How to Use Your App to Increase Customer Loyalty

Your app needs to go beyond fuel discounts. Here’s how to drive customers into the store for higher margin items.

September 06, 2022

ACI Worldwide LogoThis article is brought to you by ACI Worldwide, a NACS Hunter Club member.

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Mobile apps are hitting the convenience industry in droves with almost every c-store rolling out one over the past few years, and consumers are jumping on board. Many have downloaded these apps, often enticed by fuel discounts.

But merely having an app is not enough. The battle for the consumer’s attention goes far beyond that. According to ACI Worldwide, which provides mission-critical, real-time payments software, consumers have an average of 80 apps installed on their mobile device, of which they actively interact with no more than 20.

Beyond apps, consumer engagement with loyalty programs is also very limited. Most consumers (65%) actively engage with less than half of the loyalty programs they sign up for, according to the infographic  Rethink and Energize Your Mobile Commerce Strategy Now from ACI Worldwide. “One of the problems with mobile apps and just communicating digitally today is that everybody is communicating digitally,” explained Dan Coates, evangelist for ACI Worldwide. “There's a lot of noise out there.”

In order to cut through the clutter, ACI recommends a purposeful and targeted approach to customer promotions with an underlying focus on creating a standout user experience. Push notifications are one of the best methods to accomplishing this.

“What really engages consumers on their mobile device … is when you have push notifications that come out that are timely, specific and oriented toward them—with clear calls to action—order ahead, reserve a time, download an offer or buy it now and deliver to me,” advised Coates.

“The customer who has downloaded a c-store’s app has already decided that they want to engage with that brand,” said Coates.

“What we need to do is react and respond to that by giving them engaging content,” he said.

So how can retailers enhance their app communications to entice and retain a loyal customer base? ACI Worldwide’s new ACI Smart Engage platform adds functionality to a retailer’s existing mobile app, enabling them to better communicate with these customers and target offers.

“Going back to that customer experience, that's what Smart Engage is all about,” explained Coates. “[It] is all about that that interaction and engagement.”

Learn more about ACI’s Smart Engage platform in the second installment of this NACS Daily series on Thursday, September 8.

This is the first installment of a two-part NACS Daily series on how to better engage customers using a c-store’s mobile app. Learn more about ACI Worldwide Smart Engage.