Subscription programs are enhanced loyalty programs that drive repeat visits for your most valuable customers.
Choosing which subscription model is right for your store is important to win recurring revenue. Here are three types of subscription programs for convenience stores.
Unlimited Product Subscription Programs
The most popular and most recognizable form of subscription program is for a flat monthly fee to receive daily or unlimited products like drinks and coffee. In the U.S., Circle K’s Sip & Save program and California’s Loop Neighborhood Markets’ Sip Up Club offers one coffee, fountain, or frozen drink per day for $9.99 per month. Retailers around the world like Zabka Poland and Espresso House have discovered enormous success with coffee subscription programs, also. Sheetz in the U.S. has also been highly successful with a $9.99 Unlimited Fryz program allowing customers one bag of french fries every two hours, every day, all month.
The key revenue drivers for retailers with this type of program is both the flat fee of guaranteed monthly recurring revenue, and the high likelihood that the customer will purchase additional items on their redemption visit. With one hand on the drink, the other hand will surely hold a snack or a sandwich! And guess what – they will come much more frequently than before.
Subscription programs for drinks and coffee will increase foot traffic, enhance the overall foodservice offer, and are the epitome of convenience for customers looking for store visits with upselling opportunities for foodservice.
Club Discount Subscription Programs
A subscription program doesn’t need to be attached to unlimited products but rewards the purchaser with deep discounts. Sweetgreen, a U.S. foodservice chain for salads and bowls, recently launched Sweetpass+ giving members a $3.00 daily one-time use coupon for a $10.00 monthly fee. This subscription will pay for itself in just four visits for the customer and with high-margin salads together with more visits to upsell the customer to hot and cold drinks, Sweetgreen is doing well, too. The recurring revenue of $10.00 per subscriber every month drives improved financial foresight for Sweetgreen and increased customer lifetime value.
Large retailers like Amazon have mastered the discount membership program offering free shipping to Amazon Prime members and mass merchandiser Walmart offers Walmart+ member-only access and discounts to subscription program shoppers.
Combining the Two!
The best-of-both-world programs offer unlimited products and discounts providing customers with the ultimate value. Pret A Manger added another layer to the popular beverage subscription program in their UK stores. Rebranding the program to Club Pret, “any Club Pret subscriber will continue to get up to five Barista-prepared drinks each day and now 10% off everything on our menu, for just £30 per month, and half-price for the first month,” according to Pano Christou, Chief Executive Officer for Pret A Manger. Launched recently in the UK, Pret A Manger offers subscribers both unlimited drinks and a 10% discount on food.
“Whether you want a morning caffeine hit, a lunchtime freshly made baguette or an afternoon pick me up, Club Pret has it covered, Save 10% off our entire menu (Every. Single. Day),” as it says on their website. It continues, “make every day a Pret “yay” by enjoying savings every time you grab any of our freshly made food, snacks & drinks in shop. Be it your go to breakfast, baguette, roll, wrap or salad. Everything is included, so what’s not to love?”
“Over the past year, we’ve been thinking about how we can give back to the people who matter most to Pret A Manger – our teams, for their hard work and dedication, and our customers. For our teams, we’ve increased pay three times in the last 12 months. Now we’re doubling down on our loyalty strategy, expanding our Coffee Subscription to food, and rebranding it to Club Pret, to say thank you to our most loyal customers who keep choosing Pret,” says Cristou.
As an extra incentive to grab new subscribers, the first month is half price of £15! For current subscribers, the price will increase slightly from £20 to £25 at first and then to £30.
Espresso House also offers subscribers additional subscriber-only discounts on select products outside of their coffee or drinks plan, such as donuts or croissants.
How can Subscriptions help your business grow?
Subscription programs ensure recurring revenue by recruiting high-value customers for your store. By buying a subscription to coffee or food, you make these regular purchases as convenient as possible for your customer.
When buying a monthly subscription in the app, your consumer can make the decision once and simply enjoy the perks for the rest of the month – the ultimate convenience.
Which Program is Right for You?
If you already have a loyalty program in place, analyze the customer data you have collected and determine how your most active customers might participate. Look at what other convenience and foodservice operators in your region are offering and beat it either in price or perks to make your offer even more attractive.
Liquid Barcodes has long been the industry leader in subscriptions, servicing more than 2,000 locations in the U.S. alone, having helped convenience stores around the globe, especially in Europe, offering beverage and foodservice programs to thousands of customers daily, Liquid Barcodes is an industry leader in customer programs for beverage and foodservice in convenience retail.
More About Subscriptions
This summer, we’ve been publishing several articles in our Summer Subscription Series to help you learn the basics and more about subscription programs. Check out these great articles to find your fit.
- An Introduction to Subscription Programs
- Use Digital Prepaid Cards to Get Started With Subscription Programs
- Beverage Subscriptions Improve Foodservice Sales
- Enhance Foodservice Sales With Daypart Marketing and a Beverage Subscription Program
- Measure Beverage Subscription Program Success
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.
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.