. That said bulk point buying is also made available to allow for offering discounted machine use for frequent and loyal users of the FunCoin app.

In addition, Clearhill wanted to create a FunCoin store where loyalty points in this digital wallet could be accumulated by loyal attraction users and exchanged for cashless and cardless gifts such as sweets, toys and other gifts.

Funcoin Wallet and FunHub store

The latest iteration of the app recently hit the app stores and brings with it a number of important under the hood developments which will enhance user experience, customer retention and also help Clearhill to understand all the permutations of how the app is being used as it grows in popularity.

The FunHub app is a strong example of the shift towards digital wallet and loyalty programs capabilities in retail environments and demonstrates the real world value to customers of loyalty, collecting and spending loyalty points and being a few steps closer to being truly cashless.

To find out more about FunHub and read the Sugar Rush client case study, click here.


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