Rewards programs are effective marketing tools. They enable you to engage with and motivate customers to visit and spend more at your convenience stores. However, rewards programs need to be updated and refreshed from time to time to match your current strategic focus. A simple update to a program can reinvigorate your brand, increase revenue and improve profitability.
Here are four signs it may be time for a program update:
1. Declining loyalty penetration and new-member enrollment. Is new-member enrollment declining or stagnant? Is the share of transactions associated with your program down? If new-member enrollment or the participation in your program is down, it could be a sign of trouble. As a benchmark, a rewards program should achieve a minimum of 15% penetration, meaning 15% of your transactions should be linked to members. If loyalty penetration is dropping below this benchmark, it may be time for a change.
2. Evidence that customers are “gaming” the program to their advantage. You may notice that some of your savvy customers have figured out a loophole in the program that they use to benefit themselves. In a visit-based program, customers can game it by splitting transactions into pieces so each transaction can count as a “visit” and earn them more points. Reviewing your members’ average transaction value of and monitoring the trends will give you a good idea of whether customers have found ways to abuse the program.
3. Franchisees and operators increasingly complain that you’re just running a discounting program. Is your team questioning why you’re running a rewards program? Have they been seeing the positive results the program is generating? Franchisees and operators need to see the value of the program and how it’s helping them achieve their goals. If they’re not seeing the benefits of the program, then you may need to make some changes to get them back on board.
4. Your program is conflicting with your corporate strategic objectives. When you launched the program, perhaps you were focused on driving visits. Now, however, your objectives have changed, and you’re focused on increasing customer basket size. It’s important to have your program aligned with your corporate goals. If the brand’s overall priorities have changed but the program remained the same, it’s not benefiting the organization as well as it should.
Not all of these signs necessarily mean you need to change your program. It might just need a relaunch or some additional management attention. But if you are seeing one or more of these signs, take a careful look at your program design. Download “Is It Time to Change My Rewards Program” to learn more about these signals and how to check if your program needs a refresh.
This post is sponsored by Paytronix