Loyalty's Mobility

Wayne Oil readies to tap into smartphone users

Mitch Morrison, Vice President of Retailer Relations

John Strickland Jr.

GOLDSBORO, N.C. -- John Strickland Jr.'s voice climbs a few decibels when he talks about the company's latest rollout--mobile loyalty.

"It's quickly becoming the medium of communication," said the dynamic president of Wayne Oil Co. Inc. and its Ballpark Stores retail network. "People are no longer at their desktops checking their emails. They're on their smartphones, on the move, making decisions."

[images]Targeting its sites to an increasingly on-the-go consumer market, Strickland is launching a mobile loyalty app, partnering with GasBuddy (via its OpenStore program) and FIS Global to forge a program that customizes rewards and establishes loyalty tiers based on a consumer's total spend and purchasing habits.

Put another way, think of Four Square and cut up the buy-10-get-1-free cards.

"The technology has gotten to the point where you can do a P&L on individual customers," Strickland told CSP Daily News. "What's really cool is it's not very expensive and it's not very hard. And yet it's the way of the future to communicate to your customers and to reward your customers who are most loyal to you by making them a gold or platinum member or something that says 'thank you for your loyalty'."

Instead of traditional discounts, Strickland envisions a combo program that, like the popular Four Square, rewards the most loyal shoppers through recognition and prestige, and that perhaps offers certain in-store privileges like free WiFi, rather than a typical cents-off promotion.

The company in recent years has rebranded its stores from Hasty Mart to Ballpark and launched a theme-based loyalty program called All-S.T.A.R. that offers points toward free fuel and merchandise for every purchase, excluding money orders and lottery tickets.

"Our technology platform continues to evolve and the deployment of a mobile app is just the next iteration," Strickland said, "in what we see as a continual evolution to find more effective ways to communicate value to our most valued [loyal] customers.

"Loyalty allows us to market and communicate directly with our existing customer base. Most importantly, the mobile app will allow our customers to communicate back to us so we can tailor our offerings based on timely feedback," he said.

Mitch Morrison Winsight CSP By Mitch Morrison, Vice President of Retailer Relations
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