Loyalty programs are a must for convenience retailers of all sizes as they provide critical consumer insights and a competitive edge. In the April NACS Magazine article, Just Rewards, author Terri Allan picks the brains of experts in the loyalty space, including our CMO and co-founder, Kevin Rice, and shares four main pieces of advice for engaging with members of your loyalty program to keep them coming back to your store.
Engage and Reward
Because of the opportunities born during the pandemic, c-store chains large and small have launched or enhanced loyalty programs to reward those customers that have been loyal to the brand. From redeeming points while pumping gas to leveraging relationships with grocery stores, c-stores are stepping up their game big time in 2021.
Personalization in loyalty programs is absolutely essential whether that is special offers or targeting members via personalized messages. This is where retailers need to precisely leverage their data so that they can get a firm understanding of who their customer is and how to best personalize their shopping experience.
In addition to the implementation of loyalty programs, by offering mobile tap and scanning options for app-based online ordering, customers not only feel safe but also have a faster and smoother ordering experience. Rice said that card and key tag loyalty programs are falling out of favor, “especially today, with people leery about handing over their cards. It’s easier to use your phone.”
Confronting The Challenges
Despite the c-store industry having an exciting journey ahead, it’s mentioned that c-store loyalty programs will only succeed if being continually promoted by all team members. Rice adds on to this challenge by explaining “You won’t acquire new customers just because you have a loyalty program. You must capture that existing customer and train your store associates to talk about the program.” It is also mentioned that a large challenge presented for c-stores is integrating a loyalty program with the right technology at the right price point.