NACS 2015 is fast approaching. The convenience store industry continues to evolve with many exciting innovations and trends. It will be great to see this first hand at the upcoming NACS Show in Vegas from October 11th through the 14th. One of my favorite events at NACS is the “Ideas 2 Go” session that takes place the last day of the show. I encourage all of you who are attending to not miss this, as it is a great showcase for new and innovative ideas in our industry.
Now, let’s look at what we see as trends in the industry that impact your business and how loyalty fits into these trends:
- Stores continue to dramatically improve their in-store appearance and offerings. This includes a broader set of items, more fresh and healthy choices, and a clean and appealing environment.
- We see a trend away from gas discounts, and more about in-store product promotions. Yes, your gas price needs to be competitive, but the real opportunity is to drive your customer’s in-store with great offers and clubs. Your real opportunity for a positive return for your program is by increasing the in-store purchases.
- The trend away from grocery store partnerships continues. This makes a lot of sense as far as broadening the appeal of your loyalty programs to more than just the customers that happen to also shop your grocery partner. Also, with the expanded offerings at c-stores, they are more in direct competition with those same grocery partners as far as offerings.
- Mobile is expanding, with a new trend toward beacon technology as well. The biggest challenge in this area continues to be customer adoption. Will your customers download an app for your store if it’s only about your loyalty program? We think not. It needs to be a lot broader in functionality and value to your customers.
- Less paper and cards. With busy consumers that won’t carry the extra card and don’t want to take the time to enroll in a program, we anticipate rapid adoption of total digital programs with no cards or paper. For Tecmark, this includes functions like “text to join” and all promotions delivered by email, text, or mobile.
- Point based programs are starting to surface. With these programs, you can really provide extra value to your customers through targeted offers, customers can earn valuable awards over time, and you can reach out to partners to join your program so your customers can earn points from them as well.
Tecmark will be exhibiting again at this year’s show, booth #5604 in the Technology Area. We would love to see you stop by our booth to meet our team and learn more about our solutions that deliver true loyalty from your customers. If you can’t make it to our booth, be sure to call us for a one-on-one discussion and see if you quality for a free ROI that will show you what loyalty can do for the bottom line of your business.
Founder & CEO