Kum & Go Pushing the Tech Envelope

Retailer implementing Pushlee mobile deal app that drives traffic in store

Kum & Go Pushlee (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Kum & Go convenience store chain has never shied away from trying new technology. In the last few years, it has ramped up its social media effort on several sites and platforms, has offered an app for the iPhone and Android and has joined a major mobile-commerce platform, among other initiatives.

Now Kum & Go is implementing Pushlee, a mobile and web application that sends deals to gas stations customers via push notifications, at 42 convenience stores, reported Silicon Prairie News.

Currently customers can use Pushlee at Kum & Go locations in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Omaha, Neb.

With 42 locations active, Pushlee expects to add more than 100 additional gas stations over the next month, its creators, two Sioux City-based entrepreneurs, Blake Anderson and Sean Richardson, told the digital media company.

Users pull into a gas station and receive a push notification for a promotion. If they are interested in redeeming the deal, they head inside, flash their phone to the cashier and walk out.

Over time, Pushlee learns users' preferences and what types of deals they prefer, though users also can select the types of promotions they would like to receive.

The app is free and currently available for download in the Google Play Store. Anderson said an iOS version of Pushlee will launch in the coming weeks.

Anderson said that the idea for Pushlee came shortly after he and Richardson helped create PushLoyalty, a mobile app that helps local businesses reward customer loyalty, which won the first Startup Weekend Spencer entrepreneurial technology award in June 2013.

"Pushlee allows you to get the same perks as an individual gas station's app, but through an all-in-one consumer app," Anderson, a junior at Morningside College, told the digital media company.

Click here to read the full Silicon Prairie News report.

Kum & Go has been a longtime participant on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Instagram.

In 2012, the chain implemented social media application Bawte, which uses QR codes to allow customers to share their purchases online. Later in 2012, it partnered with social media technology platform Consmr to help customers access ratings and reviews on their favorite products from within the store. And in early 2013, the retailer joined The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a group of leading merchants dedicated to improving the shopping experience by offering consumers a widely accepted, customer-focused and secure mobile-commerce platform.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go LC has more than 420 c-stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming).

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers