Loyalty Programs Boost Visits, Spend

The most effective platforms embrace personalization, Paytronix report finds.

October 05, 2021

Paytronix Loyalty Report Cover Image

NEWTON, Mass.—Paytronix Systems Inc., which provides customer experience management solutions for c-stores and restaurants, has published its first Paytronix Loyalty Report examining convenience industry and restaurant trends across the loyalty landscape, including trends in visits, spend, member demographics and program types.

“During a tumultuous 2020, loyalty programs shone through as one of the key survival tools for brands in the restaurant and convenience industries,” said Andrew Robbins, CEO of Paytronix Systems. “The best programs are those that look beyond simply enticing customers with offers and lean into the idea of personalizing the customer journey. In this way, a loyalty platform is part of a broader guest engagement strategy that touches all parts of the guest experience, whether that’s digital, physical or a combination of both.”

The report found that most Paytronix loyalty programs consistently boost visits and spend by 18-30% for each program member. Other key insights from the Paytronix Loyalty Report include:

  • The top 10% of loyalty members accounted for more than half of all loyalty spend at their favorite brands for eight months of 2020.
  • Ice cream and coffee brands had a banner year in 2020 despite the pandemic, realizing on average a 7% increase in visits and a 26.5% increase in spend.
  • Convenience stores saw a 10% increase in average spend per visit despite a decline in fuel sales.
  • Spend per visit increased across convenience stores and all restaurant segments.

The Paytronix report finds that “critical mass” for a loyalty program is reached at about 15% penetration—the baseline that brands should strive to achieve one year after launching a program for the first time. At this level, the program is producing material results—enough to make a noticeable difference on the top line.

Excellent performance falls between 25% and 35%, while top-tier brands can reach penetration rates of 50% or even 70%. Panera Bread represents one of these successful brands: the fast-casual giant has a 50% penetration rate and 40 million loyalty members—twice as many loyalty members as Starbucks, despite the brands’ significant size difference.

The Paytronix Loyalty Report is part of a series of data-driven analysis that includes the Paytronix Order & Delivery Report and the Paytronix Gift Card Report.

Download the 2021 Paytronix Loyalty Report.