TLM Technologies on loyalty and customer engagement

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CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

During the Covid pandemic the drop in demand for fuel was countered with a demand for groceries from local service stations in the UK. Many UK shoppers turned to their local service stations for grocery goods rather than their usual large supermarket shop – as forecourt retailers were better stocked and local. As we come out of the pandemic it’s essential that forecourt retailers look for ways to retain that footfall. Promoting loyalty and engaging with customers is key to this.

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At TLM, we’ve worked closely with BP, Shell and Esso to integrate their loyalty schemes with evoPOS and have around 1,600 sites running these engaging loyalty platforms. BPme and Esso Nectar allow for the collection of points on the purchase of fuel or dry goods, by the customer scanning or swiping their loyalty card.  Whilst traditional plastic cards and fobs are still in use, customers are encouraged to download the mobile app versions which provide powerful one-to-one customer engagement and additional features such as collecting points without scanning your card, paying for fuel from your mobile and finding your nearest service station or EV charger.

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TLM Technologies on loyalty and customer engagement
© TLM Technologies

The obvious advantage of having a loyalty platform as a phone app (rather than 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 via their mobile phone, for many customers, embeds your messaging in their day-to-day life.   

ShellGO+ offers an innovative loyalty proposition in the UK that moves away from collecting points to offering a reward with every customer visit.  Visit rewards range from a fuel reward after every 10 visits, 10% off selected in-store products and occasional rewards such as a ‘birthday surprise’.  The app also contains a digital copy of the customer barcode so you can choose your rewards and scan loyalty in one location.

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Esso has partnered with Nectar, the largest loyalty scheme in the UK. The Nectar scheme comprises a number of partner companies including Sainsbury’s and eBay. Customers can collect Nectar points via their existing Nectar card or link the Nectar card to the Esso App, redeeming Nectar points for rewards such as 5p off per litre at Esso or spend the points across other Nectar company partners.

Our customers, from large independent groups like MFG to our small groups, utilise the oil company loyalty schemes successfully to retain and delight customers. However, they are limited in that they promote loyalty to the oil company brand, rather than a specific service station.

What if your oil brand doesn’t have a loyalty scheme 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 who want to own their loyalty proposition. Enabling retailers to connect with customers through powerful real-time digital customer engagement features. AzpiralPRO features include loyalty marketing automation, a rewards engine, customer profiler and analytics, an App, gift card and CO2 calculator. Allowing retailers to provide loyalty to the same depth as the large oil company propositions whilst having the flexibility to tailor the offering to their locality and customer profile.

ApiralPRO’s white label loyalty mobile app allows companies to customise their loyalty app to deliver their own unique loyalty programme. Functionality available on the app includes rewards, points, digital loyalty cards, competitions, offers, donation to charity software and in-app messaging.

Some of our larger customers want to offer multiple loyalty schemes – such as their own brand loyalty as well as oil company loyalty side-by-side. evoPOS is enabled to support more than one loyalty scheme at the same time – allowing retailers to run multiple loyalty schemes from different providers concurrently.

Not the right time to invest in a full loyalty scheme yet? Providing a sophisticated loyalty scheme isn’t possible for all retailers but that doesn’t stop smaller retailers from being able to captivate and engage their customers. evoPOS has features embedded within it to promote loyalty in a simple but effective way, such as voucher printing capability. Designed specifically to increase returning customer footfall – a voucher or coupon is printed at the POS and given to the customer to use next time they visit. Configurable fields in the back office allow retailers to set up a wide range of vouchers, from pence per litre discounts to half price products on the next visit.

And there is 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 a loyal following. Many forecourts post daily, updating customers on product lines, promotions – and the general ups and downs of running a forecourt!

We saw this through the pandemic as forecourts used Facebook to advertise that, often unlike the supermarkets, their shelves were fully stocked. Customers feel engaged as they can comment on posts and ask questions.

More recently, during the false ‘fuel’ crisis in the autumn of 2021 when the UK public started 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 to let customers know when he had run out of fuel or just had a delivery. He captured the mood of the nation, powerful when you get it right.

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

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We can support your loyalty journey to suit your business and scale:

  • Supporting structured oil company loyalty programmes
  • Tailor your own structured proposition through our loyalty integration partners
  • Implement a unique to your business loyalty programme developed with our team
  • Simple and effective loyalty via voucher and promotional functionality within evoPOS

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Regardless of the size of your business, having a customer loyalty mindset is key to maintaining and increasing footfall and revenue. Customers expect to be rewarded and recognised. From structured loyalty programmes to simple voucher functionality within your POS, we have the experience and partnerships necessary to support and implement your loyalty journey. Come and chat to us.

To find out more about TLM Technologies, take a look at our website or get in touch.

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