WINNER: CAL’s Convenience
CAL’s Convenience revamped its My Rewards program, offering its members a system with faster rewards.
CAL’s Convenience’s My Rewards program underwent a complete overhaul a few months ago, transitioning into a points bank and rewards system.
The chain is headquartered in Frisco, Texas, and operates over 209 locations with the majority in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, and a couple located in New York and Pennsylvania. CAL’s Convenience also features a Laredo Taco Co. food concept.
My Rewards’ new phase as a completely digital points-bank program allows customers to earn 12 Stars for every $1 they spend in-store.
“We recently, a couple months ago, went from … a member pricing program to a completely different program doing a points bank with rewards and all that fun stuff,” said Mike Donerkiel, loyalty brand manager of CAL’s Convenience.
Member pricing offers and more are also included in the My Rewards program. Age-restricted items are excluded from Stars earning.
CAL’s, searching for an all-in-one solution, partnered with Paytronix to run its loyalty program, utilizing the platform’s data insights team for help with its strategy and analytics, as well.
Customers who would like to take advantage of My Rewards can use the website or app to register. From that point on, they can then scan the app or type in their phone number at the point-of-sale to receive the Stars they’ve earned for their purchase or apply member pricing. Customers can then redeem those Stars for free products such as fountain drinks, coffee, roller grill items, sodas and more.
My Rewards members are also able to stay aware of new promotions.
Upon registering, CAL’s provides users with items such as free products, a certain number of Stars and a fuel discount.
For example, a customer might exchange 750 Stars for two roller grill items. Or, customers can earn Stars for a Laredo Taco Co. purchase. Special member pricing also applies to the foodservice concept.
Additionally, customers can redeem Stars for in-store and fuel discounts.
“For 750 Stars, you can get $4 off your in-store purchase. Or if you have 300 Stars you want to spend, that’ll give you five cents off per gallon (of gas), and then you can stack those — it’s limitless,” said Donerkiel. “As long as you have the Stars, we don’t restrict you from adding as many as you want and redeeming as many as you want in a transaction.”
Member pricing includes buy-one-get-ones, dollars off, Star multipliers and other discounts.
“What we wanted to do, and we feel that we have done, is that not only do you earn the Stars/points faster, but that also gets you to reach those rewards even quicker,” said Donerkiel. “So you don’t have to make a lot of visits (spending) hundreds of dollars. You’re rewarded very, very soon. So that was what set us apart and made us special.”
Personal Customer Experience
CAL’s prides itself on creating an enjoyable customer experience with personal and relevant communications based on the information it draws from the program.
“I think (loyalty programs) create a connection and an experience. And it’s really a sharing of information. Because not only are they willing to give us their information, but we’re using that information to give back to them so that they really want to participate,” Donerkiel said.
CAL’s believes in shared interactions, and with the customized and personal experience that My Rewards provides, there is a tighter connection between the retailer and the customer.
In terms of the future of loyalty and rewards programs, Donerkiel sees technology playing a large role, specifically with personalization and automation.
“I think also, with most retailers now having a loyalty program and the competition being so elevated, that technology could help … retailers curate a personable program per customer,” Donerkiel said.
For instance, if a customer preferred a points-bank program or a purchase-club option, they could visit a retailer and choose the loyalty route they wanted, he elaborated.
CAL’s Convenience reinvests in its customers directly, rewarding its loyalty members quickly and staying on top of purchasing trends.
WINNER: Road Ranger
Ranger Rewards is a tier-based loyalty program and provides its members with perks based on their driving habits.
Having launched just a year ago, Road Ranger’s Ranger Rewards program was born out of a desire to give back to the chain’s loyal customers and create an innovative communication channel. It is a result of hours of engineering, testing and design work, and it still offers new updates and features.
Road Ranger partnered with Paytronix and Rovertown to run the loyalty program.
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., a northwest suburb located roughly 30 minutes outside Chicago, Road Ranger operates 44 locations in seven states. Over the course of the next few years, however, it plans to expand to several new states with well over 60 locations.
A Tier-Based Program
Ranger Rewards functions both as a digital platform and a physical card program. Customers who choose to sign up for Ranger Rewards can download the app, which offers more exclusive price discounts and monthly sweepstakes and allows customers to track their progress in the chain’s loyalty clubs.
The chain has mirrored the rewards most important to the customer and frequently redeemed to the physical card program.
“Loyalty programs help brands to build meaningful relationships with customers. It’s not always about getting the new customer in the door, it’s also about rewarding those who choose to come back to see you over and over. Being able to build a tailored program that rewards new and existing customers alike is something we’re very proud of,” said Ryan Arnold, vice president of marketing at Road Ranger.
Ranger Rewards is tier-based, allowing customers to choose Pro-Driver (those who earn a living driving a truck or transporting goods) or Auto Driver (the casual driver) when they register depending on the group they most associate with. From there, their rewards options are filtered to match the greatest degree of personal benefits.
For example, as an Auto Driver, customers are offered an everyday discount. For every gallon fueled, loyalty customers have access to an eight-cent discount per gallon — before any additional fuel discount promotions. They continue to earn rewards by making in-store purchases and joining clubs to receive free items.
For Pro-Drivers, every time they fuel 50 gallons, they earn a free $12 shower credit. For 75-plus gallons, they earn the shower credit and a free 32-ounce drink. They can earn a different rewards status each month, as their gallon consumption fluctuates. They can also earn points on in-store purchases and participate in special loyalty clubs.
All registered members have access to special clubs, including the Drink Club, the Pizza Club and the Taco Club, where for every six paid items, the seventh is free.
One of the latest features rolled out over the last year is the “Member Pricing,” which allows for additional discounts based on specific purchases. Discounts can be found on many product offerings, such as drinks, snacks, tobacco and more.
An example of a member discount for an in-store purchase is the chain’s pizza deal. The current price is $7 for two slices, yet when a member scans their barcode at checkout, the price drops to $6 for two slices.
Users can also age verify to receive deeper discounts on tobacco and alcohol purchases.
Building Customer Relationships
The perks offer these customers an incentive to register for the app and experience a welcoming sense of being a part of a differentiated group who receives special pricing as a thank you for returned loyalty. This in turn helps Road Ranger gather data to better understand when, what and why its customers buy.
“Having the ability to create an ‘exclusivity aspect’ of the loyalty and rewards structure has probably been the most unique aspect in building out our rewards platform. Ensuring customers feel as though they are a part of a community and providing a feeling of belonging is huge when it comes to influencing a customer’s purchasing decisions and building that brand loyalty,” said KJ McCann, digital & loyalty marketing manager at Road Ranger.
Ranger Rewards allows the chain to build a relationship with its customers by catering to their specific wants and needs. Additionally, the loyalty program allows Road Ranger to compete with its competitors on a level that’s not solely price based. It gives members a chance to work toward an end goal.
“Apps like ours go beyond increasing revenue,” said Arnold and McCann. “Our goal over that last year was to really give our brand a voice and showcase who Road Ranger is at the core. Our platform has allowed us to share great updates about our partnership with St. Jude, our NASCAR sponsorship and many other of our local community philanthropy projects in local communities.”
Road Ranger is currently working on future updates, such as wallet features, a receipt/purchase history feature for the Pro-Driver, a route planner and more.