More Than 85% of Customers Start Digitally: Study

Incisiv and Punchh release 2022 Loyalty Maturity Benchmark Research
convenience store loyalty
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NEW YORK — The buying journey has been forever changed, and digital is now the starting point for more than 85% of customers across convenience and other foodservice verticals, according to new insights released by Incisiv, in partnership with Punchh Inc. Incisiv’s 2022 Loyalty Maturity Benchmark for convenience and other foodservice businesses assesses the digital capability of loyalty programs across program enrollment, program structure and features and ease of use.

Incisiv is an industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands help navigate digital disruption. PAR Technology’s Punchh is  a loyalty, offers and engagement company.

Incisiv’s assessment methodology spans more than 78 measurable attributes, assessing 50 of the top brands across three industry segments, including convenience, grocery and quick-service restaurants (QSRs). Attributes are categorized as table-stakes or differentiating capabilities based on their impact on key digital performance metrics such as average order value (AOV), conversion, customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Through Incisiv’s assessment methodology, 40 brands reached Leader status, including Casey’s, Cumberland Farms, Pilot, 7-Eleven and others.

Key findings of the research include:

  • There is a major disconnect between customer expectations and what brands offer in their loyalty programs—70% of customers prefer to use mobile apps to manage their loyalty accounts, yet only 26% of brands provide the capability to do so.
  • For loyalty program enrollment, customers want easier options from the brands they engage with. While more than 70% of convenience and QSR chains enable auto-enrollment, only 36% of grocery chains offer this feature. 
  • 67% of customers have come to expect rewards or a surprise gift on special occasions. While 52% of QSR chains have adopted this capability, only 10% of grocers and 8% of convenience chains offer reward perks on special occasions.
  • 75% of customers want instant redemption of loyalty points or benefits, yet only 16% the brands assessed offer this capability.

“Consumer businesses have endured unparalleled disruption to their business models in the last 24 months and should be commended for the speed by which they have adapted,” said Amar Mokha, COO of Incisiv. “However, customer behavior is a moving target, and the industry must evolve to meet expectations, especially as customer loyalty becomes harder to attain. A re-imagined loyalty program aligned to evolving consumer needs will go a long way in ensuring retention. We conducted this study to help brands across the convenience, grocery and QSR sectors understand how they compare to their peers, as well as to help identify high-impact improvement opportunities for loyalty and engagement programs.” 

“Loyalty offerings have finally come of age—recognized as a fundamental marketing strategy for customer engagement and rising to a mission-critical priority for executive management,” said Don Wight, president and general manager of Punchh. “And with the accelerated need to interact with brands across new channels and technologies, there must be a greater focus on driving digitization, ordering agility and innovation. This study shines a light on those changing preferences on behalf of consumers everywhere.”

Incisiv’s 2022 Loyalty Maturity Benchmark Report is based on insights from its proprietary digital maturity benchmarking methodology. Incisiv’s assessment methodology spans more than 78 measurable attributes, 150 brands, 78 digital capabilities and assesses the top 50 brands across three industry segments: convenience, grocery and QSR. Attributes are categorized as table stakes or differentiating capabilities based on their effect on key digital performance metrics such as average order value (AOV), conversion, customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Incisiv, based in New York, is an industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption in their industry. Incisiv offers consumer industry executives responsible for digital transformation a platform to share and learn in a non-competitive setting, and the tools necessary to improve digital capabilities.

PAR Technology is based in New Hartford, N.Y. With the recent acquisition of Punchh Inc., a customer loyalty and engagement solutions provider, PAR has become a unified commerce cloud platform.

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