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Blog Series
09/15/2022

Taking the First Step in a Mobile Journey

Yatco sees a change in customer behavior with its recent rewards campaign.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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mobile app for reward program

Small operators can compete with larger chains by thinking big. Just ask Yatco. The retailer, which operates 20 convenience stores in New England, recognized the benefits of using technology to attract repeat customers and gather data on those shoppers, and went all-in on rolling out its first mobile app and rewards program.

Launched in late 2021, Yatco used in-store signage, social media and QR codes at retail — among other methods — to get the message out. The marketing push is working. As of June, only six months from rollout, the small operator's mobile app had more than 5,000 registered users. While that number may not rank among bigger chains, it is quite impressive considering Yatco's network spans 20 locations, not hundreds or thousands.  

The chief reasons for a rewards program are to build up a loyal customer base and learn the behaviors of those customers. As Northborough, Mass.-based Yatco found, a rewards program can also be used to change customer behavior. An early July campaign aimed at rewards members resulted in an increase in basket size and in-store spend.

There are lessons to be learned everywhere, you just have to look. Yatco's experience with its first mobile app and rewards program offers one important lesson for small operators who want to compete in a crowded channel: you don’t need to be big to think big.

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