Loyalty and Apps Driving Sales, Retailers Report

Casey’s, Couche-Tard and 7-Eleven discussed app and loyalty growth in recent earnings calls.

December 13, 2023

Large convenience store retailers revealed in their latest investor presentations and earnings calls how they are leveraging their apps and loyalty programs, as reported by PYMNTS.

In its investor presentation on Monday, Casey’s General Stores said that its loyalty program membership increased to 7.3 million from 7 million the previous quarter and up from last year’s 5.8 million members.

According to the company, the loyalty program yields a “higher transaction value” and “more frequent visits” from members, as well as allowing the retailer to use personalized marketing.

In June, Couche-Tard launched its Circle K brand’s loyalty program, Inner Circle, and revealed promising early results.

“Five months in, we’ve got 8 million people signed up. Florida was our first market,” Couche-Tard CEO Brian Hannasch told analysts on the company’s earnings call late last month. “Looking at results there, we’re balancing the activities of rolling out sites quickly to learning, and doing both at the same time is hard, but we are clearly seeing growing fuel volume versus non-Inner Circle sites, growing merch traffic and growing basket versus non-Inner Circle sites.”

Ryuichi Isaka, president and representative director of 7-Eleven’s parent company Seven & I Holdings Co., told analysts during the company’s earnings call in October that the company is using its proprietary delivery app, 7NOW, to drive digital engagement and create incremental sales opportunities, noted PYMNTS.

“In-store purchase levels remain almost the same, with the amount spent on 7NOW added on top of that, indicating that users have different use cases for in-store and 7NOW purchases,” Isaka said. “We believe … that 7NOW is viewed by consumers as serving both the needs of people looking for food delivery services and stocking up on products, and this represents a use case completely different from the types of e-commerce seen so far.”

According to a PYMNTS Intelligence study and ACI Worldwide collaboration, 72% of convenience retailers and pharmacies believe that consumers would be very or extremely likely to switch merchants if not provided mobile apps. Plus, 70% said the same of digital coupons and rewards. According to a survey conducted by PYMNTS Intelligence and PayPal of over 2,200 U.S. consumers, 72% who purchased non-grocery items did so via connected devices at least some of the time.

Earlier this summer, Kum & Go launched its improved loyalty program and app for its customers including functions like choosing how to spend rewards. MAPCO also released its app earlier in the year.

Check out the February 2023 issue of NACS Magazine to read more about the growing trend in loyalty programs and app functionality.