What if most stores – and even Amazon – are getting frictionless shopping wrong? What would it mean for brands that are trying to do things differently?
Kim Otocki, a member of the Paytronix marketing team, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gus Olympidis, the president and CEO of Family Express. His c-store brand has firmly established itself as a leader in the frictionless experience, and Olympidis had a lot of wisdom to offer other c-store owners who are trying to follow suit.
“We’re beginning to see a movement away from demographics, toward psychographics,” said Olympidis, pointing out that the cookie-cutter approach of segmenting by generations doesn’t work nearly as well as it used to. A group like the millennials, he points out, is far too large and diverse to use as a guide for consumer wants, needs, and behaviors.
The key to serving consumers best, says Olympidis, is doing everything a c-store can to understand them, independent of their demographic. In order to accomplish this, c-stores need the kind of data insights that will let them treat their customers as individuals instead of members of a broad group.
Some of these insights can be provided by digital loyalty programs and digital customer relationship management. But according to Olympidis, one of the biggest mistakes brands are making right now is assuming that technology equates to a frictionless customer experience.
In fact, he believes that “bad technology creates friction.” Anything that makes it more difficult for consumers to get what they want increases friction, and that can absolutely include technology. […]
It’s not news to any c-store owner that competition for customers and spend is higher than ever. In addition to the many direct competitors in the industry, convenience stores have to contend with fast-food restaurants, big-box retailers like Walmart and Target, and even online giants like Amazon.
The c-stores that continue to thrive despite these challengers will be the ones that best adapt their businesses to meet new consumer trends, wants, and needs.
In addition to offering reward programs, one of the biggest requests by customers is online ordering and delivery. In the past, c-stores might have thought implementing an online ordering system wouldn’t apply to their business – but times have changed and this is only the beginning.
Here are a few eye-opening statistics that should catch any c-store owner’s attention:
- 60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once per week.
- 34% of consumers spend at least $50 per online food order.
- 20% of consumers say they spend more on off-premises orders than on dine-in/on-premises purchases.
- The increase in digital ordering and delivery has been 300% greater than that of dine-in traffic since 2014.
- 52% of millennials indicate that they would purchase more often from c-stores if delivery were offered.
It couldn’t be clearer that in order to effectively compete for the consumer dollar, convenience stores need to incorporate online ordering (and if at all possible, delivery) into their strategies.
But how does a c-store implement a proper plan? Which elements are essential and which ones can be skipped? What kind of customer data needs to be captured, and how should that data be used? Most importantly, how do convenience stores choose the right online ordering platform?
We’ve put together a free, on-demand webinar to answer all of these questions and many others.
Titled “Why C-Stores Need Online Ordering,” the session will provide even more statistics and facts to prove just how critical online ordering is to the success of convenience stores. It will also give you an action plan to begin mapping out an online ordering system for your c-store.
Click here to watch this free, half-hour webinar now.
Technology continues to change the relationship between guests and their favorite brands. Today, one-click ordering, cashless payments, and subscriptions deliver frictionless purchase experiences. To meet rising expectations, restaurants and c-stores must provide guests with easy and hassle-free checkout, and a great way to accomplish this is with NFC Loyalty ID.
NFC, which stands for near-field communication, enables two devices to exchange data when they are brought into close proximity of each other. By simply tapping their phones at an NFC-enabled payment terminal, guests complete their purchase without having to dig through their purses or wallets to find a means of payment, and Paytronix passes along their identification for the brand’s guest engagement program. If they are not members already, the device will display a message inviting them to join the program.
Here are the five biggest benefits of integrating NFC Loyalty ID into your service offerings:
- Improve line speed. Being able to transmit data and complete a transaction with just one tap reduces waiting time at the register. In addition to benefiting your busy guests, it makes transactions quicker and smoother for the cashier.
- Heighten data security and quality. With NFC payment, sensitive credit card data is stored by the mobile wallet providers, but not by the restaurant or c-store. Guests can feel confident when paying with mobile wallets since they are more secure than swiping.
- Gain insight into guest behavior. Knowing the visit times, locations, and transaction details for each guest enables brands to send targeted communications and offers.
- Engage a younger demographic. Those who use Apple Pay and Google Pay are typically about five years younger than a brand’s average guest.
- Enjoy higher check averages. When guests are earning visit credit via mobile payment with NFC Loyalty ID, they tend to spend more.
NFC Loyalty ID represents the intersection of convenient payment and guest engagement. Through innovative technology, retailers can provide frictionless guest experiences while at the same time capturing data and offering easy enrollment in a loyalty program.
You won’t want to miss out on the chance to increase guest engagement by capturing key data that will enhance your one-to-one marketing strategy. Paytronix was the first to market with this new technology, which is now live in more than 2,000 locations. For more information, watch Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Payment.
Do you plan your marketing campaigns months in advance? Do you run the same basic campaigns on a regular basis? Do all of your guests receive identical offers? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, read on to learn how leveraging new technology and changing your approach to a one-to-one model will revitalize your customer engagement program.
Imagine that it’s a random Tuesday and your boss says, “We need to get more guests through the door.” You respond by carefully crafting a “We Miss You” campaign to send out to guests who typically visit often but haven’t been in for a while. You send all of them a visit challenge that promises a reward if they come in once in the next 30 days.
While these types of campaigns are generally effective, is 30 days the right time frame for everyone? In reality, a challenge that has the same message, the same period of time, and the same reward can’t work for everyone. If you send this challenge to guests who usually visit every day, why would you reward them for coming in once in 30 days?
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-based marketing tools, one-to-one offers and challenges are auto-targeted for each guest. Whereas, one guest may be asked to visit three times to earn a particular reward, a more active guest may be asked to visit five times to earn a different reward. One-to-one marketing enables you to target guests based on their individual visit behavior. You simply set the parameters – How much do you want to spend? Are guests required to visit within a certain time frame? What are the respective rewards for the challenge? The AI-based system processes these rules to deliver a personalized brand experience to each customer.
As with any type of campaign, Paytronix doesn’t lock you in to a basic set of off-the-shelf promotions. One-to-one campaigns can be leveraged in several ways depending on your brand and business objectives.
- One-to-One Cadence Rule/Uploader: This version of the one-to-one challenge is “On Visit X, use this reward.” And the intelligent algorithm we’ve created will determine the best challenge for each guest.
- One-to-One Continuous/Lapsed Designation: This option enables you to send targeted campaigns all year long, rather than doing so on specific days. You also aren’t limited to a set number of tiers that your guests fall into. For example, typically you have tiers such as; guests that visit less than three times, three to five times, or more than five times. With one-to-one continuous campaigns, you can have an endless number of tiers. Manually, this would take an exorbitant amount of time to craft and set up, but with this feature, guests are auto-targeted for you.
- One-to-One Points/Visit Challenge: This version enables you to vary the thresholds and timeline for a guest’s offer. Some guests may be asked to visit two times in a month for a reward, while others may get a week to visit once to complete the challenge.
Giving control of your promotions to a “machine” can be scary. This feature gives you peace of mind that you are still in control, just with less manual work. You can monitor how your one-to-one campaigns are performing and adjust the parameters in real time to achieve your desired results.
Stop wasting time and brain power on manual campaigns and maximize the return on your marketing investment with a little help from AI. Learn how – by calling Paytronix at 617-649-3300, extension 5 or request a demo today.