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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thorntons Inc. teamed up with Paytronix Systems Inc. to bring its new customer-specific rewards program to its stores.
The Louisville-based convenience store chain implemented the Paytronix Loyalty Platform to support its new Refreshing Rewards customer loyalty program across 178 locations. Leveraging the Paytronix loyalty engine enabled the c-store chain to test a variety of elements in a secure, market-focused pilot program and then roll out the program to all its stores.
Thorntons Refreshing Rewards features three distinct levels: Welcome, Premium and VIP. Built with the Paytronix Rules and Wallets engine as its foundation, the technology enables Thorntons to deliver varying levels of rewards based on guest visit, spending and purchase behavior.
According to Jeff Keune, Thorntons' chief marketing officer, members at the Welcome level receive a 10-cents-per-gallon discount on gas for the first 30 days, personalized perks based on the things they purchase the most, frequent purchase rewards and automatic "sweepstakes" entries.
Members move up to the Premium level after 10 visits where they receive Welcome-level perks plus gasoline price alerts, 10-cents-per-gallon discounts on their birthdays, and email receipts.
After 25 visits, members automatically move up to the VIP level where they receive personalized VIP graphics, 24-hour low-fuel-price guarantee at purchase location, and three-cents-per-gallon savings on every fill.
"Thorntons built Refreshing Rewards as a three-tiered loyalty program that leverages Paytronix to provide greater vision into our customers' buying habits. We're able to identify high-potential-value customers and nurture them to their full potential," Keune said via a blog post with Paytronix.
The retailer piloted the Refreshing Rewards program at 22 stores in Lexington and Nashville, Tenn. Thorntons rolled out the marketing tool nationally between July and September. Its initial goal is to have more than 750,000 members by the end of the year.
"Refreshing Rewards kicked off with a marketing plan in Lexington and Nashville that worked together to reach as many guests (current and potential) as possible. We used a 'big hook' of 10 cents off each gallon of fuel to get customers to sign up for the program. Our radio and out-of-home campaigns centered on the idea that Refreshing Rewards would be a valuable savings opportunity," Keune explained.
In addition, social media and digital ad buys amplified the retailer's message, and Thorntons created a detailed lead-market promotion calendar.
"Thorntons has a long, unwavering commitment to its customers," said President Tony Harris. "With the technology Paytronix provides, we expect that our new loyalty program will help us gain a deeper understanding of our customers' needs. That insight will enable us to deliver unique customer experiences. Refreshing Rewards enables us to track guest behavior and interactions with various product categories and then use that data to collaborate with our CPG vendors to the individual buyer level. Through several channels, we'll be able to actively thank our customers for choosing Thorntons."
With Paytronix, Thorntons is also able to achieve rapid deployment, customer-driven loyalty, improved CPG collaboration and real-time, behavior-triggered messaging.
"We're thrilled to work with a client that is deeply committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences. The Thorntons technology team coupled with the Paytronix team produced an incredibly reliable integration to the chain's POS [point-of-sale], which is the crux of our ability to deliver operational excellence to the Thorntons team, as well as convenience to the customers on the other end of their millions of annual transactions," stated Andrew Robbins, president of Paytronix. "Thorntons continues to lead the category in innovative ways to engage its customers."