Finding a Good Partner

Utilizing a technology service is more than a dollar and time investment—it’s a partnership with mutual trust.

October 06, 2021

Convenience Matters Episode 304 Cover

By Sara Counihan

CHICAGO—Investing in technology usually means a heavy investment—not just with funds, but with time and energy from you and your team. It’s vital to work with trusted partners, and using metrics to project outcomes is imperative to success. The latest Convenience Matters podcast episode discusses how retailers can make sure you not only get your investment’s worth but also a great outcome.

This week’s guest, Aaron McLean, chief marketing officer at Stuzo, believes that a great investment outcome only happens if there is a solid partnership between the retailer and the supplier.

“We should be strategic partners with the retailers that we serve and not just another tool that the retailer needs to buy,” said McLean. “We also believe that in order to be a true strategic partner, suppliers need to be accountable for performance and outcomes.”

An example of Stuzo partnering with a retailer was with a large U.S. c-store chain who used Stuzo’s loyalty management software product to help it increase same-customer visits. In 2019, 58% of this retailer’s fuel visits were coming from customers that visited one time per month. In a nine-month period, Stuzo was able to help the retailer move 16% of those one-visit-per-month customers to higher visit frequency.

But before this retailer partnered with Stuzo, the retailer had a guarantee from Stuzo that it was going to deliver them success. How can Stuzo guarantee success? It uses what it calls a Wallet Steering System, which is a combination of Stuzo’s software products, proprietary methodology and its professional services to help drive a greater share of wallet for its retailer partners. For example, the system finds out how much a customer is spending on foodservice at your store and how much the customer is spending on foodservice at a competitor.

“We then build journeys that automatically guide the customer along a path that leads to an increase in the retailer’s share of wallet and doing it profitably,” said McLean.

When choosing a tech partner, culture also comes in to play, and not only at your own company but also at your partner’s.

“One of our greatest advantages at Stuzo is our team and our culture of caring for our team and how they care about their teammates professionally and personally, and how much they care really tremendously about driving outcomes for our customers,” said McLean.

You even have to hear the word “no” from your partner, and in a culture where “the customer is always right,” this can be surprising for some of Stuzo’s clients.

“It’s really a cultural element of caring and having the discipline to say no to the things that we know will not drive outcomes at scale for our retailer partners,” said McLean.

Tune into this week’s episode No. 304 “Measuring Performances and Outcomes” to see what’s ahead for Stuzo, and find out which prestigious award they received from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sara Counihan is contributing editor of NACS Daily and NACS Magazine. Contact her at