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Lessons in Loyalty: In-Store Excellence

Carolyn Schnare Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes

04/30/2024

Executing a personalized loyalty strategy ensures each store visit is efficient and includes moments of gratification.

In the ongoing exploration of loyalty programs, this article focuses on the next step in the Customer Connection Cycle: In-Store Excellence. 

Useful loyalty programs are important to customers. Programs that reward them, understand them, and add to the convenience factor within a visit are some of the top-ranking attributes of a program. 

 

Step 4 in the Customer Connection Cycle: In-Store

In the last several “Lessons in Loyalty” articles we explored creating and running a successful loyalty program. Today, we will talk about capitalizing on what happens when the customer is inside your brick-and-mortar store.

First, we looked into loyalty program foundations with the 3 E’s (having easy, empowering, and engaging programs) and the 3 C’s (clear, compelling, and consistent promotions and communications). Then we talked about solidifying the customer relationship by giving an overview of the Customer Connection Cycle, covering recruiting members into your loyalty program, member engagement strategies, and finally promoting the program. Now, we will talk about perfecting in-store excellence.

 

Strategies to Invigorate Your Loyalty Program

In this chapter, we’ll look at in-store options aimed at keeping your customers engaged. As we explore these options, remember the importance of your “customer connection cycle” – crafting meaningful interactions to stay relevant. Our goal? Ensuring each store visit is efficient and includes moments of gratification, courtesy of a tailored and personalized loyalty strategy. Let’s explore how to enhance your customers’ experience.

 

4 In store

10 Tips for In-Store Excellence

A gold-standard program is the Starbucks Rewards program. According to Chain Store Age, “An estimated 53% of Starbucks’ U.S. transactions come from rewards members. Expect more retailers to follow suit in leveraging first-party user data to deliver customized rewards.” 

Machine learning tools can be used to analyze loyalty customer data and personalize offers, but short of that, there are plenty of other ways to make customers feel at home in your home (aka store) to perfect in-store excellence.

1

Relevant In-Store Connections
Focus on connecting with customers inside the store only when it adds value to them. Make earning and redeeming rewards effortless for them, prioritizing ease of use.

2

Simple Point Redemption
Encourage members to redeem points, fostering trust in your brand and increasing future spending. Enable members to use points as currency during purchases, making redemption seamless

3

Payment-Linked Loyalty
Make checkout convenient and easy by linking payment to the loyalty card, making it simple to earn and redeem points during payment and eliminating the need for a separate loyalty app. This includes paying for fuel with an app, also. Think of Starbucks as a great example where everything happens in the same app. On the other side of the convenience spectrum is Target – an example of a convoluted system with their separate Circle rewards and Red Card credit card payment system which makes checkout a longer, more confusing process.

4

Pre-payment
Stored credit (pre-pay) and subscriptions are popular drinks and car washes. Members can subscribe and/or load payment, simplifying the checkout process and eliminating the need to wait in line to pay.

5

Personalized Greetings
Display name on the POS screen for store associates to greet them personally. This personalized touch helps customers feel welcomed and valued.

6

Acknowledge Top Customers
Implement tiered loyalty programs to identify and acknowledge loyal customers. Displaying tier status on the POS screen takes it one step further enabling staff to recognize and appreciate top customers, enhancing their experience.

7

Empower Store Managers
Grant individual store managers access to platform features to set up local offers. Provide training and support to ensure successful implementation, allowing managers to take ownership and drive program success.

8

Reward Employees
Offer exclusive deals for employees in the loyalty program to boost morale and loyalty. Engaged employees are more likely to promote the program and enhance the customer experience, creating a win-win scenario.

9

Plan Offline-to-Online Strategy
Close the gap between offline and online experiences by inviting members to provide feedback through unique product codes. This feedback loop strengthens engagement and interaction.

10

Plan Online-to-Offline Strategy
Engage members through games by printing game codes on receipts. Members can scan these codes in the app for exclusive content or rewards, enhancing their experience.

 

Retailers Running With In-Store Excellence

Loop Neighborhood in California does a great job of promoting its app in the store. The word “free” catches a customer’s eye, encouraging them to join or reminding them to redeem.

 

Loop

 

 

Subscription programs are the fastest-growing trend in retail and many U.S. retailers have seen great success with car wash subscriptions, getting folks to the store and keeping them coming back. Enmarket uses colorful images and games to really make its subscription program app pop!

Enmarket game

 

Sunshine Gasoline Distributors in Florida checks a few of the items from the list above: fuel pay in the app, offering car wash subscriptions and offering games to engage customers. Sunshine started with the car wash subscription app and after enjoying app’s success, added the fuel payment and later games. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

Sunshine fuel pay new

Sunshine game

 

The Customer Connection Cycle Explained

This informative video explains more about the Customer Connection Cycle in this edition of the Liquid Barcodes Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook video series.


 

Achieve Loyalty Excellence

Large or small, retailers have found that having a functional, sleek, easy-to-use loyalty app is the optimal way to stand above the competition.

Developing a distinctive loyalty program is essential in the dynamic landscape of convenience retail, where challenges abound. The Liquid Barcodes Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook is your hands-on tool to make this happen.

We developed the Liquid Barcodes Customer Connection Cycle framework to illustrate how to strategically engage customers through various channels, converting them into loyal program participants. The framework uses proven loyalty mechanisms to ensure customers return sooner, becoming habitual purchasers. 

Recognizing the significance of a strong customer base in driving revenue, the key principle of the Liquid Barcodes Customer Connection Cycle is simplicity, ensuring your program is easy to understand, join, earn, and redeem. It’s not just a proprietary approach; it’s our shared strategy to elevate your loyalty program and drive your business to success.

Click here to download the first few chapters within the Liquid Barcodes Convenience Loyalty Playbook.

LoyaltyPlaybook Preview no shadow

 

About Liquid Barcodes

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology partner specializing in the convenience and foodservice industries. The proprietary, cloud-based technology platform allows retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with the “customer connection cycle” process to engage, promote, and reward customers’ activities in real time across digital and media channels.

Liquid Barcodes loyalty platform is powering loyalty programs for industry partners across several global markets, by offering unique subscription and mobile payment programs, machine learning, personalization, gamification, loyalty, and other 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. Before 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. Schnare currently anchors the popular Future of Convenience podcast, produced by Global Convenience Store Focus media group.


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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 →

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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
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