Loyalty platform for social networks launches

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OneBigPlanet has launched its Web 2.0-based loyalty and retention platform.

The platform creates branded portals for organizations and online communities through which members can shop, make dining reservations, print coupons and book flights, among a host of other commerce tools. OneBigPlanet also incorporates social networking tools, which allow members to add each other as friends, make recommendations and rate merchants. The company tracks user preferences to target e-mail and on-site offers.

“Every community has different competitors, as an individual can join so many organizations,” said Eric Aubertin, founder and CEO of OneBigPlanet. “If you want to be different, you should be offering advantages to attract more people. If you can join someone's platform and gain access to advantages and can save money in discounts, that's great for acquisition. In terms of retention, if you leave you lose the advantages, so it keeps you there because you're actually saving money.”

OneBigPlanet touts its platform as a way for member networks to stifle turnover and increase the value of customer relationships. Its “Save, Simplify and Share” tagline refers to the discounts offered by merchant members, tools like consumer calendars and coupon aggregators and community-building aspects like forums, user reviews and shared wish lists. Users have their own homepages, which they can customize with personal interests, and all communications are opt-in.

Last week, the US Chamber of Commerce became a client of OneBigPlanet, extending the service to corporate employees as well as member businesses nationwide. Member businesses also have the opportunity to place their products and services on the portal, allowing them to target other users with exclusive offers.

The company is launching twelve new communities, representing 2.5 million users. Aubertin said that the prime user age range for OneBigPlanet's branded communities was 18-45 and that women, particularly moms, stand out as some of the best shoppers.

OneBigPlanet is currently in a fund-raising stage, which will be followed by a road show in May and June.

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