NEW YORK — More than a dozen convenience store chains and fuel retailers are among the brands being recognized for their loyalty programs.
Newsweek recently announced its America's Best Loyalty Programs 2022, and ranking among notable loyalty programs like DDperks by Dunkin' and Starbucks Rewards by Starbucks are:
- Wawa Inc. (Wawa Rewards)
- QuikTrip Corp. (QT Rewards)
- 7-Eleven Inc. (7Rewards)
- Sheetz Inc. (My Sheetz Rewardz)
- Cumberland Farms (SmartPay Rewards)
- Sunoco (Sunoco Go Rewards)
- Casey's General Stores Inc. (Casey's Rewards)
- Kwik Trip Inc. (Kwik Rewards)
- Circle K (Easy Rewards)
- Shell (Fuel Rewards)
- Murphy USA Inc. (Murphy Drive Rewards)
- Speedway (Speedy Rewards)
- MAPCO (MY Rewards)
- ExxonMobil (Exxon Mobil Rewards + Premium)
Seven of the brands' loyalty programs are making repeated showings. Sheetz, Kwik Trip, QuikTrip, 7-Eleven, Cumberland Farms, Casey's and Circle K all appeared on Newsweek's America's Best Loyalty Programs 2021.
According to Newsweek, it is estimated that the average U.S. household is enrolled in 18 loyalty programs. "The challenge for companies is not getting customers to sign up, but motivating them to become truly engaged program users; research shows that consumers only actively use half of the plans they're enrolled in. The challenge for consumers is to decide which of the crowd of programs vying for their attention are worthwhile," said Nancy Cooper, Newsweek's global editor in chief.
When it comes to loyalty programs, brands have adopted different strategies to stand out. According to Cooper, they include gamification and integrating loyalty programs with payment systems.
Newsweek partnered with market and consumer data firm Statista to compile the rankings.
The 2022 ranking of America's Best Loyalty Programs was compiled based on the results of an independent survey of more than 4,000 U.S. customers who are members of loyalty programs of retailers or service providers in the U.S Customers were given the opportunity to evaluate various loyalty programs: around 20,000 evaluations were collected. The survey period ran from October to November 2021.
The final assessment and rankings were based on six criteria ease and enjoyment; benefit; overall satisfaction; customer support; trust; and recommendation.
In a late 2021 Convenience Store News webinar entitled "How to Make Your Mobile App Stand Out in the Crowd", Ryan DiLello, a content specialist with Paytronix Systems Inc., said that a loyalty program is an integral part of any mobile app.
A study conducted by Paytronix in collaboration with PYMNTS found that loyalty program mobile app users typically spend 10 percent to 20 percent more a month, and visit 20 percent to 30 percent more frequently a month.
"Not only is a loyalty program an easy way to drive more customer engagement and revenue, it is also — as we are finding — an increasingly demanded service from a smartphone app," DiLello said.
But there is no one cookie-cutter approach to loyalty programs. "The best loyalty program is one that fits and accentuates the edge your business has over the competition and does well to serve what you want to deliver to your customers and what they care about," he explained.