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Case Study: Forward Corp. Brings More Value to Forward Rewards with Migration to Paytronix

Download this case study to learn how 30-unit Forward Corp revitalized its well-loved, 10-year-old program.

Today, the team is able to attract more members to the program, motivate additional visits, and boost spend while delivering more value to its guests and the brand. Plus, the new program removed several operational and transactional challenges.

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The Organization Headquartered in Standish, Mich., Forward Corp. offers a multitude of products and services designed to meet the needs of the traveling public and local communities of Northeast Michigan. The company operates 30 convenience stores across a 12-county area with quality fuels and a professional staff. Forward Convenience Store Logo Blue Transparent

The Challenge

Successful reward programs must provide value to the customer as well as the brand. Launched in 2006, the original Forward Rewards Program required customers to identify themselves via a key fob, and too much time was required for manual entry of the registration forms. When rewards were earned, a paper coupon automatically printed from a device that occupied valuable real estate on the check-out counter. When redeemed, cashiers had to read the fine print to ensure the purchase was qualified for the coupon redemption. Coupons were then collected for the purpose of tracking redemptions.

On the operations side, the brand’s IT group faced a continuous maintenance commitment to ensure the hardware located on the pumps and in store was working, had ink and had a supply of paper. Plus, if the paper ran out unexpectedly when a coupon was being printed, the only way for a customer to receive that coupon was to wait for the corporate office to reissue the coupon, and then the customer had to wait until their next visit to get the coupon printed.

The challenge was to revitalize the program by securing a new software partner and relaunching the program across the 30 locations. 

The Solution On Nov. 1, 2016, Forward launched a new user-friendly rewards program built on the Paytronix Rewards platform. Integrated directly with Forward’s Verifone Commander POS system, the new program bolsters the value the program delivers to both the brand and its customers.

Value to the customer.
Today, Forward Rewards members can join the program at their convenience either in store at a kiosk, online or via the brand’s new mobile iOS or Android App. Once a member, customers can identify themselves by swiping their membership card or providing their phone number at the credit card terminal. Plus, points are accrued automatically and all reward logic is on board with the POS via the Paytronix integration. Customers can now decide how to spend their reward program currency – redeem them for free products or gas discounts, or bank them to be redeemed for additional sweepstakes entries – the customer decides when and how to redeem them. Paper coupon clutter is a thing of the past.

Value to the brand.  
The new technology has removed a barrier to joining Forward Rewards. As a result, the brand is capturing twice as much customer purchase behavior data, more customers are joining and more customers are remaining active in the program.

Operational advantages abound. Forward Corp. spends less time entering data from registration forms, tallying coupon redemptions and maintaining peripheral hardware. Plus, the marketing team has a new set of messaging and reporting tools they leverage to further motivate targeted spending and visit behaviors. In fact, the email capabilities are so easy and cost-effective to use that Forward has increased the number of email campaigns it conducts. They are leveraging the reporting tools and testing programs to see where they can get a lift in incremental sales by measuring campaign performance. 

Results In the first month, Forward Rewards saw 11,958 activations. Of those activations, 6,197 members registered their account; a majority provided their email address and opted in to receive messages.

Forward is driving in an additional 500 – 800 monthly visits with its new We Miss You email program. The program is designed to automatically target those members who have had a decrease in behavior over the previous 30 days. In addition, its monthly birthday program compels about 2,000 visits per month. More powerful programs and promotions are on the way as Forward continues to build its member base.