Leaders of the Evolution - Stuzo

Leaders of the Evolution - Stuzo

METHODOLOGY > The scores, rankings and chain information shared here represent the top 10 chains listed in Stuzo’s rankings as of Aug. 14, 2017. > Non...

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METHODOLOGY > The scores, rankings and chain information shared here represent the top 10 chains listed in Stuzo’s rankings as of Aug. 14, 2017. > None of the top 10 chains as they are listed here earned points in the Mobile Employee Engagement metric, and ExxonMobil is the only top 10 chain to score in the Connected Car category. Stuzo expects more chains to score in these metrics in the future as c-store technology progresses. > Store counts come via Technomic’s Digital Resource Library, powered by Ignite, and CSP’s Top 202. Counts are as of Nov. 15, 2016. > To view all the submetrics that account for each retailer’s set of scores, visit cstoredigitalranking.com. Data courtesy of

CSP

12:07PM

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LEADERS OF THE EVOLUTION The

I

TOP 10

n our not-so-far-off retail future, bricks and clicks will coexist. It’s a reality driven by consumers, who increasingly demand online capabilities such as smartphone payment and mobile ordering. In fact, 17% of conveniencestore customers—and nearly one-third of millennials—say it’s important that the brands they frequent offer some form of online or mobile ordering, according to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics, powered by Ignite. To determine who’s paving the way, Stuzo, a Philadelphia-based digital-product-

digital players in convenience

BY JACKSON LEWIS innovation company focused on the convenience-store and fuel-retail industry, created a ranking system to track the progress of c-stores and fuel retailers as they expand their digital capabilities. The system is updated in real time through automated data-measuring processes, in addition to research and analysis from the Stuzo team. The system, found at cstoredigitalranking. com, covers more than 90 c-store chains and measures each chain’s digital presence using five metrics: mobile commerce, mobile employee activation,

connected car, website and social media. Each company is ranked on a points-based system with a score of zero to 5 for each metric, with 5 representing a perfect score. Each metric is calculated using a small series of more specific metrics. As chains improve and expand their digital tools, Stuzo’s rankings adjust accordingly. The findings reveal an industry inching its way toward brickand-byte harmony. The findings also point to a new direction for mobile, and it’s not on smartphones—it’s on a car’s dashboard.

»

october 2017 csp

67

2

1

1

SPEEDWAY

2

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

2.92

MOBILE SCORE

F

2.48 2,770 Enon, Ohio speedway.com

4.83

WEBSITE SCORE

or a company whose loyalty program, Speedy Rewards, is a hallmark of the brand, it’s no surprise Speedway played well against Stuzo’s digital metrics. Its website received high marks for user interface and flow, making it easy to search the site for pertinent information. Customers can find location-based gas prices, current promotions and the reward-point values of specific items. Users can also log into their Speedy Rewards accounts and download Speedway’s mobile app via the site. The app itself

4.63

SOCIAL SCORE

received strong points for its performance and interface with the loyalty program. It can track earned rewards and store multiple payment cards and coupons within it. What would have bumped Speedway’s mobile commerce score up is if it offered payment at the pump or mobile food ordering through its app. But the chain did score well for its social-media presence, engaging with customers by posting polls and chances to win free prizes, and consistently responding to customer concerns.

WAWA INC.

2.85

W

CUMBERLAND FARMS

3

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

MOBILE SCORE

3

2.45 730 Wawa, Pa. wawa.com

4.67

WEBSITE SCORE

awa frequently posts on social media and consistently responds to customers’ concerns, something Stuzo COO Aaron McLean says goes toward “providing great customer service and building trust.” Wawa’s website also received high marks for promoting its app and loyalty program, along with offering information on menu items, rewards, fuel and more. The app allows customers to earn rewards from the loyalty program each time they reach $50 in in-store purchases, but customer reviews indicate that these rewards are often lost and never redeemed.

