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Second Cup Coffee Co. Rewards is a free loyalty program designed to enhance customers’ café experience, providing a simple and fast way to earn points, redeem rewards and receive personalized offers and surprises. 

The Challenge

In early 2013, Second Cup was at a crossroads; sales were stagnant, the brand and café designs were overdue for an update, franchisees were frustrated and competition was intensifying. The brand and the business needed more than a few tweaks; they needed a complete overhaul. After a major rebrand, Second Cup still lacked something to retain and reward their customers. The challenge was to make members' experience more rewarding with fast, flexible rewards and more convenient with digital payment.

The Solution

Conversion helped Second Cup launch a new loyalty program and mobile payment app in just five short months. Launched in April 2015, Second Cup Coffee Co. Rewards awards loyal customers with free beverages and coffee beans. Points are awarded for every dollar spent at Second Cup, providing simplicity and exceptional value as reward levels are quickly reached. After joining, members are engaged with a series of triggered and personalized one-to-one communications, delivered through email and mobile push notifications. Every element of the experience reflects the clean, simple and modern feel of the redesigned brand.

The Results

All results have exceeded expectations and contributed to positive returns for the company. In February 2016, Second Cup reported its first positive same store sales quarter since 2012 and signaled a return to positive earnings. The Second Cup Coffee Co. Rewards Program was recognized as a key driver of results, was instrumental in driving customer frequency and loyalty and, after only nine months, accounted for nearly 20% of sales.

Membership in 2015 exceeded targets by 20% and, remarkably, members more than doubled their spending after they experienced redeeming points for a free beverage the first time.

All communications were rigorously tested, proven to add an incremental 10% to the sales of members who received one-to-one communications (compared to representative control groups, held back from receiving communications). Moreover, members receiving communications were 40% more likely to redeem, adding even more positive momentum to the program and to overall business results.

In the three years since launch, the program has grown to include a robust suite of automated journeys and event-driven triggers, as well as weekly broadcast and targeted communications, all of which continue to drive positive ROI for Second Cup – with increases in incremental spend, visit frequency, and trial.

A portal for café franchisees shares ongoing results of the loyalty program – not only financial results but also verbatims from customer surveys – to reinforce value and ensure ongoing advocacy and participation from these critical stakeholders.


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