Irish retailer Maxol celebrates a year of success with their award-winning loyalty app.
Maxol’s loyalty app has been rewarded for excellence with the prestigious “2023 Loyalty Launch of the Year ” award at this year’s Irish Loyalty & CX Awards.
The Irish Loyalty & CX Awards 2023 recognise excellence, innovation, and achievement in loyalty and customer experience and is open to all sectors across the Island of Ireland.
Maxol has been recognised multiple times by NACS at the Convenience Summit Europe events over the years, as well. In June 2022, Maxol achieved international recognition when it was named the European Convenience Retailer of the Year, and the year prior was recognised in 2021 as the winner of the NACS Best Store Award for Europe.
Maxol hopes to continue its winning streak at this year’s 2023 NACS Convenience Summit Europe event being held in Dublin in late May. Additionally, global retailers are invited to test the app first-hand at the Insight Market Focus, Island of Ireland,15-17 November 2023, Belfast and Dublin where attendees will visit Maxol along with other prominent Irish retailers.
After more than a century serving Irish customers, Maxol’s 240+ stores and service stations are located throughout Ireland. As Ireland’s largest family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, Maxol launched Ireland’s first-ever fuel pay loyalty app in early 2022. Designed to reward customers for purchasing fuel, food and beverage items, and other services, what really makes this programme unique is the new FuelPay feature that allows contactless payment for fuel purchases directly through the app. Customers can pay for fuel with their smartphones and the process is completely cashless, fast and easy.
Maxol’s Loyalty Programme at a Glance
Maxol CEO Brian Donaldson described the Maxol loyalty vision in a recent podcast interview on how convenience is at the heart of the company’s programme. “For us, one of the first things we wanted to do was make it more convenient for people to pay for their fuel. We were one of the first companies in Ireland to put in pay at pump technology because we see that mission or that shopper mission very different to going in the store, says Donaldson.”
Additionally, customers can track purchases of ROSA Coffee, Maxol’s proprietary coffee brand, using the digital loyalty stamp card, continuing its generous offer of every sixth coffee for free. The platform also includes a digital car wash stamp card, rewarding app users with every fifth car wash free.
Maxol further invites customers to download the loyalty app to be part of a community of Gold Star Members. Customers who spend €5 in-store or €30 on fuel will receive a gold star. When a customer collects 10 gold stars over a 90-day period, they become a Gold Star Member, which gives them access to more offers and treats. Gold Star Members will receive a third offer every month exclusive to them.
Irish convenience stores are globally famous for their delicious food service offers and Maxol Deli is no different. Serving a wide variety of premium hot and cold food options freshly made each day, Maxol Deli prominently displays a range of menu items on the app, enticing users with vibrant pictures of sandwiches, wraps, salads bowls, snack pots, and plenty of offers and deals.
According to Maxol’s Chief Information Officer, Declan Costello, “The app offers a wide range of other services which Maxol wants to be able to offer to their customers on one digital platform, creating a shop window for Maxol in the palm of customers’ hands.”
Award-Winning Loyalty App Delivers Results
In the year since its launch, Maxol has seen positive results in terms of customer downloads of the app and programme membership. According to Declan Costello, Maxol’s Chief Information Officer, “we now have over 26,000 active members in our loyalty programme, which is very positive in year one. Coffee is a key driver, as we have a loyal customer base who like to buy their local daily coffee, however we are also performing well with carwash and retail promotions. Our unique FuelPay offering is also working very well for us in key sites where our customer is looking for maximum convenience. We scored well in our NPS survey run through Liquid Barcodes, with customers calling out how it is ‘so easy to use with good deals and of course a free coffee when you’ve collected enough stamps from purchasing coffee’.”
Maxol shares that the Maxol cross-functional team worked collaboratively, as well as with agency partners, to ensure a successful launch. IT, Retail, Finance and Marketing teams all got behind the app to deliver the launch on time and on budget. Additionally, Regional Managers engaged Maxol Licensees to ensure they understood the benefits for the customer, so they could encourage downloads at a local level. IT, partnering with Liquid Barcodes, ensured delivery of unique offers like FuelPay for a frictionless customer experience. As Costello says, “teamwork was key to a successful launch and customer experience with the app!”
Loyalty in Action
At the onset of the programme launch, Maxol worked with agency partners to create an integrated marketing campaign ‘Loyalty Rewarded at Maxol’. The aim of the campaign was to drive awareness of the new loyalty app and encourage existing and new customers to download it and use it on a regular basis.
The launch media campaign focused primarily on a digital in-app search campaign and social media-promoted posts across Facebook and Instagram, which linked directly to the app landing page on the Maxol website. Nikki Maguire, Head of Marketing for Maxol reports that “the in-app search campaign achieved over 4.8M impressions with a 0.69% conversion rate.”
Maguire shared some specific marketing tactics that lead to their Launch of the Year award. Maxol’s sponsorship of leading Irish broadcaster RTE 2FM’s and their Traffic & Travel updates aired frequent loyalty messages informing commuters of the key features of the app.. This was an effective platform to communicate to a daily listenership of approximately 328,000 adults, about the new feature FuelPay to drivers and its ability to make fuelling up easier and more rewarding.
In the run-up to August Bank Holiday, Maxol took over popular Irish websites JOE.ie and SportsJOE.ie to encourage app downloads and promote exclusive app offers. During its run, the HPTO’s achieved a total of 280K+ impressions with an average CTR of 0.14%, surpassing the previous period’s activity Maxol had run in June. The app was also promoted in editorial partnerships with JOE, Lovin and LovinDublin.
The media PR launch had a two-pronged approach to target business/trade media and then consumer media. Irish broadcaster and social media influencer Carl Mullan launched the campaign to consumer media by creating fun, engaging videos for social media as well as appearing in the launch photocall. Phase 2 of the launch focused on highlighting the perks of becoming a Gold Member featuring Mullan to launch the Gold Star Member Competition. Over the competition, anyone who became a Gold Star member was entered into a competition to win €1,000 worth of prizes and Maxol’s Instagram fans increased by 186% during the period. One of Mullan’s videos on Maxol’s Facebook page had a 2.4x more average view time than other posts at the time and 2.5 x more comments, according to Maguire.
In-store Promotions Drove Downloads
Maguire further shared that Maxol turned to the stores to highlight offers and in-store app features. Display units at the front of Maxol stores were utilised and the in-store radio aired loyalty messages about various offers throughout the day. A new suite of point of sale was designed to disrupt shoppers on their journey and encourage them to download the app. To educate retailers and shop staff, webinars were held in the lead up to the launch and staff were given the chance to test the app before it went live.
A new experiential campaign, Loyalty Lane, took place on several Maxol forecourts during the first 2 weeks of the launch to engage with shoppers and encourage shop staff to promote the app. A thousand customers had the chance to drive through the Loyalty Lane inflatable arch where they were asked to download the app and were rewarded with Maxol vouchers, treats and some cash prizes.
Future Full of Success
Maxol continues to deliver greatness to customers and team members alike. Be sure to plan a visit to Ireland to see the award-winning retailer’s business in action.
About Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specializing in the convenience and foodservice industries. The proprietary, cloud-based technology platform allows retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a process called the “customer connection cycle’ 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 leaders across several global markets, by offering unique subscription, mobile payment, 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. 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. Schnare currently anchors the popular Shop Talk LIVE! video series produced by Global Convenience Store Focus media group.
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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. Maxol’s new loyalty program is designed to reward customers for purchasing fuel, food and beverage items, and other services. What really makes this program unique is the new FuelPay feature that allows contactless payment for fuel purchases directly through the app.