4.75

SOCIAL SCORE

The app also offers mobile payment through gift cards, but McLean says paying with the app “takes a great deal of time.” He suggests the app could be improved by decreasing loading times, offering more mobile-payment methods and ensuring rewards are redeemed. Wawa is teaming up with GrubHub to test online delivery at four Pennsylvania stores. “Our biggest area of focus is on digital convenience, delivering Wawa to our customers in their moment of need—how they want it, when they want it, where they want it,” says Todd Miller, director of digital marketing strategy and solutions for Wawa.

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

2.24

MOBILE SCORE

C

2.37 554 Framingham, Mass. cumberlandfarms.com

4.67

WEBSITE SCORE

umberland Farms received a near-perfect score for its socialmedia presence. The chain shares content every day, which includes interactive polls, text-to-redeem coupons and posts congratulating the “Fan of the Week.” McLean calls Cumberland’s content “fun, humorous and valuable for consumers.” Users are highly engaged with the chain’s social platforms, and the brand responds back reliably. The chain does almost as well with its website score, which is easy to navigate, promotes the chain’s app and shows fuel prices near

4.94

SOCIAL SCORE

visitors. However, Stuzo’s ranking system sees the fact that customers must go to an additional site to sign up for SmartPay, the chain’s app, as room for improvement. The SmartPay app lets customers access rewards such as free drinks after purchasing 40 gallons of gas or 10 cents off per gallon when customers pay at the pump with the SmartPay app. McLean says customers must give very personal information, including Social Security numbers and information on their checking account, to sign up for the app, which may turn away some users.

october 2017 csp

69

4

KUM & GO LC

4

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

2.49

MOBILE SCORE

P

2.24 408 West Des Moines, Iowa kumandgo.com

4.42

WEBSITE SCORE

ersonalization and promotion drove high marks for Kum & Go’s loyaltyprogram interface on its website, but the site score took a hit because it lacks a download link for those who do not already have a Kum & Go &Rewards account. The chain also scored highly in the social-media category, thanks to its regular promotions and creativity of content. Stuzo’s ranking points out that the chain engages customers by retweeting content, hosting contests and replying to questions and suggestions on Facebook, but its engagement score suggests the brand could do more to connect with customers

4.31

SOCIAL SCORE

on social media. Mike Templeton, marketing manager for Kum & Go, suggests judging the efficacy of social-media posts by how natural they sound. “Imagine that a store employee behind the counter said it to you," he said. "Does that sound like something they would say?” The highlight of Kum & Go’s mobilecommerce capabilities is its mobile &Rewards program, though points were deducted because, as of press time, mobile ordering was unavailable due to minor usability issues. The app allows customers access to surprise offers and the ability to save 5 cents per gallon with the &Rewards debit card.

5

EXXONMOBIL

5

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

2.38

MOBILE SCORE

2.00

CONNECTED CAR

E

2.21 8,714 branded sites Irving, Texas exxon.com

3.79

WEBSITE SCORE

2.88

SOCIAL SCORE

ExxonMobil is the only brand in the top 10 to get on the board for connected car.

xxonMobil stands out for its work with Ford to integrate the Speedpass+ app into some of its cars, allowing drivers to pay for gas and earn loyalty points through an in-car touchscreen. Customers can also search for Mobil and Exxon gas stations using the app. Stuzo’s only criticism of the in-car app is that it does not notify customers of rewards, promotions and car diagnostics. Whether through a customer’s car or phone, the Speedpass+ app allows customers to

pay at the pump, earn points through the Plenti loyalty program and save 6 cents off every gallon with their rewards card. The brand’s website promotes the Speedpass+ app on its homepage, which, when clicked, takes customers to another site with steps outlining how to use the app, a video and frequently asked questions. On social, Exxon frequently posts articles and videos highlighting its work in research, technological innovation and energy efficiency.

october 2017 csp

71

7

6

6

SHEETZ INC.

7

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

2.49

MOBILE SCORE

W

4.46

WEBSITE SCORE

hen a customer logs into the Sheetz website, they can explore rewards, order history, closest stores and more, all of which yield strong scores for the chain’s site. Stuzo’s only suggestion is that the chain promote its app more on the site to make it easier for customers to take advantage of mobile offers. McLean calls MySheetz a “solid loyalty program” in

72

2.17 524 Altoona, Pa. sheetz.com

4.38

SOCIAL SCORE

which customers can earn free items and save on fuel. He cites a recent update, which added more loyalty features, food ordering and location services, but points to customer reviews claiming that the mobile-payment option often does not work. On the other hand, McLean says the chain’s posts on social media are “original, responsive and relevant,” giving the brand a solid social score.

csp october 2017

8

PILOT FLYING J

8

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

2.00

MOBILE SCORE

W

2.09 735 Knoxville, Tenn. pilotflyingj.com

4.63

WEBSITE SCORE

ith perfect scores for app promotion and user interface, Pilot Flying J’s website is its strongest digital asset, according to Stuzo’s digital ranking. The site also includes useful information on products, business services and reward programs. Pilot’s app, meanwhile, allows customers to pay at the pump and earn reward points, which can be used instantly to redeem showers, Wi-Fi and more services. Customers can also reserve showers and parking spaces through the

3.80

SOCIAL SCORE

app, but some users have reported issues with these features. Stuzo’s research says the app can be unreliable, especially concerning mobile payment. The chain garnered solid scores for its social-media presence. Pilot posts engaging content using images and video on socialmedia channels two to three times per week. While McLean says the chain could engage even more with its customers, he says the brand still sees heavy traction from fans on social media.

LOVE’S TRAVEL STOPS & COUNTRY STORES INC.

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

1.78

MOBILE SCORE

L

1.98 397 Oklahoma City loves.com

4.13

WEBSITE SCORE

ove’s easily navigable and personalized website is what brings it to No. 8 on Stuzo’s digital ranking. The site offers information on promotions, a locations search, relevant blog content and useful information for travelers. The only room for improvement McLean sees in the website is that a physical My Love’s Rewards card is required to sign up for a rewards account online. The cards are available only at physical stores. The chain’s mobile app does not have any mobile-payment or food preordering

4.00

SOCIAL SCORE

options, but Stuzo gave the app high marks for its performance. Love’s also scored well in social media for its responsiveness, content and engagement. The chain’s socialmedia channels normally include promotional images and “lighthearted, personal content about the staff and customers,” McLean says. Love’s often engages customers by tagging them in posts and sharing customer posts, but there are still opportunities to promote its app and loyalty program more on social media.

10

9

MAVERIK INC.

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

1.25

MOBILE SCORE

W

9

74

1.93 300 Salt Lake City maverik.com

4.25

WEBSITE SCORE

ith a wellestablished brand positioning of “Adventure’s First Stop,” Maverik scores well for both social media and its website. The site is easily navigated and contains useful information including loyalty club sign-in and full details on the company’s mobile app, though it could be improved with a menu of foodservice items and fuel prices for each location, says McLean. The chain’s social media stays on-brand with videos and

csp october 2017

PHILLIPS 66

10

4.13

SOCIAL SCORE

articles about outdoor activities, and it is up to date with instore promotions and contests. McLean says Maverik’s social-media game has room to improve by responding more frequently to customers on Facebook, but the chain nonetheless posts often and has robust engagement on Twitter. A next step for Maverik’s digital strategy could be the addition of mobile payment and food preordering options.

OVERALL SCORE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS HEADQUARTERS WEBSITE

1.96

MOBILE SCORE

E

1.92 About 4,050 branded sites Houston phillips66gas.com

3.71

WEBSITE SCORE

ach of the Phillips 66 brand websites are designed well and include useful content for consumers, according to McLean, but he says the main strength behind the chain’s ranking is its social-media content. The chain often includes “Throwback Thursday” posts in its feeds of the Phillips 66 basketball team and of original stations. It also posts support for the St. Louis Blues hockey team and promotes its role as a Big 12 conference sponsor. With nearly daily postings on Twitter and Facebook and

4.13

SOCIAL SCORE

weekly engagement on Instagram, the brand’s social engagement is high. Despite the chain’s high website and social scores, McLean says the My Phillips 66 app “could use some improvements.” He points out that while the app incorporates the KickBack Points card, which allows customers to earn points for purchases, customers need to buy a physical KickBack Points card before they can enroll on the app. The app would also benefit from offering gas prices by location.