Taking a Page From the Biggest Retailers

Here’s how retailers can up their game regardless of their size.

August 17, 2023

This article is brought to you by Patron Points.


The convenience industry is adapting, and the biggest retailers are leading the way with customized programs and analysis of customer data. In particular, larger retailers manage every store differently, since each location has a different mix of customers requiring different products and strategies.

Savvy independent retailers can learn from the larger retailers and benefit from their investments, according to Erik Ogren, president, Patron Points, which develops technology to deliver customizable loyalty programs, mobile apps and scan-data reporting to the convenience industry.

“In the c-store industry, the big players lead the way, using their resources to explore and break new ground,” he said. “But the smaller operators deserve the same access to novel programs and data, so that they can compete in an increasingly crowded market.”

Patron Points has developed new technologies that give retailers an entry point into loyalty regardless of their budget. With a range of solutions, starting at free with scan data services to fully customizable loyalty and app offerings. All solutions are designed to be easy to set up and run. The company gets that independent c-store operators wear multiple hats and have dozens of critical tasks daily, so Patron Points has taken the tedious work out of their programs.

One solution they are rolling out at the NACS Show is formi™, a new universal app. formi™ is the industry’s leading instant savings digital platform built to accelerate sales inside the c-store. It allows retailers that are part of the Patron Points scan-data program to communicate and advertise promotions to their customers. Patron Points is currently working with national CPGs to secure coupons and deals for the retailers, similar to the way that CPGs work with national chains. The retailer can pass these on to their customers. The best part is that the app is free to the c-store* and the consumer.

“It's really a win-win-win situation,” said Ogren. “It's a win for the consumer because they're getting instant, hassle-free savings on the brands they love. It's a win for the independent retailer because they are bringing customers back to their c-store and building store loyalty. And it's a win for the manufacturers because now they're able to provide digital trackable coupons to these independents to grow their business as well.”

If a retailer is looking for something tailored to their store or brand, Patron Points also offers a newly updated proprietary app that will showcase formi™ coupons in addition to unique deals only available in their store. When linked with a full loyalty program, Patron Points is able to drill down into a retailer’s data, uncover customer insights and work with the operator to develop a plan to take action. For example, Patron Points may find that at a specific location a certain packaged beverage is the top purchase in the category and that customers are buying a certain candy bar with the beverage. Patron Points would then recommend a promotion for these products.

“We're providing a service that has yet to be fully provided to independent operators in a way that's easy to understand but is also affordable,” said Ogren. “This allows smaller operators to be on the same level playing field as the larger c-store retailers and allows independents to look at the same type of information as them, allowing them to make the right decisions on their product mix.”

“Patron Points is taking independent convenience operators to a new level of data and loyalty,” he said.

This is the final installment of a two-part NACS Daily series on digital marketing for independent convenience retailers. Learn more about Patron Points here.