The Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook – Chapter 2: Customer Connection Cycle

Mats Danielsen, CEO Liquid Barcodes


The Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook has been written to help retailers using our loyalty platform to get the best possible results from their loyalty program. Summarized from Chapter 2, this video explains the “Customer Connection Cycle” as a framework to drive customer loyalty in your convenience retail stores.

Interested in reading more? Check out the loyalty playbook’s chapters below:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Customer Connection Cycle
Chapter 3: How to Wow (Part 1 & Part 2)
Chapter 8: Rewarding With Stamps
Chapter 4: Recruiting Members
Chapter 9: Rewarding With Points
Chapter 5: Engaging Your Members
Chapter 10: Success with Subscriptions
Chapter 6: Powerful Promotions
Chapter 11: How to Effectively Analyse Your Loyalty Program
Chapter 7: In-Store Excellence
Chapter 12: Operating Your Loyalty Program Successfully

We love to share our knowledge! Explore the full Convenience Retail Loyalty Playbook by downloading it here



Your Customer Connection Cycle

From a strategic perspective, our belief is that nothing is more powerful than truly connecting with your customers. Convenience retailers can no longer afford to allow anonymous customers to enter, shop and simply leave the store, so the “Customer Connection Cycle” we developed and discuss throughout this book is the perfect framework you need to manage your customer relationships in ways that will surprise and delight them.

Your retail sales executives are used to explaining to store sales staff the idea of getting customers in, trading them up and then getting them back, but we are taking an even more complete view. As you can see we use the INFINITY symbol to describe the sheer potential for your business when the “customer connection cycle” is applied, and our belief is that you can continually build this cycle as a virtuous circle.  


It begins by firstly doing everything you can to recruit anonymous customers in to your customer program using in-store campaigns and staff, print ads, social media, as well as the payment terminal and customers details you capture on wifi login etc.

The second stage is designed to start winning the hearts of your customers, with an intention to simply engage and entertain them, welcoming them onboard and perhaps letting them win something nice immediately such as their first stamp. Gamification plays a big role here but anything you can do to connect them to your brand will add momentum to your customer connection cycle. 

Our third stage is to tempt them into your stores with promotions and fun. Of course, it takes a lot of determination to ensure consumer take action, so alongside simple coupons, we offer a whole library of gamified promotional concepts. 

Once in store, the cycle continues as we support frictionless and contactless purchases, and of course, we can help you build the customer’s basket to ensure she has everything she needs.

With the customer engaged and shopping, the “moment of truth” arrives when you instantly reward your customer. This instant experience is so powerful, it’s where you see the magic of your programme to delight your customers, and we know that this experience drive even more growth and future purchases. Customers trust you more, which drives their habits and frequency, and overall their long-term loyalty. This cycle, when operated effectively, will ensure you get the customer back sooner, over and over again for her habitual purchases.

Why is the Customer Connection Cycle Framework so Important?

Remember the Pareto Principle? Eighty percent of your revenue comes from just twenty percent of your customers and its easy to see how strong brands like Coca-Cola need just 12-15% of their customer base to sell 80% of their volumes. Identifying these top customers, then connecting with them both online and offline, is critical. 

“Catalina Research” has shown that the frequency of your customer’s visits is 2.4 times more important than basket size in identifying your most valuable customers, so once you know who these superstars are, your marketing efforts can focus on them, driving their lifetime value. 

In Liquid Barcodes, we are in the business of driving profitable behaviour change, powered by the “customer connection cycle” framework. Our entire business is dedicated to helping you get more customers in, trading them up where possible, but most importantly getting them back in your stores sooner, and more often.

Your business deserves the very best, so throughout this book, we will explain how to get the most out of our platform with the Customer Connection Cycle framework.  

Convenience customers should no longer be anonymous – connect with them to build your business


We preach this one key message to everyone who will listen! Customers are no longer simply offline or online – they are both. When they are offline, your focus must be to connect with them online, and similarly, when they engage online, it’s your chance to drive them in store – offline! Known in the industry as O2O, it’s an essential evolution from passively running your store, to actively driving it forward. 

For example, after every visit to your store, when your customer walks out, you have a golden opportunity to connect with her online with follow-up deals such as a tempting offer to get her second coffee that day at half price. Or why not issue physical codes to someone who bought a Coca Cola so they can scan with your app and play the Coca Cola game on the app. These games of course drive customers back in to your stores. It’s a virtuous circle!


Commercially Compelling 

As the only loyalty platform dedicated exclusively to the convenience retail industry, we have a deep understanding of the value drivers that drive your returns from this capital investment.

One powerful concept that can be used in combination with our platform is the ability to evaluate your loyalty strategy using the “RFM” model, which describes the recency, frequency and spend (or monetary value) of your customers. By capturing and analysing the RFM of your customers, you can measure, monitor and drive the lifetime value of your customer base. 

Our next chapter will discuss the key principles that are essential for your programme to be successful throughout this entire cycle, however one theme cannot be overstated – the importance of EASY. Your programme MUST be easy to understand, easy to decide to join, easy to join, easy to earn and of course easy to redeem.   

As our loyalty platform develops, we will also increasingly be able to identify potential high customer value segments, in particular as we enhance our AI and machine learning capabilities. The power of this layer of artificial intelligence on top of the “customer connection cycle” will allow you to operate with the highest levels of intelligence in the industry. 

But no matter what capabilities artificial intelligence will bring, the “customer connection cycle” will remain central to the way we advise you to think about your loyalty program and the way we advise you to operate it. It’s our proprietary approach, and we are delighted to share it with you to drive your success.


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 Host of “Let’s Talk Loyalty” Podcast

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing content. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my consulting 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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