At NACS 2023 Twice Daily’s Director of Marketing Eric Rush joined Paytronix Chief Revenue Officer Charles Gray on stage to discuss how the brand is taking off thanks to its Digital Guest Engagement program. The fast-growing brand launched made-to-order in all its locations after revamping its mobile app with Paytronix Online Ordering earlier in 2023, and now it’s leveraging Paytronix Strategy & Analytics to personalize the loyalty experience. Here’s what the audience learned.
The economics of loyalty programs: ROI and buy-in go hand-in-hand.
Since revamping its mobile app in April, Twice Daily attributes more than 34% of checks to its loyalty program. The brand’s online ordering, enhanced with personalized loyalty segmentation, has grown 400% since January. When asked for the strategies behind those numbers, Rush talked about buy-in as the fuel.
“The stores with fully engaged employees have higher mobile ordering numbers and redemption rates. If you can get a store leader or district leader involved and really believing in the program, those will be your best stores,” Rush said.
That begins with treating loyalty as a collective business decision, he said. “This isn’t a marketing program. If it feels like a marketing thing, then it’ll get treated like marketing things. And we know how that goes… But if it’s a company-wide program, then everybody gets in on it. When the VP of operations is talking about something, that’s when ears go up, and that’s what you need internally,” Rush said.
“We had a general manager conference in May. The CEO, CFO, CMO and VP of Marketing, all on stage, at some point, spoke about the loyalty program. Since then, we’ve seen loyalty penetration throughout our stores grow by four to five percent,” Rush said.
With sugary snacks and cigarettes on the decline, loyalty programs transition customers to food service.
After Twice Daily launched made-to-order food services, it leveraged Paytronix Strategy & Analytics to send segmented food service offers to customers who had bought the same items in prepackaged form.
“We are establishing ourselves as a food service offering that sells fuel, not a gas station that sells some sandwiches,” Rush said. “And making that switch is real hard. It takes time. The point of a loyalty program here is to convert people over to made-to-order food with segmentation.”
And thanks to Paytronix Mobile Experience Builder, Twice Daily offers customers the same customization and speedy communications they would receive in store, on their phone.
Leverage vendor funding to acquire customers, segment to retain them.
Twice Daily leans on vendor-funded promotions to build its marketable database with offers that appeal to everyone. From there, customers follow a personalized nurturing flow that drives them to the critical third-visit, at which point customer lifetime value triples and their likelihood to visit reaches 88%.
“You have to lean on CPG vendors,” Rush said. “It’s crucial to getting [loyalty] off the ground.” Twice Daily is leveraging Paytronix reporting to provide vendors with the data they need and more in exchange for free items to reward customers.
As Twice Daily “fills the funnel” of new customers, Rush explained the loyalty program grows more personalized and complex to keep customers engaged. “As we get further into our program and the data gets a little richer, we have the ability to segment out and start doing promotions that feel more unique to each guest,” Rush said. “From something like National Peanut Butter Lovers Day down to individual offers based on guest preference. You start broad and work your way down. As you get more data, you get smarter and artificial intelligence kicks in,” Rush said.
“And that leads to strong retention,” Gray added. “If a customer feels like an offer is unique to them, they are more likely to visit.”
Plan for an AI-Driven Future
With 1:1 campaigns and day-of-week segmentation to drive messaging engagement, Twice Daily is already leveraging artificial intelligence. But as the brand looks toward the future of its guest engagement strategy, Rush explained he hopes to use artificial intelligence to further personalize menus, loyalty offers, and email subject lines.
“We’re trying to get AI to do as much as possible, without replacing us,” Rush said. “Right now, we’re using day-of-week scores to send customers messages based on their opening times and days. Same with push-pull messages from the app. Eventually, I’d like to use AI to test subject lines.”
“And the other piece is the mobile ordering menu optimization based on what they’re already ordering. Like Amazon, I want my menu to look different than someone else’s menu. And that way, when we run promotions based on categories we know they’re shopping, that will drive a higher return.”
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