FREMONT, Ohio -- FriendShip Food Stores, a chain of 22 convenience stores and gas stations owned and operated by Beck Suppliers Inc., is finding success with its mobile app, launched in fall 2014 using OpenStore by GasBuddy technology, the companies said.
FriendShip Food Stores worked to engage customers with contests and deals. During the launch, new users received an entry to win $5,000 in cash, resulting in historically high download levels for chains of a similar size.
The OpenStore solution created channels for customers to express concerns and interact with the FriendShip brand via the website and mobile app.
“We’ve had a lot of good feedback, we’ve had some negative,” said Kevin Campbell, marketing director for Fremont, Ohio-based FriendShip Food Stores, “but we’re able to react to the feedback rather quickly. I feel we have a lot better line of communication with our customers.”
Two-way communication also allows FriendShip Food Stores to learn about its customers. “OpenStore has helped us have better awareness of our customers in regards to our promotions,” Campbell said.
Customers are receiving targeted deals and coupons based on their personal interest directly through their mobile phones, resulting in higher coupon redemption rates and increased sales, the companies said.
OpenStore’s central dashboard provides FriendShip Food Stores with real-time data as customers redeem coupons, visit stores and leave feedback.
“Creating an open line of communication between stores and customers is essential to maintaining a positive customer experience,” said Jason Toews, CEO of OpenStore. “In addition, retailers learn about their customers’ preferences, allowing them to create deals that their customers want.”
Gaithersburg, Md.-based OpenStore by GasBuddy is a solution that increases customer loyalty by providing two-way communication between convenience-store owners and customers using web technologies and custom-branded mobile applications. The OpenStore dashboard allows the user to collect customer feedback, manage social media, deliver mobile coupons and text message campaigns from one location.
FriendShip convenience stores features a wide variety of foodservice items, North Coast coffee, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Charley Biggs Chicken, Yogurt Paradise yogurt and many other nationally known brands. Its loyalty program offers customers rewards for purchasing everyday items and instant savings at the pump.
FriendShip gas stations offer Marathon, Sunoco, BP and Shell gasoline.
Beck Suppliers is an Ohio petroleum marketer that owns and operates Friendship Food Stores. The family business offers other services that include gasoline, diesel and propane distribution, tank installation and removal, automatic car wash equipment and air vending machines.