ATLANTA–What c-store shopper behaviors are crucial for loyalty program success? “The C-Store Shopper Report: How to Fuel Customer Loyalty,” a new report by PDI, answers that question and also recommends actionable strategies on how c-stores can improve their programs to attract new members and increase foot traffic.
Study results confirmed the popularity of convenience stores and their loyalty programs alike. The vast majority of U.S. adult consumers—89%—have visited a c-store in the past six months. Meanwhile, loyalty program membership is expanding, with 42.5% of consumers saying they belong to a c-store loyalty program, up 6% from 2017.
“Loyalty programs are extremely popular because they work. The good news is most c-stores have a program in place. The not-so-good news is that they haven’t maximized their programs to increase foot traffic and encourage higher spending,” said Brandon Logsdon, senior vice president for marketing cloud solutions at PDI, in a press release. “Our latest report provides first-hand data that c-store owners, operators and marketers can use right away to understand their customers better and improve the performance and outcomes of their loyalty programs.”
While the study paints a picture of an overcrowded market and fierce competition for customer loyalty, it also presents many opportunities. C-store operators identified “decreasing store visits” and “attracting new customers” as two of their biggest concerns. Their loyalty programs can help address both. However, they must first revitalize their programs in three ways: Promote customer awareness, increase personalized messaging and take advantage of what technology can offer to improve their capability to interact with members in multiple channels.
“Having a loyalty program is not enough in today’s competitive market. What’s crucial is the program’s ability to keep existing customers returning and spending more with every visit, and convert regular consumers into loyal members,” said Logsdon.