One thing that Anthony Perrine, owner of Lou Perrine’s Gas & Grocery, Kenosha, Wis., learned about the “carrot/stick” dynamic that underpins c-store loyalty card programs is this: Cash rules, but too many program requirements definitely don’t rule.
Referring to his loyalty program as a “killer program” with 12,000 members, Perrine says the “people sign up for it because we give them cash back—they have to use the cash here in the store, but cash is the thing that incentivizes them. They accumulate points and the points earn cash. There’s not a lot of heavy lifting involved either, such as having to go online. You spend money and we give it back to you.”
Consumers are seeking some level of reform across several areas of concern around loyalty programs, including arduous information requirements to enroll, and protracted payoff time cycles.
Research from St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Kobie Marketing, which consults on best-practices loyalty-building strategies, found that half of respondents to a recent survey felt deterred from joining new loyalty programs because the sponsor company asked for too much information in the enrollment process. Twenty-two percent, meanwhile, said it takes too long to accumulate rewards.
Click though to view seven popular c-store, fuel, car wash and lube oil service-driven loyalty programs that strive to remain a cut above the norm.