Club programs are a staple in the convenience store industry. They help to motivate customers to visit more often since the customer knows that they are working towards getting a free reward, making sure they keep returning to make their purchases.
So, while club programs are a tried and true method for convenience store loyalty, there are three strategies to take these programs to the next level and start making an impact on your brand’s bottom line.
- Reduce the number of club programs offered. Most convenience stores have around fifteen to thirty club programs. If you look at this from the customer perspective, this can seem confusing and hard to understand. Try reducing the number of club programs offered and focus more on the items that are moving and generating revenue for your brand. Ask yourself if your club programs are spurring new trial from your customers and if customers are purchasing additional items when they make a club program purchase. If you are not seeing an uptick in purchases or revenue from your club programs, then remove them and try different tactics to ensure you are not cannibalizing sales.
- Help your customers reach their rewards. Some economists and social behavior therapists have done some research on punch cards and club programs. They tested out two version of a punch card, one with eight punches to get a free item and one that had ten punches. The catch was the card with ten punches already had two of them filled in, so the customer only needed to get eight punches which are the same as the first card. The study found that the group with ten stamps began visiting at a high rate of frequency, and a higher percentage of this group completed their card. Even though both groups needed to make a total of eight purchases, the group that viewed their card as giving them assistance spent more. Simple changes in how customers see a program can make a big difference.
- Target and segment based on behavior. It’s crucial to any program to be able to collect and use customer behavior data such as which items they are purchasing and how frequently they are going to your store. For example, if you know a customer is a busy mom on the go, likes to purchase her staples and a convenient place, makes quick shopping trips to your store and cares about milk, then you can target your milk club program to her. Not targeting and segmenting runs the risk of customers stumbling into rewards instead of working towards them, which cannibalizes your sales and does not do anything to change their behavior.
Making small changes to the way convenience stores run club programs can have a big impact on revenue and generate more loyalty among customers. Watch the webinar “How to Manage Your Club Programs” to learn more about the tactics you can implement to take your club programs to the next level.