Key Questions to ask when Choosing an Employee Discount Platform

John Stevens   11 October, 2017
Employee Discounts

An employee discount platform is one of the most popular forms of voluntary benefits – enjoyed by numerous organisations for its ease of implementation, cost-effectiveness, and the value it provides employees. 

With many slightly different offerings in the market, it’s important to understand the options available by researching and speaking to providers. Here at Staff Treats we recommend asking five key questions to help you select the right employee discount portal.

1) How many suppliers do you have on your portal?

There’s no getting around it. The number of suppliers on the portal is one of the most important considerations in selecting the right employee discount platform. Employee uptake will be gauged, in large part, on how many of their favourite brands are in the portal – and each member of the workforce is different. For an employee discounts scheme to be a success, it will be necessary to use platform which is active in reaching out to brands and negotiating quality discounts. Here at Staff Treats, we have a team of dedicated supplier relationship managers who develop relationships with all types of organisation – from niche outlets to major worldwide brands – in order to secure the widest range of discounts. We have over 3,000 brands on our discount portal including online stores such as Amazon, Apple, Asos,, AO, to high-street retail such as Marks and Spencer, Primark, and Starbucks to name only a few.

2) What are the discount rates? (Ask for specific examples and then compare between providers)

There’s little point in having an employee discount portal with a wide range of brands if the discounts aren’t valuable to employees. Many discount schemes attract membership through big brands only for employees to realise that the discounts are minimal with a resulting lack of interest and usage. If employee engagement is to be successful in any form, employees need to feel assured that the act is a genuine and thoughtful attempt made by employers to boost well-being. Only then will it have the effect of engaging the workforce. When considering a staff discount platform, be sure to look into how much discount your members will receive for major brands or the brands that they enjoy. At Staff Treats, we’re constantly on the lookout benchmarking the quality of our offers against our competitors to ensure that employers and employees receive the best possible deals.

3) In which formats are staff discounts available?

Within small businesses as well as large organisations modern workforces tend to be diverse with employees having vastly different spending patterns. Consequently, discount providers need to cater for different ways of redeeming offers in order to accommodate individual preferences and ensure successful uptake. Some people like to shop predominantly online whilst others prefer to visit the high-street. If discounts are not matched to the way in which people prefer to spend, this can result in wastage, thereby limiting the effectiveness of an employee discount scheme.

At Staff Treats, we put power into consumers hands by providing a variety of ways in which employees can redeem offers. These include discount vouchers (online e-vouchers and paper vouchers redeemable in-store), physical top up cards sent out to employees to purchase goods at their favourite outlets, and cashback which automatically credits money back into your account following a purchase. To top it off we provide a handy FAQs section explaining the differences to ensure employees know exactly what they are getting.

4) For how long are the offers valid?

So you’ve worked out the range of brands available, discount quality, and the different options for employees to redeem them. The next thing to work out is how long the offers are available for. Each discount provider is different with some valuing short term offers to keep staff returning to the portal, with others preferring to put in place longer-terms discounts valid for at least a few months, enabling employees to engage with offers on a more regular basis. At Staff Treats, we find a combination of both is best – longer-term offers on everyday requirements such as groceries and shopping coupled with great short term offers and incentives designed to surprise and delight employees every time they login.

5) Are discounts available close to where we work?

For employees to make good use of a discount platform, it is important for offers to be relevant not just to their interests but also to their location. Nothing is worse for employees than receiving great offers which are not available around where they work. A company in Scotland would find little need for instore vouchers redeemable at boutique retailers in the heart of London. Though this is less of an issue today with people becoming more comfortable shopping online and with an increasing number of retailers offering online redemption, it is still something to consider when looking at different discount platforms. Staff Treats makes every effort to ensure that discounts are relevant to the whereabouts of the organisation in question and that there are range of purchasing options for employees to explore.


So there you have it. When considering employee discount providers or employee benefits platforms consider how each one fares in terms of the number of suppliers on the portal, quality of discounts, redemption formats, offer validity, and relevance of discounts to your organisation’s premises. These are the top issues to consider when choosing an employee discounts provider. Once you have answers to the above, you can make an informed decision and select a provider which most closely fits your organisation’s needs.

We wish you luck in your search!

P.S. If you want to find out more about how you can use our Staff Treats employee benefits platform to help attract, motivate, retain staff, and engage staff, why not schedule a demo with one of our employee engagement specialists? 

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John Stevens

Marketing at Xexec

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