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Why Club Programs Work

Club programs enjoy perennial popularity as the foundation of rewards programs. At some point, nearly every person will have had a paper or digital punch card for the club program of a convenience store or restaurant.

But knowing that they’re popular and understanding why they’re popular are two different things. Recognizing the appealing aspects of club programs will help you make them even more effective.

CLEAR REWARDS:

As we mentioned in the introduction, it’s hard to find a simpler concept than “buy 3, get 1 free.” Even in the case of “buy 8 gallons of gasoline, get 1 free liter of soda,” there’s a clear correlation between action and reward. That means it’s easy for your customer to understand and easy for your staff to explain.

Equally important, your customer will know where he or she stands on the journey toward that free reward. […]

Attracting the Female Shopper to Your Store

Women are increasingly shopping at convenience stores providing a significant opportunity for c-store operators to capture their interest and generate customer loyalty. In fact, the 2018 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle customer study found that 44 percent of women say they shop at a c-store two to three times a week.

With this increase in female shoppers, convenience store marketers should be shifting some of their focus from the typical “Bubba” to how they can increase the basket size and number of visits from women. There are various ways to take advantage of this new influx of female shoppers – from loyalty programs to relevant messages engaging these customers before, during, and after they shop. […]

How to Fix the Problems with Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to retain customers and keep them coming back to the store time and time again. In fact, by increasing customer retention by just 5 percent, brands can increase profits by 25 to 95 percent, which is why loyalty programs are a go-to marketing source. But there is one major problem with today’s loyalty programs – there has been a 2 percent decline in overall active member rates which leads to slower growth and profits for brands.

What is causing this decline in active participation, and how can brands turn it around to fix this problem?

There are a couple of new insights that help shed a light on the cause of this decline and the tactics that can mitigate and even turn around loyalty programs so they are profitable and engaging to customers. […]

Reward Good Customer Behavior, Don’t Entitle Them

Reward programs have been around for years. Airlines, hotels, and restaurants adopted these programs decades ago. Convenience stores, on the other hand, seem to prefer club programs and simple promotions like 3 cents off per gallon or short-term, low-value programs.

At a high level, mass promotions are a great business strategy, driving more visits and spend. Most of the time they are also paid for by the CPG vendors, so the cost of running these promotions is minimal to the convenience store. Mass promotions and eblasts get brands quick wins and compel customers to make purchases with the incentive of getting an item for free.

Most mass eblast promotions are the standards “Buy 1 coffee, Get 1 coffee Free.” Let’s think about this from the customers’ point of view, a very frequent customer who comes in every day for their morning coffee before they head off to work could get a free coffee just like the customer that has maybe come in once or twice would be able to get the free coffee with their purchase. The fact is, the customer that comes in every day would have been willing to purchase that cup of coffee at full price. You are essentially rewarding the frequent customer with a free coffee for not changing their behavior or driving an incremental visit or spend and eroding the revenue you did get from driving the customer who has not come in as much and did change their behavior. […]