Huck’s convenience store chain, with 124 Midwest locations, has successfully operated for over 40 years by following one golden rule, “The customer is the most important person in all our stores.” As a 100% employee-owned company, taking a customer-first approach was a natural extension of their commitment to believing in their workforce and the people they serve in their communities.

Over the past several years, Huck’s marketing team has been tracking changing shopper behaviors and the accelerated demand for mobile convenience. Wanting to keep the customer front and center, Huck’s team turned their attention to implementing a strategic loyalty solution that would deliver on their high standards for customer experience. While an initial effort felt short in delivering on their expectations, it reinforced their resolve to partner with a leading loyalty vendor that uses data to create a better experience for customers, in-store, at the pump, or online.

“We chose Punchh because they had the expertise to customize a loyalty solution to fit our specific needs,” said Jon Bunch, Huck’s Director of Marketing Business Development. Another key criterion for selection that Bunch points to is “Punchh’s ability to take historical data and current data and apply it to our goals. No other competitors really offered that. It was more — this is how the program works, this is how you read the data, do whatever you want. We liked Punchh’s way of saying — Set your goals and we will fight to get you there.”

Mobile Loyalty App Drives Range of Redemption Options

Huck’s Buck’s Bigg Rewards program launched in 2020 with the goal to create loyalty among its c-stores shoppers — which traditionally aren’t a very loyal group. Huck’s understood they needed to give customers a reason to go out of their way to visit them versus stopping at the nearest gas station or convenience store. Punchh made program implementation easy with POS (NCR rPOS) integration and age validation integration with Koupon Media to unlock offers for customers 21 and over.

Punchh also created the Huck’s Bucks Bigg Rewards mobile app to meet c-store customers’ growing digital demands. Through the app, Huck’s customers receive personalized offers, points and rewards for their everyday purchases and frictionless mobile check-out. Additionally, Huck’s provides exclusive in-app access to loyalty customers 21 years and older for tobacco, lottery, alcohol and video gaming promotions. This section of the app helps ensure Huck’s has a wide range of redemption options to increase satisfaction and promote engagement among their customers, while staying true and committed to responsible retailing.

“Punchh gives us the ability to make every experience with our brand feel consistent, easy, and personalized–whether it’s at the pump, in-store, online, or in our mobile app.”

Creating Digital Engagement to Build a Better Customer Experience

After launching the program, Huck’s began the work of building awareness internally and externally. Employees are a key driver for participation and are rewarded for their efforts. Associates from the stores with the highest participation rates per month receive special program incentives for their personal use. Huck’s also runs an employee only gifting campaign with food and fuel discounts along with free merchandise that boost their recruiting and hiring initiatives. Bunch believes if their employees are involved with the program (and are also recipients of the benefits), they’ll be the first to recommend it to a customer.

Externally, the Huck’s marketing team drives customer acquisitions and impact through multiple channels, such as radio, TV, in-store signage, social media and Google ads. Furthermore, to create excitement around the program, Huck’s created a loyalty campaign to run throughout 2021 where one lucky rewards’ member per month will be gifted $1,000.

For Huck’s, customer loyalty is all about providing customers with daily value and a simple, rewarding shopping experience. Bunch understands that the brand’s new strides in customer loyalty is improving their bottom line and boosting their ROI. “Punchh affords us the ability to take a data-driven approach to serving our customers and earning their loyalty each and every day.”