Audio Transcript

Welcome to “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas for loyalty specialists around the world. This episode is brought to you by Epsilon on their award-winning people. Cloud loyalty solution. Personalization should be integrated into the entire customer experience, including of course your loyalty program. With this in mind, Epsilon recently released a guide outlining six key components that will put you on the path to personalizing your entire loyalty experience.
51s
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This guide challenges you to do some housekeeping and reconsider how you think about your current and future loyalty personalization efforts. So to download your copy of the report, visit epsilon.com forward slash let’s talk loyalty. As one of the world’s largest retailers worldwide seven 11 has been a brand I’ve wanted on the show since day one. Their us loyalty program called seven rewards has one, some of the loyalty industry’s top awards. And so I was thrilled to get the chance to interview regu Mahadevan, the chief digital officer at seven 11 and get his expertise and insights on how to achieve extraordinary customer loyalty.
1m 45s
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So Ragu first and foremost, welcome to let’s talk loyalty.
1m 49s
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Thank you, Paula.
1m 50s
1

Thanks for having me. I’m super excited. Reco. I think, you know, I’ve been writing about seven 11 in all of your various and amazing possibilities around the world, whether it’s Scandinavia or Australia, and obviously the incredible work with seven awards in the U S so it says super exciting to hear your story. So let’s get straight into it and please tell me, what is your favorite loyalty statistic?
2m 14s
2

Paula, that’s got to be net promoter score. It’s the first and foremost thing that comes to my mind as I think about the customer. And it starts from how much the customer is an aggregate of the experience that is so rough to them. And it, it, so it kind of shows up in many different ways. It’s either a formal survey in which we measure net promoter score or through a customer satisfaction through our customer care team or the app store ratings and so on and so forth. But that’s the number one loyalty metric that we continue to obsess on, which is how do we, so our customers even better than where we are today.
2m 57s
1

Wonderful well it’s music, my ears Ragu. And, you know, we certainly talk about net promoter score a lot on this show. And I love the fact that you use the term customer obsessed because I literally actually yesterday had a conversation with Fred Reichheld for another episode of the show who you probably know creative net promoter score. And he absolutely said that Ragu it’s brands like seven 11 that are obsessed about loving customers that actually do it comes through in all of the work that you deliver. And I think customers ultimately feel that loyalty. So that’s a super exciting to hear
3m 32s
2

Certainly Bala and over the years, it’s become a more commonly adopted metric that a lot of loyalty deems continue to measure. And it’s like the most realistic measure of how the customer is an advocate of.
3m 47s
1

Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. So just because we’re talking about statistics, you did send me through a couple of in advance. So just for the audience who might not be as suppose as aware as I am in terms of the sheer scale of seven 11 globally, I’m just going to quote a couple of them regularly if you don’t mind. And the first one I think is actually a real point of pride for you guys. So seven 11 actually invented the convenience store concept in 1927. I think that alone deserve extraordinary recognition.
4m 20s
2

Definitely Paula, the, a long legacy, it’s a 94 year old legacy that seven 11 engineers either convenience and the industry thought it started trauma, an ice house in Texas and it’s growing. And it has grown globally into what is now upwards of 77,000 stores. So in customers in across the globe, which is pretty fascinating history, extraordinary, and you do continue to keep customer at the center as we move forward.
4m 54s
1

Absolutely. And the other one as well with 10 million customers a day, Ragu, I mean the mind just boggles. It’s an unbelievable number.
5m 1s
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That’s great. We are really, we are really fortunate to be in the center of many communities and being the go-to destination for customers as we look to serve their needs. Okay.
5m 12s
1

Of course, of course. And I think what, what we have to comment on Ragu is how much those needs have dramatically changed in the last 18 months. And I’ll be very interested in your view in terms of whether, you know, new things emerged or whether it just accelerated things that customers already wanted. And, but before I even asked you that Ragu, there’s so much within the seven rewards program, I’d love to get a sense of where it’s at. And in terms of like, what kind of scale is seven rewards as in terms of its membership numbers and any of the history, I suppose, that you can share with our listeners, because I think I said to you before our number one audience is the U S and number two is the UK.
5m 54s
1

Number three is actually Australia. So there’s very different experience with seven 11 around the world, listening to the show. So, so just, I’d love to hear about seven awards in the U S as it currently stands,
6m 5s
2

