TLM Technologies on customer loyalty and engagement

During the Covid pandemic, the drop in demand for fuel has been countered by demand for groceries from local petrol stations in the UK. Many UK shoppers turned to their local petrol stations for groceries rather than their usual large supermarket, as forecourt retailers were better stocked and local. As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s critical that forecourt retailers look for ways to retain that footfall. Loyalty and engagement with customers are essential in this regard.

At TLM, we have worked closely with BP, Shell and Esso to integrate their loyalty programs with evoPOS and have around 1,600 sites running these engaging loyalty platforms. BPme and Esso Nectar make it possible to accumulate points on the purchase of fuel or dry products, by the customer scanning or swiping their loyalty card. While traditional plastic cards and key fobs are still used, customers are encouraged to download the mobile app versions which offer powerful one-on-one customer engagement and additional features such as collecting points without scanning your card, the payment of fuel from your mobile and the search for the nearest service station or EV charger.

TLM Technologies on customer loyalty and engagement
© TLM Technologies

The obvious benefit of having a loyalty platform as a phone app (rather than a physical card) is that customers can access their loyalty account on the go, increasing opportunities for digital customer engagement. Customers can add their digital loyalty card to their Apple Wallet or Google Pass for easy and secure access. Engaging customers through their mobile phone, for many customers, integrates your messaging into their daily lives.

ShellGO+ offers an innovative loyalty proposition in the UK that moves away from collecting points to offering a reward for every customer visit. Visit rewards range from a fuel reward every 10 visits, 10% off select in-store products, and occasional rewards such as a “Birthday Surprise”. The app also contains a digital copy of the customer’s barcode so you can choose your rewards and scan loyalty all in one place.

Esso has partnered with Nectar, the UK’s largest loyalty program. The Nectar program includes a number of partner companies, including Sainsbury’s and eBay. Customers can collect Nectar Points through their existing Nectar Card or link the Nectar Card to the Esso app, redeem Nectar Points for rewards such as 5p per liter at Esso or spend the points at other company partners Nectar.

Our customers, from large independent groups like MFG to our smaller groups, have successfully used oil company loyalty programs to retain and delight customers. However, they are limited in that they promote loyalty to the oil company brand, rather than to a specific gas station.

What if your oil brand doesn’t have a loyalty program or you want your own? Platforms such as AzpiralPRO, which has been fully integrated with TLM’s evoPOS since 2018, provide comprehensive loyalty platforms for convenience and fuel retailers looking to take ownership of their loyalty proposition. Enable retailers to connect with customers through powerful, real-time digital customer engagement capabilities. AzpiralPRO features include loyalty marketing automation, rewards engine, customer profiler and analytics, app, gift card and CO2 calculator. Allow retailers to build loyalty at the same level as the big oil companies’ offers while having the flexibility to adapt the offer to their locality and customer profile.

ApiralPRO’s White Label Loyalty Mobile App allows companies to customize their loyalty app to offer their own unique loyalty program. Features available on the app include rewards, points, digital loyalty cards, contests, offers, charity software donations, and in-app messaging.

Some of our larger customers want to offer multiple loyalty programs – such as their own brand loyalty as well as side-by-side oil company loyalty. evoPOS is able to support multiple loyalty programs at the same time, allowing retailers to simultaneously manage multiple loyalty programs from different vendors.

Not yet the right time to invest in a comprehensive loyalty program? Offering a sophisticated loyalty program isn’t possible for all retailers, but that doesn’t stop small retailers from being able to captivate and engage their customers. evoPOS integrates features to promote loyalty in a simple yet effective way, such as the ability to print vouchers. Designed specifically to increase repeat customer footfall – a voucher or coupon is printed at the point of sale and given to the customer to use on their next visit. Configurable fields in the back office allow retailers to configure a wide range of vouchers, from penny-per-liter discounts to half-price next-visit products.

And there’s always social media… a powerful and free tool to increase brand awareness, promotions and loyalty in a retailer’s locality. 38% of forecourts in the UK use Facebook to connect with customers and build customer loyalty. Many forecourts post daily, updating customers on product lines, promotions – and the general ups and downs of running a forecourt!

We’ve seen it throughout the pandemic when forecourts used Facebook to advertise that, unlike supermarkets, their shelves were fully stocked. Customers feel engaged because they can comment on posts and ask questions.

More recently, during the fake ‘fuel’ crisis in the fall of 2021, when the UK public started to panic buying fuel, leading to shortages, one of our customers, Goran Raven’s Budgens forecourt in Essex, went viral on TikTok with 618,000 views of his humorous videos notify customers when it has run out of gas or just had a delivery. He captured the vibe of the nation, powerful when done right.

We have exciting evolution roadmap functionality planned to make it faster and easier for front-yard retailers to post product lines, promotions and offers on social media.

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We can support your loyalty journey according to your activity and your size:

  • Support oil company structured loyalty programs
  • Customize your own structured proposal with our loyalty integration partners
  • Set up a unique to your business loyalty program developed with our team
  • Simple and effective loyalty through vouchers and promotional features in evoPOS

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Regardless of the size of your business, having a customer retention mindset is key to maintaining and growing footfall and revenue. Customers expect to be rewarded and recognized. From structured loyalty programs to the simple functionality of vouchers in your point of sale, we have the experience and partnerships to support and implement your loyalty journey. Come chat with us.

To learn more about TLM Technologies, visit our website or contact us.

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