Family Express Declares War on “Friction”

Family Express looks to deliver a seamless customer experience.

Family Express Corp. (FE) of Valparaiso, Ind. is announcing the collaboration of some of the most forward-thinking technology providers in the retail space in order to facilitate the strategic reduction of digital friction from its customer engagement experience.

With the evolution of technology and how it impacts consumer behavior and retail, the idea of frictionless experiences has never been more profound. One-click ordering, curbside delivery, no wait check out…consumers want and demand a digital experience that is streamlined across your stores, your products and even your culture.

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FE has partnered with a constellation of best-in-class providers to create a technology ecosystem with the ultimate objective of delivering a seamless customer experience consistent with the expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.

The technology collaboration includes Paytronix as the primary loyalty provider, Olo as the online ordering platform, National Carwash Solutions (NCS) and Big Club Digital for website redevelopment.

“Today’s consumer expects a seamless engagement. Every aspect of the experience, from Payment to Loyalty to Engagement and Communication should be a part of a harmonized technology ecosystem. Technology evolution has made leaps, but it often operates in silos. Our initiative will combine solutions in a way that we can facilitate everything from one-to-one marketing to emerging consumer habits, like ‘my usual,’ ‘last order’ and ‘favorites,’ etc., said Gus Olympidis, president and CEO of Family Express.

The food-ordering platform will embrace best practices currently in the marketplace and it will facilitate efficient pick-up and even delivery.

The Car Wash technology will revolutionize the experience with new “smart” kiosks, linked with a newly designed mobile app that will facilitate a host of marketing enhancements. Family Express will be able to sell a technologically redeemable Car Wash code even at locations without a Car Wash. Unlike traditional technology, the codes will be redeemable at ANY FE Car Wash and not limited to the ONE location that issued it.

Clifton Dillman, FE chief information officer said, “Customers want something that points to their individualism. Additionally, current practices, like issuing a Car Wash code that is limited to just a particular location is as unfriendly to a consumer as a coupon good at one store only. Today’s consumer is becoming accustomed to a frictionless experience by engaging with those that deliver it. Tomorrow’s consumer WILL EXPECT IT!”

Family Express is a chain of convenience stores and fueling centers. In 2015, FE was awarded the most prestigious award in the Convenience Store Industry, by being named Convenience Store Decisions’ Chain of the Year. In a 2016 independent survey, the company was ranked at the top among Convenience Store Entities and Customer Service. Family Express was founded in Valparaiso in 1975, and it operates stores throughout Northern and Central Indiana. The Company recently opened its second state-of-the-art Learning Center in Lafayette, Ind.