The Role of Loyalty in an E-commerce Future

loyalty program
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The only thing that is certain about 2021 is that it’s bound to be as unpredictable as 2020. With the lingering pandemic, a seismic shift toward e-commerce, and a volatile economy, convenience retailers will need a rock-solid plan to keep customers engaged with the brand.

That’s why loyalty programs will be an essential tool for retailers moving forward. Loyalty started as punch cards and paper coupons, but is now a key digital and data-driven part of the brand experience that not only attracts customers but keeps them engaged and motivated. The result is an increase both in how often customers visit and how much they spend. 

Forward, a convenience store chain in Michigan, revamped its loyalty program with Paytronix about a decade after launching its original program. In the first month of the new, digital program, Forward saw a 54% increase in the size of its loyalty base. The retailer was then able to leverage those digital communication channels and its newly beefed-up CRM to drive 500-800 extra visits via “We Miss You” campaigns and 2,000 visits per month just from birthday rewards. 

Loyalty isn’t just about showing customers they’re appreciated, either. It’s a proven revenue generator.

Break Time, mid-size convenience retailers in the South and Midwest, saw a 25% lift in spend from customers in its loyalty program. Duchess, another mid-sized retailer in the Midwest, used strategies specifically designed for customers who had stopped visiting at their regular intervals to drive both a 25% increase in spend and a 21% lift in visits from these customers. 

These programs can be creatively used to solve age-old problems, too. Yesway, a rapidly growing brand based in Iowa, took the information its loyalty platform provided – like purchase and visit behavior and location data via mobile apps – to deliver rewards incentives to customers when they pulled up the pump. The results were phenomenal: 45% of loyalty members went inside, generating additional revenue and building brand awareness and trust.

The customers of today are accustomed to the kind of personalized, relevant marketing that loyalty affords, and they’re looking to be met outside of the store, online, and through mobile apps. And while the uncertainty of the pandemic looms, many of them will need to be invited or enticed back to the store through messaging, promotions and offers. 

The retailers that can meet those customer demands will be the ones best prepared for 2021 and beyond. 

To learn more about the power of loyalty, visit us at or call 617-649-3300, ext. 5.

This post is sponsored by Paytronix