Liquid Barcodes

Resources

Converting Impulse Shoppers to Automatic Customers

Carolyn Schnare Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes

15/06/2022

Subscription programs for drinks and snacks encourage customers to change from impulse buyers to automatic customers

 

Customers stop at gas stations and convenience stores to buy fuel, for beverages and snacks and to use the bathroom, essentially in that order of priority. A NACS survey of gas-buying customers found that half went into the store while half left just after filling up with gas. Of those that went into the store, 42% went in to buy a beverage and 37% went in to buy a snack.

The opportunity is loud and clear that customers can certainly be enticed to buy a food or beverage and with the right marketing and technology, retailers can not only increase in-store foot traffic but convert those thirsty, hungry shoppers into frequent customers. Retailers can transform impulse buyers into automatic customers.

Why Pick One Store Over Another?

For gas-buying customers, price is the number one reason for choosing a place to shop. Gas stations are the only retailers in the world that display prices on a 30-foot LED sign that can be seen from a quarter-mile away. But, when prices vary by just a cent or two between neighboring stores, loyalty to store brands and discounts tend to drive customers toward one store over another.

Now that we have an idea of what gets customers on the lot, the key to increasing profitability is to get that customer into the store. One way to reward a customer for their loyalty is to engage them with valuable rewards.

Another way to ensure they keep coming back is if they’re invested in a subscription program. Beverage subscription programs are one of the latest trends in convenience and food retailing and a crucial component to not only winning the wallet of a customer but also seizing that same spend from another retailer.

From Impulse Shopper to Automatic Customer

Let’s follow Rose, a semi-regular customer who stops at a convenience store weekly to get coffee after filling up her gas on her way to work. Rose passes for gas stations each morning and has little allegiance to one over another, though she likes the coffee most at Stores A and B.

Rose has a paper stamp card for Store A which offers her a free coffee for every ten she buys at $2.00 per cup. When she remembers the card, she is excited about the reward. Store B launches a new subscription coffee program where for $6.00 a month, she can have one free coffee every single day. Rose decides to join Store B’s subscription program and now stops there every time she needs her weekly gas fill-up so she can maximize her subscription. Also, since she passes by there every day anyway, she now stops a few other times each week and often buys a pastry, too. She becomes an automatic customer.

Rose likes the Store B subscription and lets it automatically renew each month and has not been to Store A since joining the program. Rose also enjoys the extra benefits that come along with Store B’s loyalty program such as discounts on items, 3 cents off per gallon at the pump when she pays with the app, and she sometimes wins prizes with the fun games.

Store B has a loyal customer in Rose.

Store A lost a customer.

Rose loving her coffee subscription

Create Brand Advocates with a Strong Loyalty Offer and Subscription Program

Rose asked her friend Steve to meet up for coffee. There were a few places to choose from including Coffee Shop A and Convenience Store B (from the earlier example) which have a large outdoor seating area. Rose likes the coffee at both locations, but since she already pays monthly for coffee, Rose decides to meet Steve at Convenience Store B. While there, she redeems her daily coffee and buys Steve a cup and a pastry to share. Steve is so happy with his coffee that he buys his own monthly subscription and now is a new automatic customer for Store B!

Automatic customers getting coffee

Convenience Store Customers are Pre-Meditative in Their Purchases

Subscription programs take the thinking out of the customer’s daily journey. While some impulsive customers will show up for their gas and be persuaded by colorful signs for an ice-cold drink or a juicy chicken sandwich, most already know what they want to buy, besides just fuel.

According to a NACS customer intercept study, only 1 in 5 shoppers decided to make the purchase on-site at the convenience store. 80% of shoppers said that they made the decision to make a purchase at a convenience store before they set foot in the store.

A well-timed notification from the store’s loyalty app is one way to get their attention. Another way is with beacons to entice passers-by to stop in. However, a food or drink subscriber would already want to use their paid subscription and might plan an entire trip around that store. While notifications and marketing are a great nudge, a subscription program is a guaranteed conversion of members to automatic customers who will be in the store and a good indicator that they’re going to buy even more once there.

Win The Trip And The Automatic Customer

Subscription programs for drinks and snacks are a win for both retailers and customers. Retailers can count on recurring revenue through automatic customers and increased basket sizes. Customers can feel that they are saving money with a subscription and it also takes the thinking out of where to stop. Don’t let competitors beat you to offering a subscription program and avoid losing valuable customers by investing in your own easy subscription program in order to create automatic customers.

About Liquid Barcodes

Liquid Barcodes loyalty platform is powering loyalty programmes for industry leaders across several global markets, offering unique subscriptionmobile payment, gamificationloyalty and personalization capabilities. Learn more about Liquid Barcodes at LiquidBarcodes.com

About the Author

Carolyn Schnare, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes

Carolyn Schnare has been involved with the convenience retailing industry for two decades with extensive knowledge of customer engagement and marketing, sustainability, and community outreach. Prior to Liquid Barcodes, Schnare worked at NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) in a variety of roles from event production to membership and most recently as Director of Strategic Initiatives and host and producer of the popular industry podcast, Convenience Matters.


