Rewards programs are renowned for the effective ways in which they retain customers, as well as attracting new ones. This is no different in the fuel and convenience sector.
Fuel-savings rewards ensure repeat custom, saving companies millions through customer retention; it costs more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Brand loyalty is paramount in an aggressively competitive market like the fuel and convenience sector.
The notion that fuel-savings rewards are the biggest driver of footfall into a gas station is incontrovertible. Customers need to feel direct savings if they are to be satisfied with a loyalty program.
A survey carried out by Yotpo says that “55% of consumers said the dominant loyalty factor was product quality and 25% said great deals, with 60% of customers telling friends and family about a brand they are loyal to. 51% of consumers said a poor product or quality might lose their loyalty and 23% said it was poor customer service.”
All these statistics lead to one conclusion: customer engagement is key. Businesses can struggle to marry their business orientated goals to the wants of a customer. Knowing what customers want and providing tailored promotions to suit those needs creates a healthy relationship between business and consumer.
According to a 2018 study carried out by Expedia Affiliate Network, it is discounts and coupons that are the top-ranking tactic for driving loyalty with 61% of consumers say they use them. If a customer’s experience is positive, they are more like to repeat purchase, simple as that.
Step one is designing a useful and effective loyalty program in convenience stores and gas stations are ensuring the value proposition is attractive enough for consumers to alter their behaviours.
The value proposition can be difficult because it usually involves offering the consumer what they want as opposed to what is good for the business. Cents-per-gallon offers on in-store purchases allow fuel rewards programs to thrive while incentivising consumers to spend more in store.
Excentus’ second annual “Road to Rewards Revisited” 2016 survey of over 1,000 Americans suggests
37% of consumers prefer fuel discounts over any other type of promotional deal
These findings are important as it indicates that consumer’s spending behaviours are changing. The promotions on offer need to be persuasive enough to get a consumer to change their buying patterns.
This 2016 report also reinforced that integrated loyalty technology is paramount for gaining traction in a developing market. Fuel points programs attract footfall but what is done instore is key to customer experience and retention.
Maximising people’s time instore and increasing their basket size takes marketing expertise. Analysing data collected by your business’ gas loyalty program leads to effective promotional offers that suit your customer base.
It is individual to each gas station’s offering. Customer loyalty is constantly changing, and it is important a business keeps track of how customer spending changes over time.
For example, many millennials or ‘digital natives’ prefer to rely on mobile apps to keep track of points-based systems rather than other analogue options. All the statistics point toward loyalty programs being more effective when the rewards are based on fuel savings.
Consumers want to make significant savings where it counts. Increasing footfall is the first step to increasing repeat custom. Making promotions easy to follow, having loyalty programs with immediate satisfaction and using your customer data to guide decisions is the key to ensuring your loyalty scheme stays relevant.
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