Fuel perks plus retail equals savvy loyalty play


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With an economy that is recovering slowly and still keeping millions of Americans unemployed and in a recession-based, purse-strings-tightening mode, it’s no surprise that retailers are working overtime to provide value to price-sensitive consumers. It also makes sense that any break consumers can get on the price of gas is seen as a big perk.

So, I’ve seen a trend in fuel rewards gather steam — and now it’s blossoming into partnership plays between retailers and fuel companies, as retailers see the benefits of offering gas perks and fuel companies seek to gain access to customers. Shell, for example, has been publicizing several partnerships with dominant grocery chains across the U.S., including Cincinnati-based Kroger; Massachusetts-based Ahold USA, which own the Giant Food and Stop & Shop chains; South Carolina-based BI LO and Jacksonville, Florida-based Winn-Dixie.

According to an article on CSP Magazine, Shell’s strategy is to sign exclusive agreements with top grocery chains which allow customers to earn points on their grocery loyalty card to save money on gas. The program works similarly in all markets. For example, customers from select Massachusetts Stop & Shop stores can use their Stop & Shop card to save on fuel — for every 100 “gas rewards” points earned when Taking Stop & Shop as an example, customers from those select Massachusetts stores can use their Stop & Shop card to save on fuel at participating Shell stations. For every 100 “gas rewards” points earned when shopping at Stop & Shop, customers can save 10-cents per gallon on their next fuel purchase at more than 100 participating Shell stations, up to 35 gallons per purchase. The savings can add up to 30-cents or more per gallon.

This is a perfect example of partnerships that can work to benefit both parties — Shell needn’t create their own loyalty program to see benefits (and it sounds like they had been exploring a variety of loyalty program options) and the grocery chain can offer a useful benefit to consumers in their communities.

One question: Will these grocers share their data with Shell? Is their data that can be useful to Shell that, say, Kroger collects?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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