ALTOONA, Pa. --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 Sheetz, placed at No. 6 with an overall score of 2.17 as of Feb. 14, 2018. While the c-store takes sixth place in the ranking overall, the chain belongs to the 8.5% of brands covered in the ranking that offer mobile food ordering.
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 Sheetz stands in Stuzo’s C-Store Digital Ranking and information on the brand’s digital capabilities …
Mobile Commers: 2.46
Sheetz’ overall score for mobile commerce is 2.46. Here’s how it breaks down:
App Performance: 3.02
Mobile Payment: 1.33
Loyalty Program: 3.5
Mobile Ordering: 2
The Sheetz mobile app offers customers a loyalty program through the MySheetz card, which can potentially earn members free items and fuel savings. Sheetz recently updated its app, adding features such as personalized rewards and more in-store offers.
The new update also allows customers to order food in the app and has improved location services, making it easier for members to track down the nearest Sheetz. However, Aaron McLean, COO at Stuzo, said that customers have reported a faulty mobile payment option that often times does not work.
Sheetz’ overall score for its website is 4.28. Here’s how it breaks down:
Loyalty Program Promotion: 4.1
App Promotion: 3
“Personalization is key on the Sheetz website,” said McLean. Customers can log in to see rewards, order history, closest stores and more.
He also said the Sheetz site is “relatively easy” to navigate, and provides information specific to each individual location. However, he said the website does little to promote the app, limiting customer ability to take advantage of mobile offers.
Social Media: 4.1
Sheetz’ overall score for its social-media use is 4.1. Here’s how it breaks down:
Brand Responsiveness: 5
Frequency of Posts: 4.7
Creativity of Content: 2.2
Level of Engagement: 4.5
Sheetz has a large number of followers, especially considering its store count. It is unusual for a chain with about 500 stores to have 1.3 million followers on Facebook.
The chain posts original, responsive and relevant content. McLean said this content “clearly resonates” with fans, referred to as “sheetzfreaks”.
Sheetz fans are very engaged on all social media channels. Posts reach up to 5,000 likes and 500 shares. “However,” McLean said, “the chain does little to promote its mobile app and loyalty program limiting customers to learn about mobile offers and current promotions.”
Connected-car and mobile-employee activation: 0
Sheetz 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 more than 500 c-stores, Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz ranked No. 17 on CSP’s 2017 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.
Philadelphia-based 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.