Polish retail giant, Żabka introduces a monthly coffee subscription program across its vast store network.
With its new coffee subscription program, Żabka Polska will certainly dominate the beverage category in Poland’s unique convenience market.
In July 2022, Dr. Adam Manikowski, Managing Director of Żabka Polska, was featured on the popular Global Convenience Store Focus video series, Shop Talk LIVE, alongside NACS Relationship Partner for Central Eastern Europe, Leszek Jurczak. Leszek noted that Polad is the “6th largest economy in the European Union” and that the Polish convenience market is quite unique in that the two largest companies, Żabka and Orlen, outpace all other retailers several times over in terms of number of locations.
Operating almost 8,800 stores across the country, Żabka is the Polish leader in non-fuel convenience retail. Recently, Żabka outpaced Amazon as the fastest growing autonomous retailer in Europe. And, in June 2022, Żabka was awarded the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award recognizing the Żabka Nano store concept.
On the Shop Talk LIVE episode, Dr. Manikowski presented the company’s forward-looking approach to their stores and detailed their ongoing transformation into the future focusing on format evolution, digital transformation, and transformation of responsibility.
Speaking specifically about the company’s focus on digital, Dr. Manikowski noted that the store’s mobile app, named Zappka, is the leading app in Poland with 8 million users which is nearly 20% of the country’s entire population.
Beverage Subscription Programs Are a Hot Trend in Convenience Retailing
Beverage subscription programs are the hottest trends in convenience retail given their appeal to customers looking for a convenient and economic way to satisfy their thirst and for retailers seeking to lock in automatic revenue and additional upselling opportunities.
Global retail juggernauts like Circle K (in the U.S.) and Panera Bread have discovered the value of subscription programs to lock in loyal customers. Many regional chains throughout the U.S. and Europe have also jumped on the trend. Now, Poland’s largest convenience retailer, will be providing customers with a program they will mutually enjoy.
Żabka’s coffee subscription program allows members one coffee beverage per day for the price of PLN 49.99 per month, which is about £9.11 GBP, €10.50 EUR, or $10.50 USD. Members can enjoy their choice of one daily black coffee, coffee with milk, flat white coffee, latte coffee, cappuccino coffee, chocolate drink, espresso, espresso doppio and cortado coffee.
According to Jurczak, “the subscription model, based on a mobile application, has not yet been used in the Polish market. The introduction of a financially advantageous subscription by a dominant company, especially at a time when the economy is facing an economic slowdown, is a very powerful tool to increase the frequency of visits to a retail outlet by building the need to visit at every possible shopping opportunity.”
He concludes, “competitors will need to apply an even more attractive loyalty tool, but this appears to be extremely difficult given the quality of Żabka’s offering and its availability on virtually every corner of every major and medium-sized city in Poland. A visit for a subscribed coffee will certainly result in cross-selling with an offer of breakfast products, snacks and ready meals, which Żabka has a fairly extensive presence on the shelves and the quality is at a good level, predictable and adapted to the pockets of the Polish shopper.”
The offer is redeemable via the Żabka app, Zappka, and can be paid for using the ŻabkaPay payment system or by entering a credit card. In addition to fulfilling the coffee subscription offer, the Zappka app offers users rewards, personalised promotions, product discounts, mobile payment and mobile ordering.
Subscriptions Convert Customers Into Automatic Shoppers
Subscription programs take the thinking out of the customer’s daily journey. For instance, a drink subscriber would already want to use their paid subscription and might plan an entire trip around that store. While notifications and marketing are a great nudge, a subscription program is a guaranteed conversion of members to automatic customers who will be in the store and a good indicator that they’re going to buy even more once there.
Subscription programs for drinks and snacks are a win for both retailers and customers. Retailers can count on recurring revenue through automatic customers and increased basket sizes. Customers can feel that they are saving money with a subscription and it also takes the thinking out of where to stop.
Subscriptions Help Retailers Plan Ahead
Monthly subscriptions to foodservice items, products and services can help retailers plan for the month ahead.
A paid subscription is guaranteed income for that month and likely many more months to follow. Knowing that a certain number of customers will redeem their items at a regular interval will help planning for staff and inventory. Further, it is safe to assume that customers will buy adjacent category items and with a little data mining, you will know just what they’ll be hungering or thirsting for and make appealing offers available. Subscribers are also automatic customers, meaning that they will frequent the store to which they subscribe more than any similar store.
An Encouraging Outlook for Żabka’s Coffee Subscription Program
Żabka’s new venture into subscription will indeed be a program to watch as Poland follows the hot trend many other foodservice and convenience retailers have latched onto. As the world continues to weather a rapidly changing economy, at least Polish consumers have an option available to help them manage their own household finances while still enjoying the pleasure of a good cup of coffee every single day.
About Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising 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 programs, 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.