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7-Eleven Canada launches loyalty program

7Rewards loyalty program rewards customers who download company's new app

International convenience store giant 7-Eleven has launched a loyalty program in Canada that rewards customers who use its new mobile app.

The new 7Rewards loyalty program allows customers who download the company's app and register as a member to scan their purchases of any hot or cold drinks served in 7-Eleven cups.

After six purchases, customers are rewarded with a free seventh drink.

The program includes all beverage options, making it easy to redeem a seventh drink. You can buy six regular-sized coffees and then get a larger, more expensive Slurpee for free, for example. Once the free drink is redeemed, the punch card starts over.

"7Rewards takes the app to the next level by offering our customers a customized on- and off-line experience that allows them to benefit from their loyalty," Raj Kapoor, vice-president and general manager, 7-Eleven Canada, said in a release. "It's a great way for us to thank them for their continued business while at the same time giving guests the chance to enjoy a selection of their favourite hot or cold beverages."

The new loyalty rewards program is the first ever for 7-Eleven, which operates franchises or licenses of more than 10,000 stores in North America and more than 54,000 globally.

While the program may sound simple, the consumer data generated by those transactions could be worth their weight in marketing gold to the $85-billion retail store chain, thinks one Canadian expert in digital-age advertising.

In addition to providing free drinks for customers, digital research advertising expert Bryan Segal says the new program will also provide 7-Eleven with a potential bonanza of information on customer habits.

"The real value in this kind of program is the data that flows behind it," said Segal, chief executive officer of Engagement Labs.

In addition to recording the time and type of each purchase –information that can provide companies with better insight into hours of store traffic flow and product movement–Segal said the personal nature of mobile app use provides additional marketing possibilities.

"It provides demographic information, geolocation, targetability (plus) shareability," said Segal.   "It amplifies everything you do."

Mobile apps, he added, are revolutionizing the retail business.

Recent industry data suggests, for example, that smart-phone users now use mobile apps six times more than websites.

"It's not the way of the future of business," said Segal.  "It's the way of today."

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