It’s time to fire up your rewards program, as competing chain stores are integrating their loyalty programs with Gas Rewards. Rebates, coupons and repeat customer offers are up against some tough competition as gas prices continue to increase and retailers begin to market efforts to stop pump prices. Among the competition for independent retailers are such chain stores as Stop & Shop and CVS.
How Are These Big Name Retailers a Threat?
Stop & Shop, a supermarket chain in the Northeast, as part of its rewards club, offers one gas point for every dollar you spend. Earn 100 points, save $0.10 per gallon, for 200 and 300 points you save $0.20 and $0.30 a gallon respectively. Valid for 30 days, the points can be redeemed at any Stop & Shop gas station, or participating Shell Stations. It is very possible, however, that other gas stations may be offering gas at $0.10 to $0.30 below this programs’ participating pumps. Also, there is a limit of $2.20 in free gas for each visit. Yet, even with the fine print, consumers are easily attracted to the offer of discounted or free gas.
CVS offers a similar “buy product, earn gas” rewards program. Positioned as a summer offer, extending through August 28, consumers that are a member of CVS’ ExtraCare Rewards program can earn a $10 gas gift card with the purchase of $30 of specially marked weekly circular items. As Judy Sansone, vice president of merchandising at CVS, explains, “We designed this program in an effort to offer our ExtraCare cardholders an easy way to earn free gas while shopping for essentials each week when they visit CVS.” Although pages of the weekly circulars offer the most eligible items, qualifying products can also be found on the retailer’s website and Facebook page.
How Can You Compete?
It’s all about packaging. Don’t be discouraged by Gas Rewards, excellect customer service will win over redeemable points every time. According to American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, a survey conducted in the U.S. and nine other countries, “In a strong economic environment, 70 percent of the Americans surveyed are willing to spend an average of 13 percent more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service.” So, if you are looking to make a sale, make sure you check the steps you take when interacting with customers.