Despite its ongoing public relations problem, the tobacco industry is still showing a growth rate in the next couple of years and remains the best-selling category for convenience retailers. According to the latest State of the Industry Report from the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), cigarettes and other tobacco products (OTP) accounted for nearly 38.4 percent of in-store merchandise sales in 2019.
Gain a Competitive Edge and Turn Tobacco Data into Dollars
The fact is, cigarettes and OTP boost sales, particularly for individually operated c-stores. But it’s not just for the reasons you may think. In addition to tobacco’s obvious ability to increase in-store traffic (and by extension, revenue), manufacturers like Altria and Phillip Morris are offering rebates in exchange for valuable scan data. For retailers looking to drive traffic, compete with discounted tobacco prices from larger chains, and tap into an additional revenue stream, offering a tobacco loyalty program is the way to go.
Collecting Scan Data is the First Step
The first step in getting your tobacco loyalty program off the ground and boosting your bottom line is to collect scan data. When sharing tobacco scan data, you receive a buy-price rebate on every carton and can, as well as rebates on discounted multi-pack purchases.
When retrieving tobacco scan data, tobacco manufacturers need to verify that you’re selling their products at a predetermined, discounted price. If your stores are still manually ringing items up, your register isn’t capturing product information; it only has the sale amount for the item. At the end of the day, your records will not include inventory details like product SKUs that are required for manufacturer rebates. With access to software that automates scan data for tobacco rebates, it’s a hassle-free process. The potential revenue generation for individually operated c-stores doesn’t end with scan data, manufacturers are also offering rebates for loyalty data. When adding tobacco loyalty to your store you’re able to receive additional tobacco rebates and pass along bigger savings to your consumers, without impacting your margin.
Tobacco Loyalty is Easier Than You Think
So, how does it work? At first glance, setting up a tobacco loyalty program may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. To take advantage of tobacco loyalty funding, individually operated retailers first need to find a technology partner that can enable tobacco loyalty at the POS and integrate with operational data like the price book – allowing them to meet tobacco manufacturers’ reporting requirements.
The technology needed to achieve this involves collecting a customer’s loyalty ID, associating it with the transaction, and connecting both to the back-office system. If a retailer had to do this manually – and many do – it would be a time-consuming process. With the right software, you can attach unique consumer data to tobacco loyalty purchases that automatically sends the data to tobacco manufacturers, maximizing your return on your tobacco loyalty initiative. Once that is in place, then you can start offering in-store discounts to your customers that will not only help you increase loyalty and sales, but help you better compete with larger convenience retailers.
Are you interested in jumpstarting your tobacco loyalty program? Click here to learn how you can start earning valuable rebates today.