Make Your App Work Harder to Reach Customers

Tailored advertising and geofencing are ways to effectively communicate with customers and increase loyalty.

September 08, 2022

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Once a c-store has a branded app with a pool of customers who have downloaded it, how can they get past “downloaded and forgotten” to achieving higher levels of brand engagement?

Context relevant notifications and gamification are ways to accomplish this, according to ACI Worldwide, and the company’s new ACI Smart Engage platform adds functionality to a retailer’s existing mobile app, enabling them to better communicate with these customers and deliver interactive experiences.

“Engagement like this is so critical in the modern economy where everybody has an app, [and] we're all engaging with these apps,” observed Dan Coates, evangelist for ACI Worldwide, which provides mission-critical, real-time payments software. “There is constantly a battle for share of attention.”

ACI Smart Engage allows retailers to use geolocation, along with scannable media and audio tags within TV, print and radio ads, posters and window displays, to better interact with app users. With Smart Engage, customers can simply open a retailer’s app and point their phone at an ad and receive a call to action right away, such as a special offer and even the ability to purchase that offer instantly, with a single click.

“I'm able to simply point my phone at [an image] and order it, and it's already paid for because [my details are] in the app,” shared Coates. “All of a sudden, I have this really great experience because I was able to quickly accept the offer and get on with my day.”

With geofencing, retailers can notify a customer of promotions when they come close to their stores. If a customer with the app comes within a customizable radius from a store, the app can push a notification to the customer’s phone to deliver an offer. It can also notify a customer after they leave the c-store with a follow up offer for their next visit, either right away or after a set period of time, like a day before their normal time between fill-ups.

Additionally, geofencing with Smart Engage isn’t limited to the physical c-store perimeters. Retailers can enable geofencing to trigger a promo when a customer leaves a nearby location. For example, if a c-store is near a sports stadium, the app can alert the customers of a promo available at their store once a customer with the app leaves the stadium.

Coates disclosed that customers are increasingly wanting a gamification-type offer, whether that’s providing a hidden offer they have to uncover by pointing their phone at an advertisement or sending a push notification after they exit a theme park, tailored to their purchase history.

“We can provide gamification. We can have that secret or hidden offer,” revealed Coates. “It's about helping our merchants to actually increase sales … and we want them to increase that number of visits and their average basket size. When they win, we win.”

This is the final 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.