Tobacco

Loyalty Building Momentum for Murphy USA

Program ties rewards to specific changes in behavior
Photograph: Shutterstock

EL DORADO, Ark. — The Murphy Drive Rewards (MDR) program is growing in sophistication, with Murphy USA officials describing the newfound ability to “target very discrete customer behaviors.”

The loyalty technology allows the convenience retailer to “focus marketing dollars only on behaviors we want to change, and not overreward other changes,” said Andrew Clyde, president and CEO of the El Dorado, Ark.-based convenience-store chain, during the company’s Oct. 31 investor call. “There’s a lot more upside to come from that as we learn how to do that better and better and with scale and more automation.”

Another strong benefit from the loyalty program is what Clyde called “stickiness” from participants even as specific promotions end.

In other tobacco news from Murphy, Clyde said the company hasn't seen “headwinds” from announcements that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made earlier in the fall, expressing concerns about illnesses and even deaths potentially linked to vaping. Since that initial announcement, the CDC has made a potential breakthrough in finding evidence of vitamin E acetate in a sample number of patients, possibly linking the reported cases to tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana that is not in most e-cigarettes or nicotine-delivery products).

Commenting on the fuel side, Clyde said MDR has helped increase volumes, but so has its retail pricing initiatives at the pump.

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