Finland’s first e-commerce customer loyalty scheme, Bonusway, was launched in 2011. A couple of years later, the young entrepreneurs pitched their scheme to the Leijonan luola [Lion’s Cave] TV program and went home with 75,000 euros in venture capital.
Customer loyalty schemes have become popular because they give consumers cash back on purchases and hotel reservations made online. When a shopper clicks on an online store link from the Bonusway page, the online store pays a sales commission on the purchase, and Bonusway shares this commission with the users in the form of a bonus.
The services are especially popular with 20–35 year old women who find the large number of online fashion and beauty stores often found in the service very appealing. However, the biggest bonuses are paid to those who travel a lot.
Bonusway is a start-up and has also implemented its growth strategy through business acquisitions, the latest of which were the Dutch Shopkorting.nl and the Swedish Cashbackshopping.se. The company currently has about five million users globally, and it operates in Finland and 16 other countries.
Business acquisitions can be complex transactions requiring attorney-driven negotiating skills and project management. Lexia assisted Bonusway in its business acquisitions.
“Business acquisitions are multi-stage processes that should be executed quickly, but assertively. Working with Lexia has been good – matters are handled quickly and in a way that seeks goal-oriented solutions,” notes Lasse Järvinen, one of the Bonusway founders.
In addition to business acquisitions, Lexia has assisted Bonusway in financial arrangements and in the development of a profit-sharing program.