Besides being the calling card of a successful retailer, customer engagement solutions also drive loyalty in a saturated marketplace. Regional convenience store chain Maverik is forging these loyal connections through the use of a high-definition digital signage to create a customer engagement solution designed to drive foot traffic from the gas pumps to the store.
The retail industry is more competitive than ever, as retailers vie for customer loyalty and wallet share, not just among segment competitors but also among unconventional players emerging through channel blurring. While retailers were originally concerned about competition from unexpected formats selling merchandise that often didn’t align with their standard assortments, now merchants must blur their own lines, and encourage shoppers to use their combination of available channels and digital touch points. Dynamic customer engagement solutions such as digital signs can help.
Building a Reputation
Consider Maverik, a convenience store chain that operates more than 270 locations across 10 western states. Maverik has built a reputation around adventure, sports and the outdoors, but an increasingly saturated marketplace made it difficult to stand out from the crowd. “Most convenience stores look alike, and have little brand identity or personality,” explained Ernie Harker, Maverik’s executive director of marketing. “Since we are in the Rockies, it was natural for us to connect our brand to adventure.”
However, the traditional backlit posters and static print advertising used in its stores and at the gas pumps were failing to connect effectively with customers. In addition to diluting Maverik’s brand message, these media did little to encourage shoppers to shop across touch points, especially between the gas pumps and stores. It was time for the chain to evaluate the power of digital customer engagement solutions.
Creating an Engagement Strategy
Maverik set to work developing a new digital customer engagement strategy, one that could showcase high-energy videos and digital content that would entertain customers and promote products and loyalty programs. This included the adoption of digital signage displays to support in-store menu boards and promotional signage, as well as high-brightness displays in the window to drive foot traffic from the pump to the store.
By partnering with digital signage integrator RevelTV and Samsung, Maverik deployed a custom digital signage solution at key touchpoints within its stores, including 40-inch digital menu boards and 22-inch promotional displays on its soda dispensers, hot food counters and checkout. It also added 75-inch high-brightness displays — designed specifically to captivate shoppers regardless of harsh weather and natural outdoor lighting — in the window-facing the gas pumps.
Since adding the digital customer engagement solution, the chain’s results have been impressive. In addition to engaging the shopper across both physical channels, the digital signage successfully informs shoppers about new products, promotions and the chain’s loyalty program. The ability to quickly roll out and customize marketing messages has been a catalyst in helping to increase foot traffic into the store from the pump, increase sales on promoted items and encourage positive customer feedback. “We base our success not just on revenue gains, but on the fact that we are helping our customers know more about what we offer,” explained Harker.
Placing the displays next to its freshly baked cinnamon rolls, for example, “we featured a video showing fresh rolls coming out of our ovens,” he said. “That imagery, combined with the smell of the cinnamon rolls, set new sales records.”
These results have prompted Maverik to upgrade more than 50 additional locations with the Samsung digital signage, and all future stores will be designed with the technology.