Loyalty program, getting seven rewards. The seven rewards loyalty program has, has evolved over the many years in world, started in what started in the early 2010s as more of a punch card program. Frankly, folks used to walk into the store and they used to get a seventh cup free, whether it be, whether it be the hot coffee drink, or it’d be the big gulp, and that’s how it started. And then at around the same time, as we have seen absolute digital acceleration across the industry, we have evolved the seven rewards program to be a app based program, and certainly not overnight, but surely, and certainly more personalized program for the customers where it’s right now, a points program, it bows close to 55 million members.
6m 57s
2

And over the large number of 90 day active membership base with our new seven rewards points program that’s grown and even accelerated through the pandemic. Well, you mentioned one of the things also that we have seen customers evolve through is that their needs have significantly changed just through the pandemic. Of course, what used to be always a quick in and out has the need has kind of evolved into a quicker in and out as they look for safe and convenient shopping experience as in the store. Yeah, more, more so outside the store as customers have found delivery, not more as a luxury, but as a necessity.
7m 46s
2

And we have pushed the pedal on lot of these dimensions of increasing our contactless payment experience in the store at the pump accelerating delivery, we are nationwide in the us with a seven hour delivery, which is more ways in which we are meeting customers in how they want to have the shopping experience and when they want the shopping experience.
8m 13s
1

Yeah. And, and you’re absolutely right. Ragu. I mean, as long as I’ve been in convenience retail, which is, you know, is about probably three years and which I think is similar to you. So I’ve been writing, you know, for the guys in liquid barcodes all about, you know, the, the essential part about eliminating friction. I think we’ve all had that experience of being super at busy frustrated, and maybe on our way to work or an important meeting, but needing to stop in a convenience store. So the industry has always impressed me with it’s laser focused on eliminating that. And we always talk, I think, safe for granted. So I love that you’ve included that there, because it has become something that we have to be, I think more explicit about if, if I’m right, is that something that you’re feeling that you need to articulate for four members all the time?
9m 2s
1

Now
9m 3s
2

It is the, you know, safety, convenience, and value. These are things that we pay almost constant attention, pandemic, pandemic, but definitely to the, of make the safety aspect of it is, has more, has kind of found its way to come across as an expectation in more ways than one. I’ll give you a quick example. You know, as customers, you know, through the pandemic, as customers shopped at stores, we start, they started feeling how, you know, it would be great if we could shop without having to have a very in-depth interaction with the store associate. Now, not all customers are like that.
9m 44s
2

And we certainly don’t want this to a one size fits all. But for those customers who feel that they want to have a quick in and out within seven rewards, we have launched the mobile checkout feature in scan pay go. So you ha you enter a store, you grab your quick coffee, you go grab the donut or the cross on you want for breakfast, and you don’t have to stand in the line. Neither do you have to have a interaction experience for those customers who choose so they can scan the product with the app. They can pay in the app, making user confirmation station to confirm that they paid and walk straight out the door. So in more ways than one, it’s a very safe experience it’s even quicker often in and out.
10m 27s
2

So you also avoid standing in lines for customers who are sensitive to it. And it makes a huge win-win both for us and for the customer. Yeah,
10m 35s
1

Yeah, yeah. Operational speeds in a way that honestly, I don’t think we could ever have predicted
10m 41s
2

Absolutely. Right. And it’s going to be more, and I certainly believe it’s going to be more of the norm.
10m 46s
1

And had you started working in the Ragu? Can I ask you before the pandemic or was it literally a brain child of it? Because I think we’ve talked before a couple of times about, you know, this idea that necessity is the mother of invention. And sometimes when you’re just in such a challenging situation, you find solutions that you wouldn’t have even looked for before, because obviously, as we said, you were already optimizing for speed. So is that something that was already in the pipeline or just came through as a result of the pandemic?
11m 16s
2

Yeah. Paula at seven 11, we have a long history of innovation. And like, as you rightly mentioned, this is something that we had started working on pre pandemic. So we had launched a pilot with what we call mobile checkout. We launched a pilot in the summer of 2019 and the pandemic essentially accelerated the rollout of our pilot. So we were, we were headed down the spot as we were anticipating the customer need for quicker and foster convenience and, and the pandemic essentially made it a necessity more than,
11m 57s
1

