It’s a promising start. Market Street grocery chain has launched its first loyalty program that will help shoppers with gas, free products and other purchases.
Shoppers began signing up for the free Smart Rewards program on June 22 at any of six locations spread around the Dallas-Fort Worth area to start earning points that can be redeemed for the rewards. Market Street makes it easy by setting up touch-screen kiosks inside the store, as well as promoting the program on Facebook and twitter. The first time customers shop as new loyalty members they receive a coupon for a free gallon of milk.
Within the first week, more than 25,000 people had signed up.
“This far exceeds our projections for the first week,” said Monica Schierbaum, marketing director for United Supermarkets, LLC, Market Street’s parent company. “The guests are very excited about the program and recognize it is unique in the grocery industry. We have heard many guests comment on how quick the electronic enrollment process is. They also think the program is very easy to understand and simple to participate in.”
Customers earn one point for every dollar spent and when 500 points are earned, shoppers have a choice to receive either a $5 savings on purchases or a 25-cent per gallon discount on gasoline. As the program gathers steam, more rewards will be added this fall.
To add an unexpected element to the program, each time a members uses his or her card through Jan. 31, they will automatically be entered into a daily drawing in each store to win their basket of groceries for free, as well as a monthly drawing for a chance to win $5,000. Members will also receive free products and special offers.
Adding a random element like the daily drawing sends a message that this program is not like all the others. Like Market Street, marketers are adding additional layers to the programs to not only distinguish themselves from their competitors, but to make the programs more fun. The trick, of course, is balancing the predictable and the random to create a compelling experience that’s not frustrating. Try these seven game mechanics in your next loyalty program.
To determine the nuts and bolts of the program, Market Street conducted extensive research among consumers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and constructed the program around that feedback.
“We conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative research with guests in the DFW market,” Schierbaum said. “These were a series of in-person interviews through store intercepts and focus groups, as well as online surveys and panels. We asked guests what they liked and did not like about loyalty programs in general, and grocery store programs specifically. Smart Rewards was designed around our guests’ feedback, and what they described as their ideal program.”
website, online advertising, social media and email. Inside the stores, customers can’t miss the offer with a significant number of signs hanging all around, handouts, and team members wearing Smart Rewards stickers. In addition, enrollment teams are wearing bright colored T-shirts.
At MarketStreetUnited.com members can select rewards, track points and review free product offers customized to that member.
Market Street has run short-term card-based rewards programs in the past, but nothing on the scale of Smart Rewards, which is fully integrated with the stores’ point-of-sale systems.