Loyalty card data is helping one of the country’s top forecourt retailers to test a clever voucher scheme that is designed to boost food sales among customers buying fuel.
Chris Sedgwick, customer director of BP Retail, said the company had spent five months developing a database that utilises information from the Nectar loyalty card scheme, of which it is a partner.
By segmenting the data, BP can now spot customers who are buying only fuel in its stores and offer them tailored vouchers, which will be printed at the till, to encourage them to use the shop.
“Say you always use one of our stores in the morning to buy
fuel, but never buy coffee. We would then give you a voucher to buy a coffee,” said Sedgwick.
“Similarly, if it’s in the afternoon, we may give you a voucher to buy a muffin.”
Likewise, the system will be able to identify those buying regular fuel and supply them with vouchers to encourage them to trade up to premium fuel products.
The voucher scheme is being tested at eight sites and, if successful, will be rolled out across the 1,300 BP sites towards the end of the year.
“No other fuel retailer has done this,” said Sedgwick. “But two thirds of our fuel customers don’t buy anything else.
“And with seven million transactions a week, if you can persuade a few customers to buy a cup of coffee as well as a tank of petrol, then it’s big numbers.”
BP has also been making its Nectar scheme work smarter in-store. Sedgwick hailed the instant-win promotion it ran earlier this year as a great success. “We will be repeating it later this year,” he said.
There has been a lot of negative publicity around Nectar this year - with rumours about Sainsbury pulling out and Barclaycard’s decision to quit. Barclaycard has been replaced by American Express.
Sedgwick said: “Nectar works for us. If you look at the fuel business it’s pretty disloyal, with lots of customer churn. So something as small as a few points that you can cash in works for us. It’s been a big success and gives people another reason to visit BP.”
BP expects to benefit from the halo effect being created by new ads being run by Nectar owner Loyalty Management UK.
Julian Hunt