Yeah. Yeah. I’m sure your workload probably tripled over overnight ragged at it.
12m 3s
2

I think the entire industry.
12m 5s
1

Yeah. Yeah. And for people who don’t know, I think it was super important for me actually, and maybe it was the same around the world, but the fact that convenience stores were deemed as essential services. I think first of all, that gave an extraordinary, I suppose, extra respect to the convenience store industry. And I don’t think any of us had realized before how reliant we are on being able to stop by locally and pick up anything and everything we need. So it would have absolutely been extraordinary if we had been able to shop in our local seven 11 through this whole period, true
12m 41s
2

V and our entire store network, we feel in many ways, grateful for the opportunity to serve the customer at a time of need. The convenience store format definitely helps the quick in and out when customers have, especially in the middle of the pandemic before the vaccine started coming, where there was an apprehension to spend a lot of time in a big box retailer, the, the store format definitely helped the customer for more than just a quick stop by it started becoming the destination for the grocery fill in more so often than previously.
13m 15s
1

Yeah. Yeah. And as well as the mobile checkout regular. And thank you for explaining that, because that sounds fabulous. And we don’t have it where I live, so hopefully it’ll be coming soon. And, but you also explained to me before this call about this whole idea about even customers who want to pay by cash, which definitely must’ve given you additional challenges in terms of finding solutions that again, meet this safety criteria meets the speed criteria. And again, make sure people can get in and out, but still get to pay with cash. So I’d love you to explain the, the solution you found for that particular cohort of customers.
13m 55s
2

Yeah. Paula, great question. There, there are a few things we did to ensure that they have a very safe and comfortable shopping experience for the cash customers on the in-store shopping site. Even before we get to seven rewards and the app experience. One of the things that we did across the entire store footprint is ensure that there is a plexi get plexiglass shield that we protected both the customer as well as store associates, so that the transaction, even if it is a cash transaction is really safe in store. The advancement we made again, pre pandemic, which we had started building in the seven rewards app is the digital wallet.
14m 41s
2

It’s not, I mean, I think a lot of retailers and lot of, lot of apps that we have have digital wallets. One of the things unique in the digital wallet that works for seven 11 is that it is a safe Haven for cash customers to load cash into the wallet so that it becomes a faster transaction every time they shop at a seven 11. So we built that very specifically with cash customers also in mind, because that is a significant, good chunk of our customer segment or shop our stores. And with the seven 11 wallet, it’s just another payment mechanism where they can park, they can park the money and use it as an, when they shop our stores.
15m 25s
1

I love it. Wow. And again, I think we’re all familiar with the term of having a card on file. So, you know, the whole concept of a Wallace in my mind was a place where I put my credit or my debit cards. And again, had that speed and simplicity. So it didn’t have to find a way to pay every time, but to extend that out for cash customers, that’s absolutely fabulous. Can I ask, is this, is this within seven rewards or is this for the, for all seven 11 customers? How does it actually operate in practice
15m 56s
2

700 boards in many ways, it’s the heart of the seven 11 app. So when you, when a customer downloads the seven 11 app, it’s basically the seven rewards loyalty program. And the app has all of the digital features and services in one place. One of those in the app, and one of them, one of them is the digital wallet, did the seven 11 wallet. As you download the app, you take the app to the counter for your, you know, a $20 bill, the store associates cancel wallet, loads, the money, and then you have $20 in your wallet as opposed to the more traditional credit and debit, which are all already baked into the app.
16m 37s
1

Totally, totally. And I love that actually Ragu. And it’s a long time since I’ve been responsible for building a loyalty app. So one of the things that I really admire and maybe the whole industry is doing this right now, but I love that you have everything in one app because when I was, as I said, responsible for building some, there was always this concern about if you put too much functionality into one app, it would become extremely heavy people wouldn’t download it. So it was sometimes the case in telecoms, for example, where there was an app for the core business to, to, to monitor your kind of, you know, your normal kind of an mobile phone bill, but there was a separate part for the loyalty program.
17m 19s
1

But I, what I’m hearing coming through is for you guys, it’s actually almost like what I see in, in like really advanced digital markets like China, where they have these like super apps. So everything lives in one place. And I guess what that achieves then is the customer has multiple reasons to download it rather than having to say, oh my God, I have to download another app. Like it’s just so compelling. They, they, they wouldn’t do it. That was just, I guess,
17m 45s
2

