11 May, 2021

3 ways to keep your C-store customers coming back

Simply put, customer loyalty means customers are more likely to return to your business than the competition’s. And repeat business is one of the most valuable consumer behaviors. There is no denying that return customers are worth more than new customers. But 44% of companies have a greater focus on customer acquisition vs the 18% that focus on retention (Saleh, 2019). Which category do you fall into?

According to Forbes (Rioux, 2020):
It costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an old customer
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% will increase profits anywhere from 25% up to 95%

In a tight-margin industry that monitors gasoline prices down to the half-penny, dropping price to gain loyalty is not always an option. So, what are your current strategies to develop life-long customers? And what are some of your choices? Considering four of the top five drivers of customer engagement are related to experience, it is vital you work to develop relationships with your customers instead of working to close individual sales.

3 ways to keep your C-store customers coming back

Enhance experience

The days of dimly lit forecourts with damaged canopies are behind us. To keep customers coming inside, it is important to make them feel invited and safe throughout their visit. Whether greeting customers at the pump or greeting them when they walk through your door, the power of feeling welcome is undeniable in driving loyalty.

But customers visit c-stores for a reason, so the top priority is to meet the varying needs that customers are seeking. Forecourt customers need quickly and accurately dispensed fuel. Non-fueling customers need quick checkouts and accurate inventory available. Meeting customer needs consistently will develop a longer-term relationship as you become a resource your customers can depend on. And never forget to thank them for their business – out loud, on paper, or through
an app.

Promote rewards

Leverage the strength of your oil brand’s loyalty program or create your own. Work to integrate rewards that can be redeemed for fuel and in-store purchases to drive customers inside. While the fuel portion of their visit will drive customers to your property, the merchandise portion will encourage customers to step inside your store.

Did you know the average American consumer is a member of 15 different loyalty programs, but only engages with seven (Bond, 2019)? Make your program one of the seven by tailoring rewards to purchase history, incentivizing in-store visits and reaching out to customers that have not visited your business for an extended period. The cost of reconnecting is less than initial outreach, and customers appreciate the feeling of being valued.

3 ways to keep your C-store customers coming back

Leverage technology

Technology levels the playing field and enables every size retailer to meet customers in their comfort zone. Platforms available today are capable of remaining intuitive for the traditional crowd, while expanding to meet the complex needs of the modern consumer.

Loyalty starts at the pump. Provide a fast, secure, EMV-compliant transaction through reliable dispensers equipped with modern technology. Capitalize on the captive audience at the dispenser by utilizing platforms that deliver targeted ads before, during and after fueling. Upgrade to contactless payment solutions while delivering advertisements that gain attention, drive interest and close sales.

3 ways to keep your C-store customers coming back

In a world full of noise, send a clear message: Your store is customer-centric, customized and
convenient. The Wayne Ovation® fuel dispenser with the DFS Anthem UX™ user experience platform is every retailer’s key to capturing new customers and the data you need to keep them. Learn more today.

Useful Links

Saleh, Khalid. “Customer Acquisition Vs.Retention Costs – Statistics And Trends.” Invesp, 11 Nov. 2019, www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/.

Rioux, Patricia. “The Value Of Investing In Loyal Customers.” Forbes, 29 Jan. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/01/29/the-value-of-investing-in-loyal-customers/?sh=6a7e729021f6.

Bond Brand Loyalty. “The Loyalty Report.” HubSpot, Sep 2019, https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/352767/TLR%202019/Bond_US%20TLR19%20Exec%20Summary%20Launch%20Edition.pdf.