Liquid Barcodes

Resources

Subway MyWay Rewards – All You Need to Know

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes

19/09/2018

When the world’s largest restaurant chain launches a new loyalty programme in over 28,500 stores, we’re intensely keen to understand their approach, the thinking behind it, and see how consumers and key stakeholders respond. Subway’s “MyWay” Rewards programme was launched in March 2018 against a backdrop of declining revenues with US sales falling 4% in 2017, so a new digital strategy supported by a compelling loyalty programme was a key opportunity alongside menu and operational improvements that could really boost the restaurant chain’s fortunes.

As a 100% franchise-owned business, a key success factor was its appeal to store owners as well as consumers, so six months after it launched, we are reviewing the programme and the response it’s had to date.

SubWay Myway rewards

Structure and Strategy

  1. Subway My Way rewards consumer’s dollar spend rather than purchase or product transactions that had been used in it’s previous programme. This follows one of the biggest loyalty industry trends in recent years, seen across many industries including airlines, as well as others such as Starbucks.
  2. Instead of “points” – Subway is using the term “tokens” for its loyalty currency.
  3. Customers earn 4 tokens per dollar spent.
  4. The programme is led by digital but still includes an in-store card option for tracking the customer’s account.
  5. When customer’s have reached 200 tokens ($50 spend), they are automatically awarded a $2 reward to spend in store – a 4% reward rate to the customer.
  6. Reward vouchers are valid for 90 days and can be used flexibly against any product in store.
  7. Customers are given a personal reward on their birthday (once that data is supplied).
  8. Subway has also announced “surprise and delight” rewards – which will be added to the customer’s account “from time to time.”
  9. The new MyWay programme is available in all of its stores – over 28,5000 mainly in the US and Canada. This is much more widely accessible than it’s previous “SubClub” programme which was discontinued due to stamp card fraud and makes the new programme the largest in the quick service industry.

Subway MyWay Rewards in the App Store

Subway MyWay Rewards in the App Store

Response and Reaction:

Both the increased availability of the programme throughout it’s store network and its digital accessibility have been welcomed, however the response to the programme so far has otherwise been mixed.

While the reward after $50 allows the brand to reward it’s customers more quickly and frequently than others, the “surprise rewards” are intangible, leading influential commentators such as Mashable to describe the programme as “confusing”. Consumer reaction has also been mixed – with criticism in particular for the ninety day expiry of the $2 dollar reward.

And most importantly, the franchise community claim that the financial benefits of supporting the programme have not been well enough proven in order to justify their individual contributions and investments in it. So what are the lessons and learnings so far for the programme?

sandwich

Lessons and Learnings:

No matter how good a loyalty strategy is, no programme has enough power to compensate for core business challenges. Subway franchise owners achieve an annual turnover in their stores of $417,000 on average (compared to McDonald’s stores achieving on average $2.68 million), so the product mix, brand positioning and business strategy has some fundamental underlying challenges that will need to be resolved once a new CEO is appointed.

However loyalty programmes ARE highly effective when truly customer focused, so key elements that are not being well received – such as its policy of 90 Reward validity – could easily be improved in response to customer feedback. This would be a relatively inexpensive change – and one that would give the brand the opportunity to improve their PR both internally and externally. Even in my view, the terminology of earning “tokens” could be simplified to “points” – which is more in line with industry and consumer understanding of loyalty programme benefits.

More importantly, the “surprise” treats and rewards could drive engagement in much more effective ways. While surprise rewards are hugely well received by anyone who is chosen to receive one, from a communications perspective, this strategy is one that many loyalty professionals have struggled with. Customers don’t get excited about rewards that “might’ be added to their wallet. Instead the same reward budget could be offered through a game mechanic that at least gives members the opportunity to play and engage with the brand. While they might not win, the fun factor and opportunity to be involved in the “chance to win” does drive overall connection and further positive communication with members.

The Future is Digital

It’s clear that customer’s tastes are changing – not only in food preferences but also their need for speed and simplicity.  The brand is evolving its core product menu to offer “made-without-gluten” options in certain restaurants, and operationally they have also implemented exciting digital solutions that are critical to win customers.

In-store options such as touch-screen kiosks make ordering easier on site, while the Subway app includes the ability to pre-order for express pick-up, as well as the opportunity to pre-load a card to the app for faster payment. Even more innovative, Subway has launched new technology channels such as its Facebook Messenger Bot which makes it simple to order sandwiches right from the social media platform – appealing to the massive installed base of over one billion people using Messenger. At this very early stage in its use as a marketing platform, messenger bots are experiencing powerful results – with open rates of 98% being quoted. It will be fascinating to watch how brands like Subway choose to market outbound to their subscribers, as well as accepting inbound orders.

With this direct focus on digital alongside other key business improvements, we are watching with interest in the hope that Subway enjoys much more of the incredible success it achieved in the past to achieve their market-leading global footprint and hopefully remain a market leader for many years to come.

Subway Order Bot in Facebook Messenger

Subway Order Bot in Facebook Messenger

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty technology company specialized for 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:

www.LiquidBarcodes.com

About Me:

Paula Thomas: MBA. Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant.

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards. 

—————————————————————————————–


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