Stefanelli's Candies

Stefanelli’s Candies is a family-owned chocolate company founded in 1929 and based in Erie, PA. Stefanelli’s Candies, the chocolate manufacturer, was acquired by the Stainbrook family in 2015. The business was using an outdated punch card system to track customer rewards, which had no expiration dates attached to the acquired rewards. With a limited budget and little technology, the new owners needed a streamlined, easy to manage reward system that would keep track of customer spending and the rewards each customer had redeemed. Epic Web Studios provided the solution: an iPad-based rewards app.


January 2017: Epic set out to create a new rewards solution that would be technologically light without requiring a recurring payment from the client.  In addition, Stefanelli’s wanted to be able to manage the expiration of obtained rewards so unclaimed discounts would not be sitting in the system indefinitely. The new system had to operate quickly especially at peak business times; the app would add a new step to the checkout process, and Epic and Stefanelli’s did not want to sacrifice customer service in the process.  Finally, Epic had to manage customer expectations by ensuring uninterrupted services and a smooth transition from an archaic, decades old punch card system.

February 2017: Epic Web Studios began building a simple reward system from the ground up. We wanted it to operate in a natural way so the clerks could incorporate it easily into their checkout process. Additionally, it was imperative that customers would not need to carry any type of cards or remember any login information in order to access their rewards.

The Epic team first built a very simple app designed to store customer phone numbers - as usernames -  and track each customer’s spending. From there, Epic developed the parameters for accumulated awards based on the client’s preferences and begin working towards the idea that the new rewards app would be managed from an iPad.

March 2017: The employees were trained to operate the app by entering a 4-digit employee ID as well as the customer’s phone number to login or create their account. At the end of the day, the system needed to provide accurate, daily reports which outlined the redeemed value and number of sign-ups.

The project’s final hurdle was creating a proper workflow. Each of Stefanelli’s five locations would need iPads, a secure stand, and reliable Wifi. Epic sourced the most financially-viable iPads capable of handling the newly developed app and found sturdy stands that would ensure the iPads could not be removed from the store. In addition, the team worked with Stefanelli’s and their internet provider to set up reliable Wifi at each location.

User interface for the Stefanelli's Candies Rewards Program


According to the owners of Stefanelli's Candies

"This is one of the best decisions we have made since taking over the company."

According to Stefanelli’s Retail Store Manager

"The employees found the new program easy to use. Customers no longer need to remember any cards or passwords; Stefanelli’s Candies has this information saved in order to provide optimal service and an improved customer experience."

Here's where the app stands today: 

  • Just over 5,500 sign-ups in 3 months
  • Saved over $5,000 in projected unclaimed rewards
  • Faster, more efficient checkout process for customers and clerks
  • Accurate end-of-day reports for management
  • Customers are free of the responsibility of punch cards and login information 

Rewards program announcement on Facebook


Reward program can often: 

  • increase brand loyalty and sales
  • provide direct communication with customers
  • answer questions about consumer buying habits

Why fight an uphill battle converting customer? Make it easy to e
ngage with them where they already are! 

Epic's strategic digital marketing team provides a solution to the limitations of a traditional marketing process. Even brick-and-mortar sales locations can benefit by implementing new digital advancement into their day-to-day process. 

The choice is yours, Gray or Blue: 

 Successful Social Media Strategy

Are you

  • struggling to retain customers? 
  • already using an outdated reward program?
  • stuck paying a reoccurring fee for your current reward solution?
  • realizing that your business could benefit from a digital upgrade?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, call our offices and speak with David Hunter at 814-746-6987.

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