OKLAHOMA CITY --CSP Daily News continues its series examining the ranking of the digital capabilities of the convenience-store industry’s largest and most influential chains.
This month’s featured profile is Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, placed at No. 8 with an overall score of 1.98 as of Dec. 14, 2017. The ranking platform is managed by Stuzo, a digital-product-innovation company focused on the convenience-store and fuel-retail industry with headquarters in Philadelphia.
The ranking covers 100 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 of 0 to 5 for each metric. Each metric is calculated using four more specific metrics. While this article examines the details behind the Love’s ranking, it is meant more as a profile than an attempt to compare it to competitors.
Click through for details on where Love’s stands in Stuzo’s C-Store Digital Ranking and information on the brand’s digital capabilities …
Mobile Commerce: 1.78
Love’s overall score for mobile commerce is 1.78. Here’s how it breaks down:
App Performance: 4.13
Mobile Payment: 0
Loyalty Program: 3
Mobile Ordering: 0
The Love’s mobile app comes with the My Love’s Rewards program, which allows customers to earn points on fuel purchases and tire care. Each point earned is equivalent to one cent off of retail items. These points are saved within the app and can be used by scanning the rewards card with the mobile app.
According to Aaron McLean, chief operating officer of Stuzo, there is no ability for mobile payment or food preordering at this time.
Love’s overall score for its website is 4.13. Here’s how it breaks down:
Loyalty Program Promotion: 4.33
App Promotion: 4.5
The Love's website offers information about promotions, location search, relevant blog content and multiple solutions for travelers. A dialogue box prompts visitors to identify themselves in one of three ways: Fleet Manager, Professional Driver or Traveling Public, with different features for each answer.
Mclean says the site is easy to navigate and is personalized for each customer. “The Love's mobile app is heavily promoted,” said McLean, “including directions for how to download on different devices and a complete video walk-through of all app features.” Customers can also sign up for a My Love's Rewards account. However, a My Love's Rewards card is required for sign-up, which is only available at a physical store.
Social Media: 4.0
Love’s overall score for social-media use is 4.0. Here’s how it breaks down:
Brand Responsiveness: 4.5
Frequency of Posts: 4.5
Creativity of Content: 2.5
Level of Engagement: 4.5
Love's is present on Facebook and Twitter. McLean said the chain’s social-media channels consist of new posts, promotional images and light-hearted, personal content about the staff and customers. McLean also said the company posts frequently and with differentiated content each time.
The chain often engages its customers by tagging them in posts, sharing their posts or replying to their Facebook comments. According to McLean, Love's does little to promote its app and loyalty program via social media.
Connected-car and mobile-employee activation: 0
Love’s did not score in either the connected-car or employee-activation metrics, but this is not unusual for c-store chains on Stuzo’s list. These metrics are focused on the future; 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.
With nearly 400 c-stores, Oklahoma City-based Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores ranked No. 22 on CSP’s 2017 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. It helps organizations humanize technology by designing, defining and delivering digital products that drive business outcomes.