Definitely again, it all depends on the customer preference. There are some customers who would, you know, for them one other app, the download would use it and then they decide what they want to do with it. But like you mentioned, having all of it built into one app is definitely less friction than having to download one more app. And mostly for most customers, that’s kind of the preference they have. And for that, we are continuing to incorporate or thread the entire ecosystem together. And we are currently in process of adding a couple of more of our seven 11 entities into our single app, more so or something like our restaurants, which we have at seven 11.
18m 31s
2

And how do you make that a core part of the seven 11 app? And that’s something that you, you, you, you will see in short order. Oh my goodness.
18m 38s
1

Wow. That sounds like something I’ll have to keep a close eye out for ago.
18m 42s
2

Yeah, definitely very exciting, very, very exciting for us to see how we can rope in those customers also as part of our loyalty program.
18m 51s
1

And I should congratulate you as well, Ragu on a couple of things. And first of all, you M you know, very helpfully, but, but quite casually mentioned 55 million members. And the last figure I had from my own research was about 40 million, which I think was pre pandemic. So the growth has certainly accelerated and for my own amusement, I went to see what kind of population of a country would that equate to. And I came up with the fact that Sam seven rewards had more members than the entire population of Canada, but already 55 million. Now we’ll have to find another country that you equate to with your membership base.
19m 28s
2

We are, we, we are humble, but excited as well with the customers who are looking to seven 11 as their shopping destination. And hopefully we can continue to amaze them with our experience and Walden with a delightful experience, frictionless experience, so that we keep the number growing for sure,
19m 50s
1

For sure. And, and I suppose as loyalty professionals, Ragu, we always talk about obviously the importance of quality as well as quantity. And we’ve talked through some of the actual propositions Bush, another thing that really impressed me, I literally went onto the app store to look as, you know, the kind of ratings that your app is getting. And I’m sure you monitor this as a KPI yourself, but with them a score of 4.8 out of five, which is absolutely extraordinary. And that’s from 208,000 ratings for the seven 11 app. So clearly it’s working and resonating with customers in terms of, you know, how useful they feel it is as well as, you know, just being able to do things like, you know, capture their rewards and earn kind of, you know, points and prizes for doing their shopping with you guys.
20m 37s
2

Definitely Paula it’s something that is very close to us. As you mentioned, it is part of the customer feedback that we seek. And we very closely look at customers, tell us through the app store reviews, but so many other channels from where we seek customer input. And, you know, we are fortunate to have a world-class product and engineering team that big, the feedback that the customers give and then put it to good use, maybe enhancements we need and then sell them back. Yeah.
21m 8s
1

Yeah. Brilliant. And you’ve already mentioned as well, Ragu that said innovation is obviously a core value for seven 11. And you know, it’s one of my favorite topics and I’ve seen lots of different things. So I’ll give you, I suppose, almost just the opportunity to, to showcase any particular one that you want to at this point, but just some of the ones, I suppose, that caught my eye because they’re super cool. So you’ve mentioned things like machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and I’ve even seen some things with, I believe voice activated refueling. At one point I know was being trialed in a number of stations. I think it was pre pandemic, but from an innovation perspective, like beyond those, you know, really important developments around payments, as we’ve talked about and you know, the hygiene and contact lists, what else do you think seven, 11 or seven rewards is doing from an innovation perspective that you’re super proud of?
22m 4s
2

I’m going to give you two examples here. And one of them from seven next, which is our R and D division, which is really focused on working on what that customer experience of the future is and what the store experience of the future is. And then as we look across the industry, one of the things that the customers, if you take more things like mobile checkout and wallet bay, and so on to the next level, you almost think about cashless stores, which as you’ve seen a number of different retailers focusing on cashier, lift doors. Yeah. We have a cashless store in our store support center here, downstairs, which we have built with proprietary technology.
22m 44s
2

But one of the things that we are looking at is how do you scale this across a 10,000 store footprint? It’s great to have one or two or three cash in the store for how do you take this experience and scattered across 10,000? So that’s number one. The second one is something which is being an absolute win with seven rewards customers. It’s a very new feature and it’s on the heels of the voice activated fueling, which you mentioned, which is a price lock feature, which we are piloting in Dallas with this feature, the customer enters the seven 11 app that’s just under wards and then sees fuel and has the ability to lock the fuel price in for the next four days.
23m 31s
2