Blog post

Paying for Fuel With an App Is Convenient… Until It Isn’t

Paying for fuel using a stored payment method through your smartphone and the store’s app is an amazingly convenient concept. Drive up, link your phone and the pump, pick your payment method, and fuel up. In under 5 minutes, your fuel tank is full and you’re on your way and you never touched a payment […]

Blog post

For the Love of Convenience

This summer, my family took the proverbial summer road trip vacation. First, we drove from our home in Virginia up north to the great land of lobstah in wicked cool New England. After that, we drove from there down to the endless sandy beaches in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.     1,500 miles! […]

Blog post

Save Thousands in Credit Card Fees With ACH

Visa and Mastercard announced an increase in interchange fees earlier in the year and retailers are taking action and sending a message by migrating their customers to new solutions, including mobile app-based ACH payments, and in the process increasing profits by not only reducing credit card fees but also boosting loyalty via innovative app-based incentive […]

Blog post

Subscription Programs Are Economically Smart Investments

Monthly subscriptions to products and services are economically smart investments for retailers and customers With a recession looming and gas prices still at record-high levels, customers are tightening their grip on their wallets. But this doesn’t mean they’ll be turning their backs on convenience store purchases and there are ways you can weather the impending […]

Blog post

Converting Impulse Shoppers to Automatic Customers

Subscription programs for drinks and snacks encourage customers to change from impulse buyers to automatic customers   Customers stop at gas stations and convenience stores to buy fuel, for beverages and snacks and to use the bathroom, essentially in that order of priority. A NACS survey of gas-buying customers found that half went into the […]

Blog post

Maxol Launches First-of-Its-Kind Loyalty App

Maxol, Ireland’s largest family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, announced it has launched a new customer loyalty app with never-before-seen features in the Irish market. After more than a century serving Irish customers, Maxol’s 240+ stores and service stations are located throughout Ireland and have enjoyed global recognition for their best-in-class operations, store design and offers. […]

Blog post

Delivering Personalized Content With Machine Learning and Image Recognition

Build personalized customer connections, improve efficiency, and make intelligent, data-driven decisions using machine learning and image recognition.   It’s 7:15 in the morning and a customer – Amy – is on her way to work. She is on the hunt for coffee and breakfast and stops at a convenience store. She opens her store app […]

Blog post

Sweet Tea and Coffee Subscription Beverage Programs Brew Recurring Revenue

As summer nears, consumers are turning their attention towards refreshing iced beverages and iced tea is a hot seller this time of year, especially when sold with a subscription beverage program. Sweet tea might be the quintessential drink of southerners in the U.S, but the rest of the country has developed a taste for the […]

Blog post

Circle K’s Use of Beacon Technology to Activate Car Wash Subscription Program

Beacon Technology and Car Wash Subscription Programs Beacon technology used in tandem with a customer-facing car wash subscription program revolutionizes the customer experience by providing a quick, convenient experience. Innovation is the key to continued growth and ensuring a frictionless customer experience should be top of mind for any retailer. Circle K’s vast global network […]

Blog post

Unlimited Car Washes!

Subscription programs for car washes are a hot trend in convenience retail.

Blog post

Car Wash Program Drives Sales for United Pacific

Car wash programs are revenue drivers for convenience stores and fueling stations around the globe. Making sure the process is convenient and cost-effective for customers increases traffic and drives in-store sales. Oftentimes, car wash units occupy a small corner of the lot and do not receive much attention. This is not the case for those […]

Blog post

Danish Railway Rewards Riders with DSB Plus

The Danish railway system, known as DSB, is going the distance to reward customers by partnering with convenience retailer 7-Eleven to deliver points towards food and coffee simply for riding the rails. Whether commuting or travelling longer distances, riders who join DSB Plus earn points whenever they travel within Denmark. DSB is an abbreviation for […]

Blog post

Subscriptions for the win!

Amazon Prime is, by nature, a subscription under the auspice of membership. Pay an annual fee, get 2-day shipping and exclusive deals. Amazon took it one level further with “Subscribe & Save” where you can get everyday – and not so everyday – items shipped to you on a regular schedule.  In the early days […]

Blog post

Customer Retention Program of Circle K Vietnam

As the first international convenience store brand to launch in Vietnam, Circle K has over a decade of expertise catering to the needs of the 96 million residents of this huge country, operating a network of over four hundred convenience stores each open 24 hours a day! So launching an outstanding customer retention program was […]

Blog post

Stinker Stores Named Best New Loyalty Program in the U.S.

        2021 Best New Loyalty Program  Stinker Stores’ new loyalty program offers multiple redemptions with a single scan and stands out with a gamification feature to keep customers engaged. This article is originally published on CStoreDecisions and written by Erin Del Conte | October 28, 2021 Stinker Stores, with 103 convenience stores across Idaho, […]

Liquid Barcodes

Put a rocket under your loyalty program

With our loyalty platform, we help design and operate world-class, tailor-made subscription and reward programs that make sure your customers always come back.

Book a Demo →

We are trusted by global brands.

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes