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Convenience Store Management: Let’s Talk Loyalty Programs

Convenience Store Management: Let’s Talk Loyalty Programs

It’s no secret that many convenience stores are behind on the times when it comes to loyalty programs. Per a study done by General Mills in 2014, “Eighty-nine percent of [c-store] shoppers currently participate in some type of loyalty/reward program across a variety of channels and categories.

 

That number may seem like a lot; however, it considers grocery and drug store participation, which makes up a large percentage of the responses. In fact, only 35% of those polled participate in a c-store or gas station loyalty program.

 

However, there is good news—the people who did participate in a convenience store or gas station loyalty program were well satisfied with the results. So, while a small number of convenience stores offer them, they do promote loyalty and keep customers happy.

 

If only 35% of people are taking part in a c-store or gas station loyalty program, there represents an enormous opportunity to reach the remaining 65%. Here’s how to put together a program that does it right.

Make it Simple

When you decide to start offering a loyalty program, getting people interested in signing up is usually the hardest part. A way you can help ease the pain is to make it simple. People don’t want to give out loads of personal information, people don’t want their inbox filled with five emails a week, people don’t want to have to go online and activate a code.

 

Make it simple. If you can limit it to name, phone number, and a scan-able barcode, that’s going to be your best bet. Many companies utilize a credit card style club card, or manage customers through a mobile app.

Card Options

These days, there are so many options for loyalty cards; the credit card style card, the keychain card, and the card on a smartphone are the most often used. Where possible, give people options as far as what they’d like to use.

 

For some people, a physical card is going to get lost. For others, it seems that their phone is always dead. By letting people decide how they want to collect their rewards, they’ll be more likely to remember their card next time they come into your store.

 

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Instant Gratification

One sure-fire way to get people to sign up for your new loyalty program is to offer an instant reward just for signing up. This reward could be a lot of things, but it’s best to keep it simple.

Offer a discounted fountain drink, or a free 12oz cup of coffee. Something to say “thank you for signing up!”

Ease and Transparency

One thing that deters people from signing up for loyalty programs is that they aren’t sure how the programs works. Is it a points program, is it a “sixth fountain/coffee drink free” program? By keeping it simple and being transparent from the start about how to program works, you’ll have an easier time signing up your customers.

 

In some cases, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel either. Many reward programs such as Plenti and Shell Rewards already exist. With an already present customer base, you can capitalize on these existing programs by integrating them with your current system. CStorePro is capable of handling these existing programs as well as assist in setting up your own. 

Get Ready To Make Customers Loyal!

An important part of convenience store management is customer interaction. Whatever loyalty program you choose to implement, customers are expecting more “convenience” than ever from their c-store. A loyalty program is a great way to add an extra layer of convenience and incentive to your customers, while at the same time helping build the namesake loyalty you crave.

 

Learn how to build your loyal customer base with CStorePro. Schedule a Free Demo today and one of our experts will reach out to you.

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