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SOS Weekly Update 9 May

Support our Special businesses

Kia Ora, before we start, we'd like to say Happy Mother's Day to all the incredible Mums who are even more so incredible on this special day (tomorrow, May 10). If you've forgotten to get mum something - here's an idea!

As before, thank you for being part of the SOS initiative. We hope you've had a good start to Level 3, we will be sharing some thoughts on SOS at Level 2 below to please read on... also read about the special offers on our website.

Welcome to those who are new - we send out a newsletter like this every week. We'd also like to thank our supporters - KiwibankMercuryPhoenixABC Business Sales and Anchor, who have joined us in supporting the costs running the site. Thanks! 

In this issue we will cover:

Key Statistics

As at the time of writing (2.30pm Saturday the 9th May), here are the key stats:

Total order value: $1.412 million
Businesses joined: 2,558
Orders: 26,000
Vouchers sold: 66,000
Average order size - $55

All the orders placed up until 7th May have been paid out.

Our thoughts on Level 2...

With the (hopefully!) likely move to level 2 in the next week, we’ve been thinking about the sosbusiness site and what we do with it.

The short answer is we will keep going with the site, and we think you should too, for at least a month or maybe more – here’s why:

  • Firstly, there is approx. $30,000 in gift card codes, plus about $20,000 in the Anchor promotion that is still to be spent – and both will get uplift by being attached to other orders. These will become real money for the businesses still on the site when people order with you.
  • Secondly, we’re seeing a lot of interest from corporates and large companies in buying bulk gift codes. They see the advantage in having a site with national listings so they can give a gift code to a customer or employee, and know that person will be able to use it in a local business. We’re now going out and targeting corporates to do this, and it’s getting some good traction. Again, you need to still be on the site to get that benefit.
  • Thirdly (and related to the above) we’re hearing that having a national ‘registry’ of local businesses is great for visibility and searching. A lot of people use it to find new favourites.
  • And, of course, it’s free!

The other thing we have in mind of course is that we want to make sure that the customers who have bought vouchers can contact us if they have any issues redeeming them. We told people they’d have 6 months from when NZ goes to Level 2 for using their vouchers; the website will be active until then at least.

In terms of longer term plans – we are looking into options. It may be that someone wants to take over the site and make it more of a commercial venture, but we wouldn’t do that yet, and we won’t change the payment terms or conditions without giving you all plenty of notice.

So, bring on level 2 and let's keep selling vouchers!

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Key Updates

  • Mother's Day Gift Cards: We added Mother's Day Gift Cards to the site so that customers can be inspired to gift something to Mum. Uprise Digital, the volunteer digital agency, have also helped by putting some money behind advertising this online to increase our reach.
  • Vendor Portal: We have updated our Vendor Portal to surface voucher sales as they come in so that you can track voucher sales immediately as customers buy them (note: there is a 5 minute lag for voucher data to pull through to the portal) 
  • Bulk Gift Codes: As above, we are seeing good interest from people in buy bulk gift codes (eg buying 500 x $5 codes). These are like money on the site; let me know if you can think of any corporates or others who might be interested - we make it easy for them by invoicing them directly, and sending them the codes or doing the mail merge for them.
  • Level 3 directory: customers can now browse our Level 3 directory. This has been popular for customers searching for venues in their area! 
  • Anchor campaign: read more about it below

Voucher Redemption

Now that we're at Level 3, some venues have opened up and have started redeeming vouchers. Remember you can use the Vendor Portal to track redemptions.

Here are a few suggestions for how you can help customers redeem vouchers with social distancing in mind:

Customer is 2m away from you so you probably can't read the voucher codes
Get customers to tell you the last 4 digits of their voucher code so you can check it off in the portal. The last 4 digits are likely to be unique for your venue.

Remote ordering
Some venues who have websites have loaded up the vouchers into their online system so that customers have been able to place orders and pay using the vouchers online

Forwarding voucher emails (an idea from a vendor!)

"When customers have vouchers on their phone I get them to email it to me for verification and I respond with a message of receipt and list a $ balance, easy to track and keep!"

We would love for you to share how you have been redeeming voucher codes from customers!

New Partners and Friends

We have a page on the site for the special offers for all of you - check it out:

We have partnered with a few like-minded folk to help take SOS to the next level so that we can support small businesses around New Zealand better. 

Anchor Cafe Kickstart Campaign

We have partnered up with Anchor this week who are paying for 5,000 coffees! This is a significant investment in the local venues we have on SOS so we are grateful for this partnership. The way it works is that customers get a 'discount' when they check out, and Anchor pays the difference - so it doesn't cost you anything. You also don't need to be an Anchor venue (although you do need to be a restaurant or cafe).

Share this with your customers, there are still some coffees to be claimed yet. When customers get the Anchor discount, they are also spending at least another $10 with you - so it's a good deal!

Already we have gained traction on SOS social media. Anchor have also posted this across their social platforms with a combined following of about 90,000!

Follow Anchor on Facebook and Instagram.



Kiwibank have got a range of initiatives to support you or your business, if you’ve been financially impacted by COVID-19, they also have guides to help you bank from home. For all other updates see their COVID-19 page.

Thanks to Kiwibank for your support of!


Mercury is pleased to be able to assist with support for the SOS Business initiative. Small businesses across the country are the backbone of our economy, but we also understand that they are fundamental to thriving communities. If you are a Mercury customer, and your business has been impacted by COVID-19, get in touch if you need our help. We're committed to supporting you through this period of uncertainty.
Simply enter your details here or call us on 0800 456 222 and our team will work through an energy plan that suits your circumstances.


Made specifically for a New Zealand audience, you can think of Needed as your neighbourhood farmers market, supplying only the best of locally grown talent.

Head to to learn how it works.

The pandemic has not just affected hospo and service businesses but freelancers and other occupations. If you know someone who is looking for work, get them to check out They are currently offering a free 90 day subscription for the Standard package with the code SOSFRIENDS. 
(check out our offers page for more info)


FirstEATS is a free nationwide directory helping New Zealanders find local options for takeaway food during Alert Levels 2 and 3. Not only does the directory help make the search for takeaway food as easy as possible, but it also allows eateries to promote their preferred takeaway channels which in most cases will be direct (online or phone) rather than high commission platforms. 
If you're an SOS vendor with an offering for pick up or delivery, add your venue on FirstEATS for free:
This is a community project by restaurant discovery website, First Table.


We have been featured in more media this week which always gives a boost to your voucher sales. 

Check out our media features here: