ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In 1981, when American Airlines launched AAdvantage, the nation’s first major loyalty program, no one expected the concept to spread to other businesses, including the convenience store industry. Today, 73% of marketing managers from various large companies say “repeat purchase behavior” is integral to successful customer engagement (Forbes), and a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% (authors Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy).
Recent data shows that loyalty programs offer a symbiotic relationship opportunity between retailers and customers, rewarding both. Today’s loyalty or “rewards” programs are easier to implement and manage, thanks to advanced technology. One recent example is the CEFCO Rewards program. CEFCO has teamed up with Stuzo, a loyalty solution for c-stores and fuel retailers, to update the chain’s existing loyalty program.
CEFCO has than 200 stores in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, and the rewards program, available at all locations, is powered by Stuzo’s Open Commerce Activate product for intelligent loyalty management and Open Commerce Experience product for the progressive web-based digital customer experience and SMS-based sign-in. CEFCO also uses Stuzo for program management services.
Enrollment in the program is quick and easy. Customers simply use a mobile phone number at the fuel pump pin pad, POS in-store pin or on the CEFCO website. The chain has already seen big results with the update loyalty program. Transactions per day are up 1.8x, or 80%. The number of active members is up 3.4x, or 243%. Member enrollment rates are up 2.2x, or 115%.
“Since CEFCO opened our first store, we’ve had a tenacious drive to make our customers happy,” said H Lorne Brockway, CIO, Fikes Wholesale, operator of CEFCO branded sites. “Our customers are thrilled with our new CEFCO Rewards program, and our initial adoption rates exceeded expectations. We expect our investments in CEFCO Rewards to create happier customers that have stronger, longer-lasting relationships with our brand and ensure we’re delivering more value and convenience as compared with our competitors.”
CEFCO is in good company. Loyalty programs like Wawa Rewards, which launched in 2015; 7Rewards, whose members now top the 25 million user mark; and Casey’s Rewards allow customers to access promotions and collect loyalty points and special offers via mobile apps.
To learn more about how rewards programs are giving convenience retailers a critical competitive edge, be sure to read “Just Rewards” in NACS Magazine.