And the price that the customer logs is the lowest price around the customer, not in one store, but the lowest price around the customer. So they get to look at the price, take the price and lock the price for four days. And what this does is to put customer in control of in many ways, the pricing, so that as the, as the, as the market, it was the car that brings the customer that gives the customer the certainty about the price, which they pay for fueling. Wow. And we are hearing great reviews from customers. It’s a pilot that we are running across Dallas Fort worth. And hopefully once we have enough learnings and we find you in that, you should see that scale across.
24m 14s
1

Wow. I love that Ragu. I seem to recall that might’ve been trialed by seven 11 in Australia or, or am I right? Yeah, that’s, that’s a big,
24m 25s
2

Absolutely wonderful thing that it’s something that seven 11 Australia had piloted and try and bite it and done thing a few years back. And it’s something that we are very happy to launch as the first player in the U S
24m 43s
1

Wow. Well, I think it’s absolutely genius Ragu. And I’ve said a few times on, on this, on this show, that one of the things I remember, and in fact from the recession Bush, I suppose another time of uncertainty in the world is that that’s when customers really need something that is very reassuring from the brand. So what I’m hearing, as you said, if the customer’s in control, and I know obviously I’m going to need to refuel in the next few days, then why should I not get the benefits of what’s available from, you know, my favorite seven 11 store in terms of pricing, because if it goes up the next day, it always upsets me. And it’s the opposite of loyalty. If I don’t have some level of control over the pricing that I can access.
25m 27s
2

Yep. And it’s a big customer win-win because you mentioned, if the prices go up, then the customer locks, the lower price and the customer goes down, we’ll give customer to the lower price, not the locked price. It’s a huge win-win for the customer, no matter which way it moves.
25m 42s
1

Yeah. Well, that’s true innovation rego. And again, we’ve often said that you’ve got to get the basics, right. So, you know, the, the beautiful things about as we’ve talked about the stamps and the points and the rewards, and when I will ask you actually about the streaks concept as well, that you’ve launched there in the U S but actually to be able to say, you know, definitely on the value piece, you can absolutely give customers that level of reassurance. I think that’s lovely. And it very much proves that seven 11 is being loyal to its customers rather than just expecting them to be loyal to you guys.
26m 17s
2

Something that we try in every single diamond across just not the team’s working firsthand on someone rewards, but it’s across every part of the organization. You brought up a small, small example in terms of the streets or the points. That’s almost a main effort that we do across the company, really noting what’s wins with the customer. How do we work cross-functionally with our merchants and our renders to figure out what is the product that needs to get on streaks. So that it’s the product that the customer likes and it’s something that serves the business. So it kind of works across the entire value chain.
26m 59s
1

And am I right in understanding Ragu that this idea of streaks, which I think is something that you do and talk to customers about and what you might correct me on that piece, but essentially as I understand your, your strategy is to identify the opportunity for frequency of visits and habitual behavior that you can just continue to encourage and give them almost like multiple points to make sure that that habit is, is literally accentuated and multiplied.
27m 28s
2

Yes. One of the things we, one of the things we do there, Paula, to what you mentioned is we definitely try to tailor this to the customer experience and the customer behavior that we see. There are many, there are, and this, this applies differently for different customers. And we are on a journey which actually actually tailors the streaks for the customers to ensure that it is something that the customer likes. If customer, if customer likes product day, we want to ensure that you get both loyalty, both ways for the customer behavior on product, a instead of putting streets with, you know, just on a blanket, a bunch of different products.
28m 14s
2

And that’s something that we try and tailor to the extent possible.
28m 18s
1

Okay. And again, we all talk about personalization books. That’s bringing both personalization and integrity together because I think we’ve all worked in places where I go where, you know, customer likes product day. So let’s try and see if we can get them to buy product B. And we’re focused more on our cross sell and our commercial objectives when actually what the customer wants is just to get more of what they love.
28m 41s
2

Absolutely. You’ve picked up, you pick the morning coffee and if the morning coffee works wonders, then we want to ensure that it’s also rewarding for the customer because they choose us for that quick morning coffee. And that’s where the seventh cup program really resonates as part of seven.
28m 57s
1

