Duchess Stores Sees 125% Increase in Loyalty Program Membership

HEATH, Ohio — Paytronix Systems Inc. named Duchess convenience stores the winner of the 2019 Paytronix Loyaltee's Award for Exceptional Customer Engagement. The retailer was selected based on the 125 percent increase in registered members of Crown Card Rewards, its revamped loyalty program, less than a year after the program's launch.

Duchess's previous loyalty program was a traditional points system that awarded customers points based on purchases, which could then be redeemed for fuel discounts. Due to the margin on fuel often being much lower than on in-store products, the program had an expensive structure, and in May 2018 Duchess worked with Paytronix to relaunch its loyalty program with a focus more on capturing customers' behavior to increase incremental visit lift and check spend, according to the companies.

Crown Card Rewards now offers discounts on fountain beverages and coffee in order to encourage customers to become members of the program. Once registered, Duchess can see overall customer purchase behaviors and visit trends in order to better engage with customers and target them for specific, relevant campaigns. The campaigns are then analyzed, allowing Duchess to narrow down the most effective target groups, campaign types and rewards offered, in order to provide the highest ROI.

"Our previous loyalty program was structured in a way that didn't allow us any insight into customer behavior making it very difficult to engage with them and offer relevant promotions," said Julia Sacchetti, Duchess customer loyalty specialist. "Since relaunching our Crown Card rewards program we have seen measurable ROI, and due to the data insight from Paytronix we can strategically engage with guests, increasing the value for them while also growing our customer base."

Results from the revamped program also showed that:

  • Numerous Duchess c-stores across the chain surpassed their penetration and registration goals of 20 percent, with some locations reaching nearly 40 percent.
  • The brand has seen a 59 percent lift in penetration year over year since the program relaunch.
  • Among lapsed customer promotions, Duchess has seen a visit lift of 21 percent and a spend lift of 25 percent.

Additional benefits include sweepstakes, members-only pricing, club programs and in-store redemption items. Duchess was also able to offset some program costs through increasing vendor partnerships and participation within the Crown Card program. Together, the program components and vendor partnerships have been effective in increasing monthly visits and incremental check spend while lowering the cost of the program, according to the company.

"With Paytronix's powerful data insight tools, Duchess is well positioned to get to know more of and engage with its guests while rolling out campaigns that target specific customer segments," said Michelle Tempesta, head of marketing, Paytronix Systems. "Duchess has seen tremendous growth with its loyalty program in the last year and we're excited to continue to help the company understand its customers and grow its business."

Heath, Ohio-based Duchess, the retail arm of Englefield Oil Co., operates 120 c-stores in Ohio and West Virginia.