Circle K Vietnam’s O2O Strategy

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


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!

Vietnam is famous for its idyllic landscapes, superb cuisine and its people, and the nation is proud of its long history and its rich cultural heritage.

Today Vietnam has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, driven by a dynamic youthful population  determined to make its mark in the 21st century. With a median age of just 32, this country has the energy, drive and scale to succeed.

At Liquid Barcodes, we were delighted with the opportunity to lead the development of a superb digital loyalty programme and proposition for Circle K in Vietnam, building on the huge success of Circle K in Hong Kong which we wrote about previously.

Circle K is a leader in Vietnam – one of the world’s most populous countries 

A Simple Strategy

Customers love to be recognised for their loyalty and of course, it’s also essential that this connection is created without compromising on the service excellence that Circle K stores prides itself on delivering in its stores.

With more than 400 locations in major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, the CK CLUB has been launched as Vietnam’s loyalty platform, featuring coupons, stamps and tiers, as well as some clever scanning capabilities to allow the brand to connect its customers from O2O – online to offline!

In addition, Circle K in Vietnam has also integrated its online delivery and shopping brand in to the loyalty app. CKGO allows customers to have items delivered to their home. They can also make online purchases from the CKGO website or from partner sites, without compromising the ease, speed, and convenience that customers expect from Circle K.

The Circle K Vietnam App is available free of charge on Google or Apple app stores.

The Loyalty Proposition

CK Club members start to receive exclusive offers and benefits as soon as they download the app, with coupons and loyalty stamps awarded for buying products in key strategic categories – coffee, iced coffee and milk.

Driving customer stickiness is a marketing objective, with members progressing from silver to gold status if they visit frequently (30 times in 90 days) or once they spend over a million Vietnamese Dong (about $45).

Members simply scan the QR code in the app on every visit to ensure their visit has been tracked.

Gold status rewards members with extra benefits and discounts, and these can then be shared through the app. This helps create an emotional connection between the brand and its members, by helping them to connect with their family and friends.

The compelling app screens created by Circle K Vietnam for CK Club members

Circle K’s Customer Focus

With today’s increasingly connected customers, Circle K Vietnam were clear on the profile of customers they needed to impress.

  1. Knowledge at their fingertips: Today’s customers are busier than ever, but like consumers worldwide, Vietnamese people use the power of their phone for access to instant insights and information, so they are faster and better informed than ever before.
  2. This new age of digitisation has also made Vietnamese consumers more impatient and demanding. The products they buy must be great quality and great value for money, and they expect services to be fast, efficient, convenient, and courteous.
  3. Retailers who fail to impress customers will inevitably lose business and also the brand reputation is as stake, as Vietnamese consumers are quick to share their experiences on social media.

Circle K’s Commercial Focus

Business research consistently reminds us that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Harvard Business Review also estimates that increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits between 25-95%  so the strategy to invest in delighting customers made clear commercial sense.

Clear and Compelling

In these busy times when customers’ expectations are at an all-time high, marketing campaigns must be clear and compelling – both internally with colleagues, and externally with customers.

The CK Club by Circle K Vietnam is a simple yet powerful proposition to drive consumer behaviour in a way that makes sense for them personally, as well as for the business commercially.

With customer connections increasingly through mobile and digital platforms, Circle K is now perfectly positioned to lead the Vietnamese convenience store market, with direct connections to customers, and a digital platform that’s built for today yet ready for tomorrow.

Iced Coffee and Milk are two of the hero categories that earn stamps in the CK Club from Circle K Vietnam

Future Focused

The management team in Circle K Vietnam leading the O2O concept had world-class experience leading the compelling convenience loyalty concept for their business in Hong Kong. They believe that a key factor for success will be the effective integration of the customers app experience online with the in-store operations offline, so this will remain a key focus and priority in the months ahead.

Thanks to the comprehensive strategy and customer focus, they will continuously evolve their platform and services to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers in this fast-paced and exciting market.

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Loyalty Podcaster

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing articles and podcasts. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and proud host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast – the industry’s first podcast for loyalty marketing professionals.



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