Major Oil is taking a fresh look at opportunities offered by loyalty programs at the c-store level.

Major Oil companies are eager to explore ways in which loyalty programs can drive customers to the pump. So how can c-stores capitalize on Major Oil’s newfound interest in customer loyalty?

The loyalty program is a must-have for convenience retailers. Seventy-three percent already have a loyalty program. The majority (97 percent) say their programs have been in place for over a year and many of them (36 percent) for more than five years, according to PDI’s 2019 C-Store Shopper Report.

Fuel retail operators and Major Oil marketers should also note that loyalty programs help shape consumer behavior, especially c-store customers. The average member spends $11.17 per visit, which is 29 percent higher than the amount ($8.66) a nonmember spends, according to the C-Store Shopper Report.

Major Oil and Loyalty Programs

Single-site operators constitute the biggest segment in fuel retailing. Partnership with a Major Oil loyalty program is a practical and cost-effective option for small operators seeking to expand their customer reach without having to create their own programs from scratch. Adopting an existing program means the single-site operator would be capitalizing on the built-in success of the program, which would otherwise take many years and a big investment to launch and promote. Major Oil typically provides a loyalty mobile app, plus a marketing team and strategy to support the program. For example, Shell partners with PDI to operate the Fuel Rewards® program, with over 20 million members. The program’s great success has attracted brands across categories to participate as merchants.

A Major Oil loyalty program is also not limited to specific regions. For the single-site operator, this means a broader brand exposure and greater opportunity for its customers to participate and earn rewards from any site.

Big oil companies are taking a fresh look at opportunities offered by convenience retailers for a good reason. There’s nothing quite as effective in promoting their brands as the frequent and direct interactions between c-stores and loyalty members. On top of it, loyalty programs generate crucial customer data that provides insights into customer behaviors to help in business planning.

Benefits of Loyalty Programs

Convenience retailers planning to develop a loyalty program or partner with existing Major Oil loyalty programs can expand their customer reach significantly and enjoy these advantages:

  • Loyalty programs help attract new customers. Take advantage of the fact that the majority of consumers (59 percent) join loyalty programs primarily to earn rewards on everyday purchases. Use the program as an incentive for new customers to visit your c-store and keep coming back. It’s even better if a loyalty program can feature fuel savings as its centerpiece because fuel savings remain the most valued reward for a majority (55 percent) of consumers. A holistic, end-to-end solution — capable of automating offers, tracking and rewards redemption as well as providing robust tools for mobile app development, geotargeting, and dynamic customer engagement — can greatly improve a loyalty program.
  • Loyalty programs generate customer data and insights that can inform business decisions. The loyalty program is a data-driven source of information about consumers, and that’s why 72 percent of c-stores collect customer data through their programs. They can use the information to make business decisions, such as the types of promotions and rewards to offer customers or whether it’s time to invest in a mobile app. Going back to our example, a cents-per-gallon program like Fuel Rewards® takes full advantage of what customer data reveals about consumer expectations — they love fuel savings.

Loyalty programs help expand brand exposure the best way possible — on a member-to-member basis and on a personal level. The loyalty landscape has never looked more promising for convenience retailers and Major Oil alike as right now.

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