Founded more than 50 years ago, Casey’s General Stores, Inc. is a convenience retailer that has grown to over 2,200 stores across 16 states. They are the fourth largest c-store retailer and the fifth largest pizza chain in the U.S. Most stores are located in towns with populations of 5,000 or less, putting Casey’s at the center of those communities as a gas station, grocery store and restaurant combined.

Casey’s digital transformation began in 2017 as the brand looked to deliver a better customer experience than was possible with their current technology which lacked a loyalty program and integrated online ordering. Casey’s got to work and started assembling one of the leading technology stacks across the industry, according to Art Sebastian, Casey’s VP of Digital Experience.

Casey’s Selects Punchh to Deliver Customized Loyalty Solution

Within a short time, they built an order management system to facilitate telephone orders, launched a new website and ecommerce platform, created a branded app, established a CRM for marketing automation and after a careful evaluation of potential providers, Casey’s chose Punchh as their loyalty and engagement platform.

“We made the strategic decision that to stay relevant with customers and become more contemporary we needed to invest in technology,” said Sebastian. “The power comes not from each system in isolation, but when those systems work together to engage our guests in a seamless manner.”

Working from a modern loyalty platform was important to Casey’s, noted Sebastian. They wanted to have the robust integration capabilities necessary for creating a unified data hub that could deliver intelligent customer insights and inform their marketing and digital experience efforts. Casey’s also looked to capitalize on Punchh’s expertise in food service to drive better spend lift and frequency for their restaurant and grocery operations, said Sebastian.

Inspiring Loyalty with Brand Aligned Program Design

The Casey’s Rewards program’s thoughtful design allows customers to redeem/convert points in three ways: cents off gasoline, into Casey’s Cash to use like currency in-store or online, or into a donation via Cash for Classrooms, which enables customers to donate to a list of almost 40,000 schools in the communities Casey’s serves. Cash for Classrooms donations go directly to the schools and makes charitable giving easy and seamless for guests, differentiating Casey’s their loyalty program in the retail and QSR industries. With multiple ways for customers to save, Casey’s is increasing store frequency and building loyalty, which is helping their bottom line.

Partnering with Punchh also helps Casey’s create more profitable promotions, boost food and drink sales, and drive pump-to-store traffic. A recently launched capability through Punchh provides Casey’s guests a way to get cents off of fuel. In a recent campaign running in partnership with PepsiCo, guests who purchased three Mountain Dews would earn 10 cents off a gallon on their fuel fill-up. Initial metrics indicate it’s had a strong impact in bringing customers into the store.

Maximizing the Impact of Digital Expansion

Punchh tackled the complexities of integration with Casey’s point of sale and fuel pump system (NCR Retalix Storepoint), online experience (SAP Commerce Cloud) and messaging hub (Salesforce Marketing Cloud). Sebastian believes the implementation went well due to time spent together on discovery and strategy with clear timelines in place to track progress. “Over the course of building new capabilities you certainly bump into challenges. We overcame the challenges one by one because Punchh is a dedicated partner who steps up to the plate, no matter the obstacle.”

Casey’s also needed to address market challenges such as increased restaurant competition and declining fuel prices. Through comprehensive integrations with the Punchh Engagement and Loyalty Platform, Casey’s now has access to customer behavior and preference data that helps them better identify, understand and communicate with their customers.

Casey’s launched their loyalty program in January 2020, providing the ultimate convenience for customers, with frictionless digital access and an innovative experience for earning and redeeming points — all while highlighting Casey’s commitment to communities. Enrollment has accelerated quickly with loyalty sign-ups reaching 2.3 million within the first five months after the launch.

Future Opportunities

Sebastian sees a huge opportunity to continue evolving the user experience as they build out their rewards program. Casey’s currently features about 20 to 30 monthly offers for its customers, including promotions built in partnership with CPGs to drive store traffic. Customers can easily save their top offers and redeem all applicable incentives in real-time at the point-of-sale during a single store visit. Sebastian wants to make offer recommendations based on past purchase behavior to tee up the top 10 incentives for each individual guest. He believes this goes hand-in-hand with delivering personalization and contextual offers at the pump, which are the next steps he plans to take in the upcoming year.