Wonderful, wonderful one other area I wanted to, I suppose, just benefit from your expertise. Ragu is there’s always a great deal of confusion about, you know, what can we expect in a convenience store in this entire industry in terms of what proportion of our customers are likely to be members of our loyalty program. And there’s lots of different terms like scan rates, for example, I think is the most common term for convenience retail. But again, there’s people, you know, listening to this show that work in airline loyalty or lots of different categories, hotels, et cetera, would, what would you advise and would be fair to say, given that we have come through, I suppose again, very dramatically changing behavior, what would be a good experience for a store to aim for in terms of a proportion of customers that is swiping or scanning their and their loyalty program with them?
29m 53s
2

Yeah, it’s a good, it’s a good question, Paula, if you, you know, if you ask a very, if I were to take this a bit, hypothetically, you always want a hundred percent of your customers to scan the scan, the seven awards. Of course, we want everyone entering the store to be a seven rewards member and use the app and enjoy the benefits of the rewards program. Easier said than done, not because customers preferences, but it’s always depends on what is the customer needs date or the drive that brings the customer to shop the store. And that also tends to influence what we call internally as can rate.
30m 33s
2

And like you mentioned, different folks have different ways of reference. This number one thing that has happened is the pandemic is accelerated the blurring of the lines between convenience, grocery QSR, you name the format. And as we have worked through that VMC spectrum of use cases. So for example, we measure not, you know, what we go by is not just the scan rate, which I mentioned, but also based on if he have seven rewards members, what percentage of our customers adopt our digital services? So more than looking at you, for example, they might be a customer segment that makes the unexpected unplanned Quickstart, and they come into a seven 11 and they may not be the person.
31m 25s
2

They may not be the customer who is a habitual seven 11 customer, and which is fine. And our effort is to ensure that we provide a great level of safety value, convenience in the store of delightful shopping experience so that we get them as a seven rewards member ahead of that, for folks who are already part of the seven rewards loyalty program, we want to look at how can we make their shopping experience even more delightful with the digital services. So the second level of metrics that we look at is what, how much, how much engagement do we see all of our customers across the ecosystem? So that gives us a good feel for what does the customer seeking in terms of the features resonating?
32m 11s
2

Is that something part of what they expect as they enter seven 11? How should we be more fit? And when we do all of that, we move the broader metric up, which is we learn more and more about seven rewards customers and more customers sign up for the program.
32m 26s
1

Wonderful. Yeah. And would you give us a range in terms of, of the scan rate? Are you happy to give us a, at least a target that would be a good result
32m 35s
2

You given that, you know, given that a good fraction and a predominant fraction of transactions are cash transactions? You know, we would, you know, we asked fire to be, you know, upwards of 60, 65% of customers using the app. Are we there? We are in there. We are, we are, we are working our way there almost as much as we want to ensure that a hundred percent of transactions, a hundred percent of non non-cash transactions or seven rewards. And that’s kind of our always aspiration because we, we want to ensure that customers can shop the way they want.
33m 16s
2

You know, we can’t force the customer to change behavior. I certainly never don’t subscribe to ask her to do that. But to the extent the customer can use the ecosystem or we call eligible customer, we want to ensure a hundred percent scan rate.
33m 33s
1

Oh my goodness. Well, I love the ambition where I go. I mean, you might as well set the target at a hundred percent. Why wouldn’t you?
33m 39s
2

Well, yeah, like I said, easier said than done, but if you don’t set the target at a hundred, not making progress,
33m 44s
1

Of course, of course, yet it set the bar high and you referenced something earlier as well, regu, which I didn’t get a chance to pick up on, but it was the whole idea about engaging with the customers when they’re outside of the store. I’d love to get a sense of what you meant by that. Because again, the amount of time that any of us spends in a seven 11 store in our life is obviously a very small proportion. So how do you am aim to connect with people when they are outside of your stores?
34m 14s
2

Yeah. One of the things follow that we at seven 11 ward, we started VBAC in 20 17, 20 18 timeframe is diligent, dark, do the evolving customer need around delivery because customers want to be served, not just in store, but wanting to be so where they are when they are whatever products they want. And if you take a look at our footprint in the U S and it applies across all countries where we are mostly in the us, 50% of us households are within a couple of miles from a seven 11. And that’s just an amazing, just an amazing numbers go
34m 57s
1

