“Convenience stores have seen particular success linking their loyalty programs to ordering options,” says Jeff Hoover, director of c-store data insights at Paytronix.
“Often times, it’s an awareness issue,” he elaborates in an interview with CSNC. “Loyalty offers more communications touchpoints to introduce the online ordering service than non-loyalty, so this helps explain why there are more loyalty guests participating, beyond their explicit brand loyalty.”
That doesn’t mean c-stores should ignore non-loyalty members, however.
“Looking beyond digital communications, brands need to elevate online ordering signage in-store and at the pump to increase overall adoption. This is critical and oftentimes overlooked because of competing loyalty/marketing/promotional initiatives,” says Hoover. “They should also message the value in loyalty and what they can get in points or instant value by way of discounted items in their current order. Something like, ‘Here’s how many points you’d earn with your order today.’”
“If a non-loyalty member is interested in ordering online, they already must enter all of their personal information to place the order, so brands should use that touchpoint to encourage them to join loyalty with one easy click,” he adds.
The report also includes a case study from Family Express, an upscale convenience store chain in Indiana with 81 locations, to highlight how brands can drive online ordering.
On Feb. 9 (National Pizza Day), Family Express offered an online order of two extra-large pizzas for $12, and sent the offer only to customers who had visited locations with online ordering, or nearby stores, within the last 60 days.
The promotion was a success, with 10x the number of typical daily orders, 70% of the orders coming through mobile and an average $6 spent in add-on purchases. More importantly, Family Express enjoyed a sustained lift in online orders of 10% in February over the previous month.
[Read more: "Parkland plans to build on loyalty"]