We’ve previously discussed “how to wow” your customers with a digital loyalty programme that they will find both engaging and rewarding. And every day we see how great retailers who invest in loyalty want their programme to be the absolute best in the market. They want their customers to love it, their employees to recommend it, and their management to believe in it. There is simply no point creating anything less than a ‘captivating’ loyalty programme and that’s exactly what we set out to do every time we partner with any retail brand to help them wow their customers. And so we were thrilled to see our work recently impressing a panel of digital experts and media commentators who recently decided to test and compare three convenience retailer loyalty programmes in Norway.
The test was conducted by a Norwegian digital agency called Netlife, in partnership with Nettavisen which is a popular online newspaper in Norway, with over 2.6 million visitors each week. Together they evaluated the top retailers competing to dominate the Norwegian market for fuel and convenience spend using digital innovation. So who won? 7-Eleven – which we’ve been proud to work with for over seven years was voted by the experts as “by far the best”.
The online newspaper article reviewed three leading convenience retail brands and described what they are doing well, and where they each need to improve, sharing their views also with each retailer to get their responses. The article was incredibly rewarding for all of us in Liquid Barcodes and for the marketing team in 7-Eleven Norway who were also delighted with such positive publicity. So here we discuss the learnings from this independent review of these programmes as we know there are always ways to drive continual improvements that will delight your customers.
In the first instance, the authors made the obvious point that the overall location of the fuel station is the biggest factor in customer’s choosing where to buy their fuel and on-the-go snacks! This is not a surprise to anyone – we all know that customers won’t drive out of their way for one fuel station over another simply because of a loyalty programme – however it is equally true that most of us do have a number of stations to choose from on a day to day basis. And a loyalty programme can definitely differentiate your store and create an exclusive experience in your station that’s way beyond the others. And that’s exactly what 7-Eleven has done.
One of the essential underlying principles is for your digital loyalty programme to recognise and reward behaviour across a compelling range of products. The first point the journalists considered in their evaluation was how many product categories each app tracks. With 7-Eleven, whether you’re buying coffee, coca cola, burgers or even car wash services, the app with its digital stamp card will track and reward your loyalty. The competitor programmes focused on one or two categories such as car washing, or coffee only.
Offering rewards across a truly broad range of categories ensures customers know they will always be recognised and rewarded in 7-Eleven, but only sometimes in other stores. And in an overwhelming world where customers simply won’t remember the details of every loyalty programme, they will remember where they felt most valued and choose to visit those favourite stores whenever they can.
Marketing your store is never finished, requiring constant application of the latest innovative ideas and best practice alongside your busy store operation. Our 7-Eleven case study details exactly how they do this in Norway, and while we’ve already seen the success of gamification as a key element of any loyalty strategy, what we’re now seeing increasingly is how critical it is to evolve your marketing app to include operational elements.
Retailers are increasingly relying on their apps to host additional value-added services such as pre-payment functionality and payment-linked loyalty which remove friction at the point of sale.
It seems safe to say that these fantastic operational benefits are hugely compelling to customers and no doubt will be a key factor in similar reviews of convenience retail loyalty programmes in the future.
Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing 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:
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.