By amazing and
34m 59s
2

Which, which, which then puts us in a position to be one of the closest to the customer to get the products in the shortest possible time, which is what led to engaging the customer in our delivery service, which is called seven now. And as part of the service, customers can place an order, not just from their home or from wherever they want. We have something called seven pins, which can deliver to beaches, parks, and so on, but essentially customers can order what they want from a seven 11. And we get the products to them whenever they want. And 24 7 as we are one of the few available options, 24 7 for whatever the customer needs are.
35m 45s
2

And that is what is the aim is to serve the customer in their ecosystem. Not necessarily when they are in the store or wherever they are.
35m 55s
1

Oh my goodness. I love that pins concept Ragu. I had seen it actually in some of the material you sent me before our call today. And even, I think it mentioned, as you said, parks and beaches, but also like a park bench, you know, you can literally say I’m here on thirsty. Can you send me my coffee or my Slurpee, or, you know, I just think that’s incredible capability.
36m 17s
2

Yeah. And the way you, and the way things are going, as you see around, I think it is not too far away that that delivery is going to be done by a drone in the park. And no matter it could be in the middle of a lake boarding and then maybe we can make it happen.
36m 30s
1

Well, oh my God. Super exciting. So I suppose the, the final piece that I wanted to talk through today, Ragu, and was first of all, you know, just really to congratulate you on last year’s loyalty awards that you won, and then this year’s loyalty award, which you won literally yesterday. So we’re recording now the end of October, I think this show will be haired in November. So, and many of the listeners may already be aware, but I did see. So in 2020, you guys won the customer loyalty strategy platinum award from our friends and loyalty 360. So again, just to get the, the top award in what probably is the most advanced loyalty market in the world per customer loyalty strategy, you must have been already extremely proud.
37m 16s
1

And then tell us what you won last night of the 2021 awards.
37m 20s
2

No, no. First, first of all, thank you, Paula. No, we’re very excited. And again, once again, humbled to be recognized in the best of class category there last night, we, we won the plot in, in the technology and trends category following up on what you had just mentioned from last year and super excited about how the customers see the program landing with themselves and the advocacy that we get. And we also won the category in mobile first convenience. So, but that, so I think, yeah, both of them, again, I go back to where we started this all which is NPS.
38m 2s
2

And these, you know, when, when the customer, when the customer advocacy is there and then a lot of these things are good to see along the side as we continue to evolve for the customer.
38m 16s
1

Oh my goodness. Well, it’s fabulous to see the recognition coming through Roku. I’m sure there’s massive celebrations happening in seven 11 head office and, and throughout the U S for that extraordinary award. So I think that’s actually all the questions I had Ragu. I’m thrilled at the timing, as I said, the fact that you literally won that award yesterday and thrilled with the opportunity to hear about this 55 million and member base and all of the extraordinary innovation that’s coming through from seven rewards. So is there anything else that you wanted to add from your side Ragu before we wrap up?
38m 50s
2

Nah, I would just, you know, this is a loyalty is a very interesting, exciting and challenging topic or journey, not just for us, but I suspect for every retailer, they’re not just retailer for everyone out there and there’s this continuous learning and I’m, you know, I’d say it’s good to be in that, in that model of learning and serving the customer. So it’s great. And I appreciate bottle for having this, having given me the opportunity to have this dialogue.
39m 23s
1

Wonderful. Wonderful. So without further ado, I will just say thank you. And a huge congratulations to Ragu Mahadevan, chief digital officer at seven 11. Thank you so much from let’s talk loyalty. This show is sponsored by “The Wise Marketer”, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights and research.
39m 49s
1

The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training, both online and in workshops around the world through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 150 executives in 18 countries as Certified Loyalty Marketing Professionals. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of “Let’s Talk Loyalty”. If you’d like me to send you the latest show each week, simply sign up for the show newsletter on Let’s Talk Loyalty.com and I’ll send you the latest episode to your inbox every Thursday, or just head to your favorite podcast platform, find “Let’s Talk Loyalty” and subscribe. Now, of course I’d love your feedback and reviews and thanks again for supporting the show.