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Arby’s supports national loyalty campaign with PunchTab

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sandy Springs, Ga. – When Arby’s recently launched a new brisket sandwich menu item, the retailer chose PunchTab to help build a rewards campaign called “The League of Brisket.” The campaign encourages customers to join the league and complete challenges to earn free food and gear, as well as an entry for a chance to win the grand prize of pro football tickets and “the ultimate tailgate party.”

The Arby’s campaign engages and rewards participants for uploading purchase receipts. Participants are also rewarded for engaging with Arby’s across a variety of channels, including checking in at an Arby’s location, taking online quizzes, Tweeting, Liking, and completing online challenges. For example, an Arby’s fan can earn 1,000 points for uploading a photo on Instagram using the #LeagueOfBrisketRewards hashtag, and get another 1,000 points for checking in at Arby’s on Foursquare or Facebook. For making a purchase and uploading the receipt, Arby’s customers will receive 3,000 points.

For this campaign, PunchTab created a mobile web and web experience which lets Arby’s customers upload a receipt without requiring an app download. When users make a purchase, they can take a picture of their receipt and submit it via the mobile web site. The receipt image is automatically uploaded and upon verification, points are rewarded. Alternatively, consumers can upload their receipt from their computer and submit it online from the campaign home page.

In the first week of this deployment of receipt scanning in a QSR rewards campaign, 24% of participants who checked in purchased the sandwich and uploaded their receipt.

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Euclid: Customer caution grows in September

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Walk-by conversion and in-store engagements among U.S., consumers slipped in September compared to August as consumers became more cautious and less compelled to shop after back-to-school spending. In-store analytics technology vendor Euclid’s U.S. Retail Benchmarks for September 2013, based on 20 million domestic shopping sessions, suggest September same-store and total store sales may be sluggish for many retailers.

Specific findings include:

  • Walk-by conversion in September 2013, defined as the number of shoppers who enter a store as a percentage of the total walk-by foot traffic, decreased to 14.4% from 16.3% in August 2013. The September conversion rate dropped to the lowest level since April after a consistent uptick this summer, tracking a similar low in consumer confidence. Shoppers also continued to focus on bigger-ticket items at the expense of other shopping, and as a result walk-by conversion suffered.
  • The percentage of shoppers who entered a store but left within five minutes ("bounce rate") was 15.6% in September 2013, up from 13.7% in September 2012. Despite the slight increase, September’s bounce rate maintained a meaningful improvement from the 17% high in July 2013. In-store engagement was strong amid back-to-school promotions, but weakened in September as consumers had less urgency to shop against a backdrop of unwavering economic uncertainty.
  • Shopping session duration, defined as the mean time from store entry to store exit, was 22 minutes 15 seconds in September 2013, a decline of 5.0% year-over-year and 5.7% from August 2013. The shorter shopping sessions during September, following a solid summer, again reflect a decline in shopper intent compared to the recent back-to-school period and a strong September a year ago.
  • In one positive sign, active repeat customers, defined as individuals returning to a store location more than once in 30 days, were 25.3% of total visits measured September 2013, up 140 basis points from the previous month. Repeat customers appeared responsive to increased marketing efforts and loyalty programs during the month. As Euclid expands its network, the company expects this metric to increase modestly.

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Safeway dumps Dominick’s after Q3 profit swoon

BY CSA STAFF

Safeway plans to exit the Chicago market where it operates 72 supermarkets under the Dominick’s banner by early 2014 after posting third quarter profits that were roughly half those of the comparable period the prior year.
The decision to exit Chicago follows similar move earlier this year when Safeway announced the sale of its Canadian operations.

"The decision to sell Canada Safeway and to exit the Chicago market is consistent with Safeway’s priority of maximizing shareholder value," said Robert Edwards, Safeway president and CEO. "These actions will allow us to focus on improving and strengthening our core grocery business. We are continuing to review all of our businesses to optimize our allocation of resources, improve sales and grow operating profits."

The company said exiting Chicago would result in a cash tax benefit of $400 million to $450 million which will be available in the short-term to partly offset the cash tax expense on the sale of the net assets of Canada Safeway Limited. Any proceeds from the disposal of Dominick’s properties will be used to buy back stock and to invest in growth opportunities, the company said.

The news about Dominick’s was released in conjunction with third quarter results that saw sales and other revenue from continuing operations increase a meager 1.1% to $8.6 billion due mainly to a 1.9% increase in identical store sales. Adjusted net income for the period declined to $71.9 million, or 30 cents a share, to net income of $157 million, or 66 cents a share the prior year.

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