LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Kwik Trip Inc. has introduced a new digital messaging program aimed at driving more purchases by millennial consumers. The program includes a set of screens set throughout the chain's convenience stores that will merchandise products and provide an enhanced customer experience through animation, community recognition and more, the company said.
Federal Heath, a turnkey-solutions company based in Euless, Texas, helped Kwik Trip design the new program, which the chain can centrally manage from its La Crosse, Wis.-based headquarters. The messaging system provides eight to 12 screens per store, each strategically placed in areas such as the roller grill, beer cooler, register and beverage bar.
Mark Meisner, director of marketing for Kwik Trip, told CSP Daily News that cluttered in-store print signage and a need to modernize stores spurred the chain to take on this initiative. Kwik Trip received the OK to implement the program after testing the design with multiple vendors for nearly four months.
“Print signage has essentially become wallpaper,” he said. “[This program] gives us a chance to remove static menu boards.”
Millennial consumers’ habitual use of technology and demands for a digital experience have influenced this new direction for the c-store chain, Meisner said. So far, consumer feedback has been positive.
“We’ve gotten great feedback from customers shopping in stores,” he said. “They say it brightens up our stores and gives a more modern look.”
The digital display has also eased the load on employees because they no longer need to swap print signage for various dayparts and specials, he said.
The goal is to have these digital displays in all of the more than 600 Kwik Trip locations stores by October 2019, Meisner said. Kwik Trip will install the program in 50 stores every month this fall, as well as include it in the chain’s new store design.
The messaging system is a subtle disruptor, Meisner said. And already the company has ideas about what may follow.
“Vendors want to discuss artificial intelligence and facial recognition,” he said. “[But] we’re not there yet. We first want to execute this as well as we can. If we can take advantage of the digital display, it will change the way we merchandise our products and allow us to localize our stores down to the granular level.”
Kwik Trip is a family-owned convenience-store chain operating more than 600 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The chain ranked No. 13 in CSP’s 2018 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.