As convenience stores seek to gain market share from both restaurants and grocery stores, by offering prepared meals and packaged essentials, one of the best tools at their disposal is the loyalty program. Convenience stores are in a unique position to offer rewards that cover consumers’ routines, not only in terms of meeting their needs across multiple food and beverage categories, but also incentivizing the purchase of fuel and d other types of retail sales.
See also: Convenience stores seek a sweet spot between restaurants and on-demand grocers
For example, 7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, sees its loyalty offerings as a key driver of profit margin growth in the United States going forward, according to a presentation last month by the chain’s parent company, Seven & I Holdings, discussing the results for the first quarter of fiscal 2022. The company’s US rewards app, 7Rewards, provides access to points that can be redeemed for store credits, as well as fuel discounts and other exclusive offers.
The company has developed its offers for members of the loyalty program. Earlier this year, the retailer announced the launch of its 7NOW Gold Pass subscription offering free shipping, among other benefits, at $5.95 per month, prompting frequent ordering through the company’s app. Earlier this month, it was reported that the retailer had acquired white-label on-demand delivery provider Skipcart.
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Cumberland Farms’ parent company, EG Group, meanwhile has its SmartPay Rewards program, which it offers across all of its convenience brands in the United States, promising lower gas prices, faster payment, offers 10-in-one-free, fuel rewards and more. At the end of last year, the company announcement that it had sold $4 billion worth of fuel since the program launched in early 2013.
“Since launching SmartPay, we’ve saved our customers nearly $200 million on gas, and enrollment has increased significantly as we launched the program across all other banners over the past year”, George Fournierpresident of EG America, said in a statement at the time.
Additionally, with stores’ dependence on consumer gas station spending, convenience retail giant Couche-Tard, which has more than 14,000 stores in 24 countries (about 10,700 of which offer fuel) spoke of the urgency to roll out rewards offers as gas prices soar. .
“It’s up to us to ensure that we offer the right value, the right experience”, President and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard Brian Hannasch told analysts on an earnings call in June, “but also with some urgency to get our loyalty products and payment programs in place and to make sure we engage those customers.”
Yet when it comes to gaining market share from restaurants and grocery stores, convenience stores have some catching up to do, because Art SebastianVice President of Digital Experiences at at Casey’sthe third-largest convenience retailer in the United States, told PYMNTS in an interview earlier this summer.
“The convenience store loyalty space is still generally new to the industry, and those who are going to tell you, ‘Well, we’ve had it for a while,’ they’re kind of nascent,” Sebastian said. “Like, hey, there’s coupons and maybe a few nascent ways to save. So I think it’s still kind of new. But what I would challenge the industry to do is to think about how to… make sure you’re doing something different to make your program stand out.
Read more: Race to digitize, convenience stores are playing the loyalty game
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