Convenience Store Loyalty Programs – Why we love “Surprise and Delight” strategy

Written by Joel Mohan

September 4, 2020

Convenience Store Loyalty Programs – Why we love “Surprise and Delight” strategy

So what is “Surprise and Delight” and why do we think it’s a perfect complement or primary means to rewarding customers? Surprise & Delight is a mechanism to provide experiences, offers, rewards, etc. to consumers for no apparent reason….. 

That is not entirely true.  

Surprise & Delight is conveyed to the consumer in this manner, but behind the scenes there are calculations that trigger when it’s time to issue that special something in order to keep the consumer happy and engaged. In recent years, the concept has started to gain significant transaction with many programs implementing this concept as the primary method of rewards or as a complement.   A recent study from study from by LoyaltyOne showed that 94% of customers who received a surprise gift felt more positive about the company and 34% of them said it impacted their decision making in giving the company more business. 

So why does it work so well?

At Velocity Logic, the first feature for our convenience store loyalty program technology was the Surprise & Delight rewards. Our ability to track customers’ transactions and basket behavior allows us to reward them at the right time and with the right reward. There is nothing more a consumer wants from a brand than to understand them and reward them with something of value in exchange for their business. In the convenience store space, this can be simple items like coffee and fountain drinks. You can also offer more high end in-store products and fuel. It all depends on the value of the customer and relevant rewards. 

Examples include to reward customers after they have purchased $20 from inside the convenience store which could be ~4 transactions or surprise them with a reward after their first purchase. Our goal is to measure at what threshold do we see customer frequency and spend begin to drop off and how can we interject value. For each retailer, the numbers are different, but you get it. Let’s not forget the traditional Anniversary and Birthday rewards which are great, but we tend to like ones that are based on behavior.  

As a program operator, there are many reasons to love a Surprise & Delight strategy. First, the only real difference between this and a standard points program is that in the points program you display the balance. While with Surprise & Delight you hold it internally, but still reward customers based on thresholds and behaviors. Why is this a good thing? Well, once your currency is communicated in the marketplace, changing the value due to unforeseen circumstances is challenging while with Surprise & Delight this information can be modified because it’s not in the public domain. Depending on the program metrics you can make the program more or less rich at any given time.

Our Advice

At Velocity Logic, our c-store rewards platform has other reward features like Points, Cents Off Per Gallon, Brand Cash, Third Party Rewards, Instant Rewards, Clubs & Coupons. We believe a truly successful program has a combination of rewards to continuously engage the customer. Giving them aspirational goals while also providing simple, but relevant rewards in a surprise & delight model can be extremely rewarding for you and the customer. When discussing loyalty program options, make sure to keep S&D at the forefront of your mind for both the customer and your own interest. We like to set specific thresholds based on customer behavior at a visit or spend level and provide ample reward items for customers to choose from. Once customers hit these thresholds, we provide reward choices to them and always ensure one of them is an item that has been purchased. We like to throw an anchor reward to always be there, a relevant reward based on past spend, and potentially a manufactured funded reward .  

If you are ready to serve your customers with a full suite of reward solutions, contact us for a demo so we can share our features and concepts on how we can help your business succeed. From simple discount programs like tobacco, to more complex programs with points, S&D, gamification, and third party rewards, we know what works for your business. 

For more information on Velocity Logic, contact vik at [email protected]

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