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Study: Convenience Store Loyalty Programs

[Source: Convenience Store Decisions]bigstock-Rewards-Credit-Card-Loyalty-Po-55089068-300x259
A research projects by General Mills Convenience & Foodservice surveyed 348 convenience store food and beverage shoppers between the ages of 18 and 64 earlier this year. In addition, 382 convenience store food and beverage shoppers in the same age range took part in an online idea-generation exercise to develop an “ideal c-store loyalty program.”

Key Findings include:

  • 89% currently participate in some type of loyalty/reward program across a variety of channels and categories.
  • 64% participate in a grocery loyalty program.
  • 52% participate in a drugstore/pharmacy loyalty program.
  • 35% shoppers participate in a convenience store or gas station loyalty program.

When shoppers talked about what they like best and their “ideal” c-store program, their feedback focused on three areas.

  1. Incent Trial: An easy signup process and immediate reward encourages shoppers to join. Seconds count in a c-store visit, so making signup as quick as possible is important.
  2. Make it Worthwhile: Shoppers like to see benefits that are easily attainable, without a significant change in their current behavior.
  3. Bring a Smile: Make the program fun! Shoppers appreciate surprises and customized offers. They also look forward to higher reward levels when they spend more in the store.

“Convenience store shoppers are familiar with loyalty programs from grocery and drug stores but fewer shoppers participate in c-store loyalty programs. There is definitely an opportunity to expand,” said Chris Quam, consumer insights manager at General Mills Convenience & Foodservice. “In keeping with the speedy nature of a c-store transaction, sign-up needs to be fast and friction-free. Once shoppers have joined and start participating, they will expect to see the benefits of patronizing the store on a regular basis so rewards need to be kept within reach to maintain their loyalty.”

Mary Shaw