7-Eleven, the convenience chain with 10,900 stores in North America, expanded its mobile customer loyalty program to let customers earn points for hundreds of products in its stores, per a statement. The updated 7Rewards mobile app used to be limited to awarding a free beverage for every six cups purchased.
About 80% of products are now available in-app for redemption, and customers can also use the app to receive digital coupons. Customers who scan an applicable item will see the digital coupon immediately applied to the purchase.
Customers can sign up for the 7Rewards by downloading the app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play, visiting the mobile website at 7Rewards.com or chatting with the 7-Eleven bot on Facebook Messenger.
The revamped loyalty app is the latest sign that 7-Eleven is focused on upping its game in mobile, where it was an early adopter. In 2010, the chain even embraced augmented reality for a Hong Kong promotion. However, 7-Eleven hasn't done much to refresh mobile strategy of late, but this could be changing. Earlier this month, the chain launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that lets users sign up for the 7Rewards customer loyalty platform, find a nearby store and learn about discounts.
The convenience store chain wants to give customers a reason to make repeat purchases other than buying coffee or Big Gulps to receive loyalty rewards. The company tested the expansion of its loyalty program in Canada before rolling it out in the U.S. More than 9 million people were enrolled in the original 7Rewards program that focused on offering free beverages.
By expanding the range of products offered through the loyalty program, 7-Eleven is taking another major step toward tracking the purchases of its customers and gaining better insights into their shopping habits. Purchase data are a key part of creating individualized offers for customers in an effort to drive greater store traffic.
The profusion of loyalty programs can be overwhelming for consumers who are encouraged to sign up for them while checking out at most major store chains. More than half of loyalty memberships in the U.S. — about 54% — are inactive, according to a 2017 report by market researcher Colloquy, per USA Today. In addition, 28% of consumers have abandoned a program without ever redeeming a point or mile. Ideally, the shift in loyalty programs to mobile apps will help consumers manage their loyalty programs on one device instead of a wallet filled with plastic cards or a keychain jammed with key fobs.