Loyalty Newswire – July 19th, 2021

WM Circle Logo

By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 19, 2021

Every Monday, the editors at The Wise Marketer curate a list of the latest customer loyalty and marketing news to make it simple for busy professionals to quickly digest important, trending topics. Additionally, we cover the retail, travel, hospitality, payments, and data privacy sectors. Show your support by joining our mailing list to gain access to exclusive content, events, and promotions. Don't forget to follow us on social media!

  • After utilizing Paytronix's AI to IA services, Smashburger's loyalty program accounted for roughly $1.9 million in sales, which represents 6.5% of its overall sales growth
  • El Pollo Loco celebrates its Loco Rewards program and National Avocado Day with the launch of its Guac Pass promotional sweepstakes
  • Customer data platform Amperity recently announced it's raised $100 million in series D funding, valuing the company at more than $1 billion
  • BP plans to take full ownership of Thorntons to expand its convenience and fuel retail business in the United States
  • Ross Stores continues brick-and-mortar expansion as part of its plan to open 60 new stores during 2021
  • As a Visa Ready for Transit partner, FEIG is now recognized as a best-in-class solution for modern transit ticketing and payment systems
  • 7-Eleven accelerates the expansion of its Mobile Checkout with plans to offer the contactless service at every U.S. location by 2022
  • U.S. government surveillance expected to be a main focus when revamping transatlantic data flows
  • Business travel demand is on the rise, but government restrictions and policies on international travel prevent companies from conducting key business functions


Smashburger® Leverages Paytronix’s AI to IA℠ to Drive 6.5% of Annual Sales Growth with Relaunch of Smash Club Rewards

Highlight: An innovative company that is always seeking new ways to motivate guests, Smashburger leveraged its loyalty data and Paytronix’s AI and machine learning to create personalized, one-to-one marketing campaigns. These efforts played a major role in helping the company meet its sales-growth objectives amid a difficult economic climate... “Through the SmashClub Rewards program, we utilized the Paytronix tools to tailor communications in a way targeted to what guests enjoy,” said Loyalty Manager Lexi Ryan.

El Pollo Loco to Give Away Free Guac to More Than 5,000 Customers

Highlight: El Pollo Loco, the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, is launching its first-ever Guac Pass in partnership with Avocados From Mexico, to celebrate members of its Loco Rewards customer loyalty program and celebrate one of the brand’s favorite days of the year, National Avocado Day. New and existing Loco Rewards members who make a purchase anytime between July 26-31 will automatically be entered to win a Guac Pass, which can be used to get one small order of fresh chips and guacamole for free at any El Pollo Loco location every day in August... “We take pride in the exceptional quality and taste of our hand-mashed guacamole, prepared fresh daily with only the freshest Avocados from Mexico and accompanied by our handmade chips dusted with gourmet sea salt. National Avocado Day seemed like the perfect time to reward lucky Loco Rewards members with 31 days of free chips and guac through our first-ever Guac Pass,” El Pollo Loco President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Acoca says.


Amperity raises $100M to unify customer data

Highlight: Amperity, a Seattle, Washington-based customer data platform, today announced it has raised $100 million in series D funding, valuing the company at more than $1 billion post-money. Founder and CEO Kabir Shahani said the company will use these funds, which bring its total raised to $187 million, to expand sales and marketing, grow internationally, and invest in R&D... “Amperity has created the first-party data graph and customer toolset for many of the world’s most loved consumer brands. There’s a vast universe of solutions that might provide an element of what we do, but no one can deliver a more complete customer [view] with an agnostic approach we provide at both ends — data in, data out,” Shahani told VentureBeat via email.


BP to Take Full Ownership of Thorntons

Highlight: When the deal is complete, BP will expand its Midwest and Southern footprint with 208 owned and operated locations across six states, including Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. “We have a proud history of high-quality retail brands across the country. Incorporating Thorntons into our business combines their customer-first culture with our existing U.S. retail network and will help us deliver our convenience strategy of offering customers what they want, where and when they want it,” said David Lawler, chairman and president of BP America, in a press release.

Ross Stores Opens 30 New Locations

Highlight: Ross Stores recently opened 22 Ross Dress for Less® ("Ross") and eight dd's DISCOUNTS® stores across 11 different states in June and July. These new locations are part of the Company's plans to add approximately 60 new stores – 40 Ross and 20 dd's DISCOUNTS – during fiscal 2021. “These recent openings reflect our ongoing commitment to expanding our two chains,” said Gregg McGillis, Group Executive Vice President, Property Development. Looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to grow to at least 2,400 Ross Dress for Less and 600 dd's DISCOUNTS locations over time.”


Visa and FEIG: Making the future of transit a reality

Highlight: Recognizing Visa’s ongoing commitment to help transit operators upgrade their transit payment experiences, FEIG became a Visa Ready for Transit partner in April 2020… As a Visa Ready for Transit partner, FEIG is now seen as a best-in-class payment terminal solution provider with the understanding and expertise to enable the implementation of modern transit ticketing and payment systems. It’s an effort that promises to help attract more transit operators and system integrators from around the world—the potential to both elevate the company’s reputation and increase revenue… “Aligning with Visa Ready for Transit standards makes it easier to showcase your solutions, and ultimately participate in important transit projects”, says Eric W. Pitts Sr. Manager, Payment Operations FEIG ELECTRONIC.

7-Eleven expands Mobile Checkout to 3,000 stores

Highlight: With the expansion, Mobile Checkout capability is offered in more than 3,000 7-Eleven stores in 32 states and the District of Columbia, Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. said Tuesday. The feature enables 7-Eleven mobile app users to scan products and pay for their purchases via their smartphones, skipping the checkout line… “After over a year of living through the pandemic, Americans have a new perception of what convenience looks like. For many, it’s a contactless shopping experience without waiting in line,” Raghu Mahadevan, digital senior vice president at 7-Eleven, said in a statement. “Luckily, we were already testing Mobile Checkout and had begun expanding 7NOW home delivery to hundreds of markets before lockdowns occurred. Now we are accelerating the expansion of Mobile Checkout to ensure customers can shop at 7-Eleven the way they want to shop: safe and convenient.”


Surveillance in Spotlight Amid Ongoing EU-U.S. Data Privacy Rift

Highlight: Surveillance is expected to be the focus of proposals for revamping the so-called EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which was invalidated in a July 16, 2020, ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union… Companies facing policy uncertainty are likely eager for U.S. and EU negotiators to reach a new agreement, since data flows pose challenges that can’t be solved with private sector measures alone, according to Caitlin Fennessy, former U.S. director for the Privacy Shield. “What is at stake here is national security and surveillance issues,” Fennessy, now research director at the International Association of Privacy Professionals, said. “Protections in that realm underpin all commercial data transfers.”


Business Travel Demand Is On A Steady Rise But Government Policies Continue To Hamper Return To International Travel

Highlight: More companies are reporting a willingness and actual return to business travel, with domestic travel taking the lead. However, government restrictions on international travel continue to hinder the ability for companies to conduct key business functions. This latest poll shows a 12% increase compared to last month in companies opening travel and fewer companies suspending or cancelling all travel. Domestic business travel is now widely allowed and corporate bookings and travel spend continues to rise month on month. However, half (52%) of GBTA respondents report that government policies and restrictions relating to international business travel continue to impact their companies’ ability to conduct important business functions such as networking, business prospecting, planning and sales meetings.

Did you miss last week's newswire? Stay informed: Loyalty Newswire – July 12th, 2021

The Loyalty Newswire is compiled and edited by the staff at The Wise Marketer.