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Making the Customer Experience a Competitive Advantage

As customers increasingly value the experience they receive over price or product, the customer experience has fast become a top priority for all businesses. In 2020, with stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures in place in response to COVID-19, consumers have moved to mobile ordering to buy everything from soup to nuts.

With more and more people relying on mobile apps to bring food to their door, consumers know just how empowering it is to use these apps, whether it’s in the comfort of their own home or on the commute home. With customization options to save their preferences, accurate pricing information, and offers at their fingertips, consumer expectations for fast, frictionless ways to place their orders have never been greater.

Of course, being able to offer an excellent customer experience at this level requires an investment in intelligent technologies and processes.

Boosting e-commerce capabilities

Not just your typical convenience store and fuel retailer, Casey’s General Stores Inc. (Casey’s) is America’s fifth-largest pizza chain, serving more than 19 million pizzas annually. Developing strong community ties, the brand is woven into the fabric of small towns across the Midwest, offering around-the-clock convenience, supporting worthy causes, and celebrating local heroes.

While the brand has built a devoted following, Casey’s needed to do more with its online ordering and payment systems. They were built on aging software that had failed to keep pace with the times, resulting in an online customer experience that fell short of its hyper-convenient and community-focused brand essence.

So, as part of its digital transformation, it was not only essential for Casey’s to boost its e-commerce capabilities, it had to put customer experiences front and center and respond faster to market changes.

This called for using intelligent technologies to create a handy smartphone app and mobile Web site to streamline mobile ordering, making it super easy for residents of these Midwest towns to grab their favorite pizzas and go. At the same time, with the aim of helping it serve up new levels of convenience, Casey’s devised a customer loyalty program.

Streamlining ordering and payment processes

To streamline the ordering and checkout process by allowing customers to pay online, Casey’s deployed the SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Customer Data Cloud solutions from the SAP Customer Experience portfolio. The mobile app lets customers place pickup or delivery orders, set a default credit card for payment, customize pizza orders, find a store, browse the menu, track orders, reorder favorites, and check fuel prices.

Within five months of its launch, Casey’s was generating approximately 65% of its digital revenue from the app with another 30% coming from the mobile Web.

Launching its first digital loyalty program, Casey’s Rewards, on SAP Customer Data Cloud, Casey’s organized customer data, consent, and preferences and links them directly with its apps on SAP Commerce Cloud. In one move, Casey’s is able to reward its legion of fans with value-added offers, while helping it learn more about their needs – ultimately helping it deliver experiences that exceed those needs.

Moving quickly in the times of COVID-19

Casey’s investment in intelligent technologies has also allowed its stores to remain open during the time of COVID-19 and for the company to move faster than ever. To meet customer expectations during this time, Casey’s has prioritized no-contact deliveries, partnered with a third-party delivery service, expanded the range of general merchandise products available online, and launched a curb-side pickup service.

To learn more about Casey’s digital transformation, we caught up with Art Sebastian, VP of Digital Guest Experience at Casey’s at SAPPHIRE NOW Converge. In this four-minute interview, he describes how the convenience store retailer made customer experience a competitive advantage. For more reading, take a look at the business transformation study, “Casey’s: Building True Customer Loyalty Over Pizza.”

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