The evolution of loyalty programs over the course of several decades has impacted how the airline, hospitality, and restaurant industries create relationships with their respective customers. To date, we have seen these industries move along a trajectory from paper to electronic stamp cards; basic point systems to tiered loyalty programs; to leveraging compiled customer data to emotional engagement and integration. The airline industry led the pack in the late 1970s, followed by the hotel industry in the 1980s, and then the restaurant industry in the 2000s. These loyalty programs across all sectors have built relationships by rewarding customers for their purchase behavior.
While other industries have moved programs toward more sophisticated use of the data gained from operating loyalty programs, convenience store programs in general seem to be stuck in the 80’s in terms of how data is leveraged to connect with customers in a relevant, motivational manner. The majority are offering programs that are centered on CPG promotions funded by partners and offering fuel rewards in the form of cents off the gallon. […]