Digital loyalty programs: loyalty pays off

Valora is developing its own digital loyalty programs. This benefits not only the Valora formats, but also the customers and partners.

A win-win-win situation: The Valora formats gain important insights for the ongoing development of its service. Partners generate awareness for their products in a targeted manner. Customers benefit from an improved shopping experience, added convenience and attractive loyalty rewards.

Loyal customers are a precious asset. You have to earn it. Companies achieve this on the one hand through friendly staff, attractive products and a pleasant shopping experience, and on the other by offering special incentives. For example, through loyalty programs that allow customers to reward themselves for their loyalty.

Four formats within the Valora Group currently deploy their own digital loyalty programs: k kiosk, Caffè Spettacolo, Brezelkönig and, since April 2022, avec. The launch of a loyalty model for avec is also planned. In addition to these loyalty programs, which are only available in Switzerland, programs are also to be developed in other countries.

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By scanning the app, the purchase is saved in the personal loyalty account.

OPERATED BY THE VALORA DIGITAL TEAM

The loyalty programs from k kiosk and Brezelkönig are integrated as key components in the respective mobile apps. They are operated by the Valora Digital team. “Loyalty & Payment” is one of four strategic directions for the team, alongside “Autonomous Stores,” “E-Commerce & Delivery” and “Process Improvement.” New, modern digital solutions are constantly being developed to make the customers’ purchases more practical, quicker and more flexible. Convenience at Valora is not restricted to the selection available but is also part of the entire shopping experience.

For the loyalty programs, the Digital team works closely with Marketing and Sales in the business units as they know the needs of their target groups best. After all, not every model is equally suitable for every format: “Customers in the retail formats will be strongly driven by impulse purchases,” explains Felicitas Suter, Head Loyalty and Payment at Valora. The focus is therefore on increasing footfall. Users of the k kiosk app will receive new coupons and trading cards on a regular basis. They also benefit from a cash-back system: points can be redeemed for rewards for every purchase – from chocolate bars to Apple EarPods.

LOYALTY PROGRAMS FOR LOVE BRANDS

The food service formats have a different focus: “They are so-called love brands, and their product ranges are very specific,” explains Felicitas Suter. “Customers consciously decide to shop here and tend to be very loyal.” It’s therefore important to charge the loyalty program emotionally. How does this work? In the new Brezelkönig app, you can collect crowns that, over time, can crown you as a pretzel knight, pretzel princess or pretzel king. The higher the royal rank, the higher the premium. An approach with success: just a few weeks after the launch of the app, Brezelkönig was already enjoying a wide range of users.

Like Brezelkönig, Caffè Spettacolo is also using a digital stamp card. In addition, the format’s app primarily serves as a web shop through which food and beverages can be pre-ordered, paid for and then picked up at the desired time without queuing. The added value for loyalty is thus also derived from the increased convenience through shorter waiting times.

HURRY DEALS: “THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM”

What the four apps from k kiosk, Caffè Spettacolo, Brezelkönig and avec have in common with their loyalty programmes: they follow a mobile-only approach. “Physical stamp cards or coupons are often lost. But on the smartphone, which almost all customers now have to hand at all times, stamp cards are securely stored,” explains Felicitas Suter. “What’s more, the variety of our loyalty programs wouldn’t be feasible in the physical world.”

She cites the hurry deals offered by k kiosk as an example. A certain quantity of a product is offered free of charge – here “the early bird catches the worm.” Customers can follow the stock of available units live and assess their chances of winning a free item. In the k kiosk app, users can also expect playful components such as competitions which offer entertainment and require interactivity. Felicitas Suter: “For example, customers can give products to their friends as so-called Robin Goods.”

IMPROVED SHOPPING EXPERIENCE AND ADDITIONAL CONVENIENCE

The digital possibilities also allow Valora formats to structure their offerings more flexibly. Special offers, known as deals, are seasonal or planned for events such as UEFA EURO 2020 and the Panini sticker collecting frenzy. The apps also offer a platform for communicating with customers and showing them the particular benefits of products and deals.

Felicitas Suter thinks the future potential of the apps and their sophisticated loyalty programs is correspondingly high: “Thanks to anonymised evaluations, we gain important insights for the ongoing development of our service. This will lead to an improved shopping experience and added convenience for customers.” What’s more, the offerings can be made more relevant, i.e. tailored to the interests of users. Data privacy is very important to Valora. All personal data are only processed in accordance with data protection requirements.

LOYALTY PROGRAMS ALLOW SPECIAL MARKETING

The suppliers and partners of Valora formats are also benefiting from this increasing customer focus: in the future, they could use the new platform – at the request of the users – to generate awareness for their products in a targeted manner and thus reduce the wastage of their marketing activities. Promotions are already possible in the various user groups of the k kiosk app. Interested users can register themselves in these groups, which focus on specific product groups such as tobacco.

Users, suppliers and partners and, of course, the Valora formats: everyone involved benefits from the digital loyalty programs. So, it’s a win-win-win situation.

Overview of Valora loyalty programs

avec: The “avec bonus” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Points (1 point per franc) are collected with every purchase, which can be exchanged for free products and vouchers. For certain products such as coffee, there are digital stamp cards with a free product for a certain number of purchases. Users can also take part in competitions with prizes ranging from instant prizes to wellness weekends or cars. Users can redeem the vouchers offered in the app themselves or give them to friends as gifts. In addition to the loyalty component, the avec bonus app also includes a store finder. The app is accepted in all avec retail outlets. At present, however, avec service station shops and self-scanning solutions are still excluded.

Brezelkönig: The “Brezelkönig” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. After registering, you will receive a welcome gift and the first five points (crowns). You receive an additional crown per purchase. 10 crowns will win a free product. You also climb from “pretzel knight” to “pretzel princess” – and with 30 crowns to “pretzel king.” The higher the status, the more valuable the free product. For their birthday, users receive a pretzel as a gift. In addition to the loyalty component, the Brezelkönig app also includes a product overview and a store finder.

Caffè Spettacolo: The “Spettacolo” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Food and beverages can be pre-ordered, paid for and picked up from the desired store at an agreed time using the app. No need to queue up. Users receive a stamp every time they order via the app – after 10 stamps they get a free coffee or another product of their choice.

k kiosk: The “k kiosk” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Points (1 point per franc) are collected with every purchase, which can be exchanged for free products and vouchers. For certain products, such as coffee, there are digital stamp cards with a free product for a certain number of purchases. Users can also take part in competitions with prizes ranging from instant prizes to wellness weekends or cars. Customers can redeem the vouchers offered in the app themselves or give them as gifts to friends. In addition to the loyalty component, the k kiosk app also includes a store finder.

This article appeared for the first time on 8 July 2021 and was updated on 23 February 2022 and on 10 April 2022.

Photos: Noë Flum, nonophotography.

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