As customer behavior changes and customers value digitalization and fuel stations with complementary products and services, fuel retailers struggle to grab customer attention and make up for slimming profit margins from fuel sales. Fuel retailers that want to acquire new customers, retain them, and maintain a competitive advantage must employ a loyalty program.
While many convenience retailers offer loyalty programs, they're often generic. To create distinction from loyalty programs of other brands, retailers must provide customers with benefits that surpass their expectations. Understanding customers' expectations for loyalty programs will boost engagement with loyalty programs and build strong brand affinity.
What is a loyalty program?
Customer loyalty programs are a customer retention strategy where a company rewards customers who repeatedly do business with their brand. The more customers buy from the brand, the more rewards they earn.
Benefits of loyalty programs:
More than half of c-store loyalty program members (61%) are willing to go out of their way to leverage their membership at a specific c-store–even if it means driving five minutes out of their way. Loyalty program transactions range from 50% to 70% of all sales. Loyalty programs augment brand affinity, which leads to word-of-mouth advertising. In other words, Loyal, pleased customers are the most powerful marketing tools.
Convenience Loyalty Program Members' Expectations (According to NACS report):
Many shoppers are members of several retail loyalty programs, resulting in competition for both wallet share and attention. Standing out among a plethora of loyalty offerings is pivotal for the consistent use of loyalty memberships and securing a stable increase in new members. To forge meaningful connections with shoppers and convert them into frequent customers, retailers must understand their expectations beyond traditional rewards and discounts.
1) Rewards/points accrual for product redemption
These benefits are the core of loyalty programs. While these are the foundation of any loyalty program, other components have the potential to distinguish the program from competitors and build deeper engagement.
2) Mobile App
Digitalization is the name of the game. With roughly one-third of loyalty program members expecting mobile payments and checkout options, offering a digitalized customer experience is no longer considered a luxury but a necessity for fuel retailers that wants to remain competitive.
More than half of convenience loyalty program members say loyalty programs should anticipate their needs as shoppers. Customers want personalized programs but don't want to share additional information about themselves. Retailers must have the right tools to properly collect and analyze data to offer personalized offers and targeted marketing.
Want to see how Picafuel can revamp your loyalty program? Request a personalized demo today!