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Store: North Albany IGA (Myers Group) Location: North Albany, Oregon Submitted by: Lauren Myers
At North Albany IGA (and three of our other stores), we run a points-based loyalty program, partnering with a company called AppCard. For every $1 a customer spends, they earn 10 points. Customers can then redeem discounted items once they’ve accumulated enough points. For example, for 1,500 points, a customer can earn a free loaf of IGA white or wheat bread. They can use 2,500 points toward a quart of Tillamook ice cream, paying just $2.99 extra. We run promotions on around 50 products on a quarterly basis, and feature three to five deals a week on additional products. About a 25 percent of the promotions are for free items, the rest are discounted, and the majority are IGA-brand or other private label products.
In addition to determining which products to run promotions on, the loyalty program coordinators along with our AppCard consultants can access data on purchasing trends, promotion performance, the average sale amount per shopping trip, you name it. We use that information to run campaigns targeting specific groups of shoppers. For example, we ran a “declining top shopper promo” where we sent an email to 100 shoppers who fell out of the top tier in the last period. As an incentive, we offered those shoppers a coupon for $5 off a $50 purchase. That coupon would also print out on their receipt at checkout as another reminder.
Our most successful campaign to date was to encourage repeat visits. We let all our loyalty card members know that if they spent $30 or more each week for a month (4 weeks), they would receive a $5 off coupon. That campaign had a great response. In the end, 60 percent of customers who qualified used the coupon, spending an average of $55 on that trip.
By the Numbers
11,412 member signups from April 2018 through 2019
60% of customers with a coupon used it
63% of transactions are from loyalty members
WHY IT WORKS
For Our Shoppers
Customized program. The main thing that differentiates our program is that it’s tailored to each shopper. They have access to lots of great deals and coupons, customized to their shopping preferences. The great thing about using a loyalty program like AppCard is you can deliver the deals that shoppers are looking for and will respond to.
For Our Store
Increased sales. The average basket size is almost $10 more for loyalty members vs. non-loyalty members and approximately 63 percent of sales are from loyalty member transactions.
Do your research into the rewards program and make sure you’re choosing one that’s a good fit for your business.
Take advantage of the training and resources offered through the rewards card company. It can be a learning process, and we found AppCard is great with getting stores up and running by providing example promotions, helping with data analysis, and sharing what works for other retailers.
Dedicate an employee to analyze the data. That person can coordinate with each department in the store to identify underperformers and create promotions designed to boost sales in those categories.
The important piece of a successful rewards program is to make people feel they are special and let them know they are a meaningful member of your community. A lot of that comes from the face-to-face interaction at the register. We encourage our cashiers to point out the point balance and bring attention to the coupons on the receipt and say something like, “Thanks for shopping here. Wow, you have xxxx points you can use toward your next purchase!”
When you are signing up customers for the rewards program, stress the importance of getting both an email address and phone number, and ask them to make sure they opt-in to receive the messages.
Set some goals to work toward. For example, in 2020, we plan to do more to push local products and highlight our local vendors.