New Loyalty Program Draws Las Vegas Shoppers to La Bonita Supermarkets

High-stakes gamblers in Las Vegas are used to getting perks for being loyal to one casino or another. Now, city residents have a similar reward opportunity when they use the loyalty program to shop at La Bonita Supermarkets, a seven-store chain (soon to be eight) with a great selection of Hispanic foods and high-quality service.

As other Hispanic and general line supermarket retailers have moved into the metro area and targeted the community’s Hispanic populations, La Bonita Supermarkets realized a loyalty program could create a potential advantage over those newcomers and an opportunity to capture and solidify an underserved market.

La Bonita also wanted a loyalty solution because several important segments of the retailer’s customer base asked for it. The bottom line, the company’s leadership team didn’t want to lose their share of the wallet to those competitors.

Loyalty programs have not been as prevalent a trend in the Hispanic market as in other food retail channels, according to Coresight Research. So, La Bonita Supermarkets had several requirements for any new loyalty platform, including an easy customer interface, focus on the product assortment, and clear benefits for shoppers.

The Loyalty Program that Fits La Bonita’s Needs

Armando Martinez, co-owner of La Bonita, met a few technology vendors at industry trade shows and determined that AppCard checked all his requirement boxes.

“We looked into loyalty programs in the past, and they were very expensive, but the technology wasn’t quite there. With AppCard, the technology was easy to synch with our point-of-sale system, and we were quickly on our way to offering the program to our shoppers,” said Martinez.

Deploying the AppCard loyalty program at La Bonita Supermarkets was straightforward. The retailer quickly added the loyalty terminals to the checkout stands and promoted the newly named Club Bonita program throughout the store, on the website, through the mobile app, via the grocer’s social media channels, and in the weekly printed circular.

“We find that the system streamlines our key customer’s shopping journey. It’s now become the foundation of our group’s marketing efforts,” said Martinez.

How Club Bonita Works

The Club Bonita loyalty program works this way – points are awarded at one point per dollar spent. Digital coupons and double-point promotions on select items are also supported by the retailer, suppliers, or both.

A critical goal for Club Bonita with AppCard is to get their shoppers to increase their purchases at the store, so the retailer fashioned the rewards program to incentivize their best shoppers to grow their in-store and online market baskets. In the 18 months it’s been active, around 30% of all shoppers are using the program. However, the composition of the users has Martinez excited about the program.

Related Article: La Bonita Brings eCommerce to Ethnic Shoppers in Las Vegas

“The members of Club Bonita are our core shoppers who spend much more than average and visit the stores more often. They also shop online more. These are our ‘whales,’ and we want to treat them well,” he explained.

The loyalty program works with La Bonita’s e-commerce platform from eGrowcery, so Club Bonita members earn credit for online purchases and can redeem it in the store.

A great example of this combination appears in the fresh departments, where La Bonita promotes the retailer’s full line of prepared foods, including Hispanic specialties like tacos, burritos, and menudo.

Benefits of an Integrated System

eGrowcery features a module that helps the grocer easily integrate these dishes into the overall digital experience, and the AppCard system rewards shoppers of the category across all buying channels.

A significant element of the AppCard platform is the accessibility to shopper analytics. The system generates weekly reports showing the number of points issued and the number of customers who redeemed the points.

Martinez’s team uses this analysis to target shoppers who redeemed the promotion with one set of promotions and target clients who didn’t redeem the promotion with another.

“The analytics we get from the system show the real benefits we are achieving by giving more and more value to the shoppers,” Martinez said.

Martinez added that La Bonita Supermarkets still aims to be the preferred food retailer for all its customers’ needs, whether they are in Club Bonita or not. The company is working hard to expand the percentage of shoppers using the program and the rewards available to them.