Loyalty Programs Reward Both Customers and Retailers

The data provide retailers with valuable information for business planning.

March 04, 2021

7-Eleven 7Rewards App

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Everyone loves perks, so it’s no surprise that many foodservice brands have introduced loyalty programs or are boosting the benefits they already offer.

One example is Wawa. The Wawa, Pa.-based convenience retailer recently announced its “Rush to Rewards” campaign, which lets existing rewards members double points during the month of March. According to a company news release, the offer is open to members who shop with their Wawa Rewards card and/or the Wawa app, as well as new members who join the program this month.

The program gives shoppers rewards for every $50 spent on eligible purchases at Wawa stores using the Wawa App, Wawa Rewards Key Card or a registered Wawa Gift Card. Rewards members also have exclusive access to Mobile Ordering, Bonus Rewards and more.

Sheetz, based in Altoona, Pa., recently unveiled a new name and new look for its rewards program. The retailer alerted My Sheetz Rewardz members to the change via an email: “Get 5 Pointz for every dollar spent in-store. Rack’em up, then start redeeming on freebies, gas savings, and much more!”

Another c-store chain, 7-Eleven, offers customers the 7REWARDS program, which allows them to collect points for their purchases and then redeem them for rewards. To keep customers engaged, the Irving, Texas-based company often provides opportunities to multiply points during key promotional periods and offers bonus points on designated products throughout the store.

Since expanding the program in 2018, the Irving, Texas-based retailer has seen an uptick in store visits and loyalty, with 7Rewards membership increasing to more than 25 million.

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores launched its first loyalty program last year. It lets shoppers redeem points in various ways, including using points to pay for items inside the store, receive fuel discounts or turn points into a donation to a local charity.

In December, the chain celebrated the season with a “24 Days of Casey’s” promotion, which gave rewards members a daily surprise from Dec. 1-24 and entered them into a contest to win $500 cash.

While loyalty programs help increase c-store traffic and spending, they also allow the retailer to track customers’ shopping activity, what they buy, what motivates them and when and how often they shop. 

“When we think about loyalty, it’s not just the program. We’re thinking about the customer behind the scenes, the insights about those customers,” Sastry Penumarthy, co-founder and vice president of strategy of loyalty platform Punchh, told Forbes magazine. “Loyalty can give you insights across all channels about who your most valuable customers are and their patterns.”