WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- The race to lead the industry in digital marketing and promotion is always in motion. A retailer's smartphone app can update weekly if not more often, making for a very fluid playing field. With that in mind, CSP Daily News begins a regular feature that dives into a third-party ranking of the digital prowess of some of the largest and most influential convenience-store chains in the industry.
Earlier this year, CSP posted a ranking of 30 c-store chains based on their digital footprint as determined by Stuzo, a digital-product-innovation company focused on the convenience-store and fuel-retail industry with headquarters in Philadelphia and offices in New York and Europe. Stuzo’s ranking system covers 80 c-store chains, measuring each chain’s digital presence including mobile commerce, mobile employee activation, connected car, website and social media.
Each company is ranked on a points-based system with a score between 0 and 5 for each metric. Each metric is calculated using four more specific metrics. The collective metric scores are averaged for the chain’s total score.
In our first profile, Kum & Go LC is the fourth-highest-rated chain—up from No. 14 in March—with an overall score of 2.24 as of July 14, 2017. While this article examines the details behind the company’s ranking, it is meant more as a profile than an attempt to compare it to competitors.
Click through for details on where Kum & Go stands in Stuzo’s C-Store Digital Ranking and information on the brand’s digital game …
Mobile commerce: 2.49
Kum & Go's overall score for mobile commerce is 2.49. How it breaks down:
- App Performance: 3.8
- Mobile Payment: 2.7
- Loyalty Program: 3.5
- Mobile Ordering: 0
The highlight of Kum & Go’s mobile-commerce capabilities is its mobile &Rewards program, though points were deducted because mobile ordering is not currently available due to minor usability issues.
“With Kum & Go’s app, users can join the &Rewards program and earn points toward free drinks, food and fuel discounts,” said Aaron McLean, COO, Stuzo. “Users also get access to exclusive offers and surprises throughout the year and save 5 cents per gallon when they pay with the &Rewards debit card. However, the app has some UX (user experience) limitations, as users complain about the difficulty of the login process.”
Kum & Go's overall score for its website is 4.42. How it breaks down:
- UX/UI (User Experience/Interface): 4.6
- Loyalty Program Promotion: 5.0
- Personalization: 5.0
- App Promotion: 3.0
Stuzo gives Kum & Go high marks for personalization and the promotion of Kum & Go’s loyalty program on its website; however, the score for the website was brought down because it lacks a download link from the site for those who do not have a Kum & Go &Rewards account.
Social media: 4.31
Kum & Go's overall score for its social-media use is 4.31. How it breaks down:
- Brand Responsiveness: 4.6
- Frequency of Posts: 5.0
- Creativity of Content: 5.0
- Level of Engagement: 3.0
Kum & Go scored highly in the social-media category due to its regular promotions and creativity of content. Stuzo’s ranking points out that the chain engages customers by retweeting content, hosting contests and replying to questions and suggestions on Facebook, but its engagement score suggests the brand could do more to connect with customers on social media.
Connected car and mobile employee activation: 0
Kum & Go did not score in either the connected-car or employee-activation metrics, but this is not unusual for any c-store chain on Stuzo’s list. These metrics are focused on the future, as Stuzo predicts chains will put more resources into such initiatives as the industry evolves and becomes more tech-focused.
The mobile-employee-activation metric measures how chains increase employee productivity and work satisfaction through mobile-based programs. Connected car measures the chain’s use of a car’s infotainment system on the dashboard, which will become more common as the capabilities of car platforms expand further.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go, founded in 1959, has grown to more than 430 convenience stores in 11 states. Today, Kum & Go is the fifth-largest privately held, company-operated c-store chain in the United States. It ranked No. 21 in CSP's2017 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.
Stuzo is a digital-product-innovation company focused on the convenience-store and fuel-retail industry with headquarters in Philadelphia and offices in New York City and Europe. Stuzo helps organizations humanize technology by designing, defining and delivering digital products that drive business outcomes.