Convenience Store Loyalty

4 Tips to Increase Convenience Store Loyalty & Shell Loyalty Case Study

Creating loyalty at a convenience store is extremely challenging.  There are many natural forces going against convenience stores.  For starters, they are called “convenience” stores for a reason; people go to them based on the convenience of their location and the products they offer.  For instance, it’s hard to get a consumer to make a left hand turn across traffic to visit a specific store when they can get the same product at the store on the right side of the road.

Another major challenge convenience stores have is getting customers to not just “pump and go.”  Convenience stores make their money when customers come inside and spend money on coffee, fountain drinks, or their favorite chocolate bar.

So with these two major challenges at play, what are some ways a loyalty program can help c-stores drive more loyalty?

Very few small businesses including c-stores do a good job of automatically engaging customers and getting permission to communicate at a later date.  One of the most important parts of any marketing strategy is having the ability to collect permission-based data!  If you can’t engage your customer with permission-based marketing it’s going to be really hard to drive them back and even harder to quantify it.

TL Connects has been working with c-stores for quite some time to solve these challenges and drive more revenue through more loyal customers. One of the biggest challenges to any rewards program is getting your customers to sign-up and then continuing to engage them afterward. When searching for the perfect digital rewards platform, you need to make sure it is simple for you and your customers to use. Here are four tips to build a program you and your customers will love.

1.  Don’t Ask for too much information at sign-up.  It amazes me how complicated some of the reward programs make the sign-up process.  They ask you to fill out your birthday, anniversary, address, email address, age, and then you have to go online, register and answer more profiling questions. For each piece of additional information you ask for, your adoption rates are going to decrease.  If you make it easy to sign-up in the beginning and gain permission to engage the customer, then you can always ask for more information later.

2. Incentivize a customer to sign-up.   Don’t we all enjoy a little instant gratification?  You’re asking a customer to give you their personal information and most loyalty programs don’t have a sign-up offer in place to incentivize the customer to give this information.  The instant reward alone will increase your adoption rate dramatically.  We’ve seen single location merchants in the small town of Bowling Green, KY reach over 8000 subscribers in their databases.  They attribute the mass adoption rates to the simplicity of the sign-up process and to the fact that their customers were rewarded for doing so.

3. Personalized Automation.   You are a business owner and you’re busy running a business. You want to put a loyalty program in your store because you want to create more loyal customers by showing your appreciation to your customers that sign-up.  After a customer signs up though, what happens?  What if they are not being that loyal?  You’ll want to have a way to easily and automatically re-engage those customers with a personalized incentive to get them back in your store to spend their money.  Even more importantly, you’ll want to be able to track the results and change your strategy based on the data.

4. Partner with Manufacturers for Offers.  Our c-store clients have done a terrific job of subsidizing the program through manufacturer specials.  You will see below three manufacturer promotions that drove in 1497 patrons to a small rural c-store chain in Kentucky.  The c-store partnered with Rockstar, Oreo, and Dr. Pepper to provide a FREE product with purchase for 3 days.  The manufacturers were happy because they were able to put their product in the hand of 1497 people and brand their product to over 5000 people.  The c-store also got a full retail purchase out of the 1497 tickets the promotion provided.


The numbers say it all.  Recently we did a case study on one of our rural stores and the numbers were pretty outstanding.  As you will see in the snapshot below our customer has 14 locations in 9 cities with a total population of 90,543.  In 15 months they captured 15% of the population and the numbers continue to increase each month.


So why does our product work so well in C-Stores?

  • Simple.  When they partnered with TL Connects, they were immediately impressed with how simple it was for their customers to sign-up and earn rewards with our customer loyalty program.  Even the slowest customer only takes 20 seconds to sign-up.
  • Incentive to Sign-Up.  Unlike other reward programs, TL Connects’ digital loyalty program gives the customer an immediate offer for signing up which increases the adoption rates dramatically.  Why not give your customer something for the permission to market to them?  In America, it’s become part of our DNA to LOVE instant gratification.
  • Always Offer Value.  As they built their loyal customer database, our c-stores have done a terrific job of only communicating valuable information such as manufacture sponsored offers, or new products with a discount, and fun events.
  • Automation.  We designed the program to engage their customers automatically based on their habits.  So when a customer has visited in 30 days, our software will automatically send a “we miss you” text, driving that customer back in to spend money.

For more information on how we can help you engage your customers more efficiently, CLICK HERE and schedule a time to join a 15 minute demo, or just pick up the phone and let’s chat now.  Our phone number is 844-611-3220.

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