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7-Eleven stirs up end-of-summer mobile sales and loyalty sign-ups

Convenience chain 7-Eleven is attempting to cause mobile sales to foam over by offering a buy one, get one free Slurpee deal that also counts toward its loyalty program’s “Buy Six, Get the Seventh Free” promotion, driving more drinks purchases as well as sign-ups.

The retailer is waving goodbye to summer by reminding fans that Slurpee season can remain year-round. The buy one, get one free offer for the popular slushy drinks will likely excite members of the 7Rewards program who are accumulating beverage purchases for another future freebie, and may prompt other mobile users to sign up for the program and get their first two virtual stamps.

“Our customers love Slurpees!” said Raja Doddala, vice president of digital and new ventures at 7-Eleven, Dallas, TX. “We know the Slurpee offer running this week will be a great traffic driver to our stores.

“The offer is open to all customers,” he said. “That means the app is not required to redeem the ‘Buy One, Get One’ offer.

“The benefit to mobile users – our 7Rewards members — is they will receive a punch for the free Slurpee. It’s a great value.”

Maintaining mobile’s momentum
Seven-Eleven is hoping to maintain a barrage of sales made via customers’ mobile devices by easing into the end of summer with a brand-new promotion. From Sept. 14 through Sept. 20, consumers who purchase any size Slurpee beverage may receive a second drink, same size or smaller, for free.

The deal is sweetened for mobile users who also belong to the 7Rewards loyalty platform. Although customers will only pay for one drink, the offer enables both Slurpees to count toward the chain’s “Buy Six, Get the Seventh Free” promotion, which may be found within 7-Eleven’s mobile application.

To take advantage of the extra punch for the free Slurpee, consumers must download the 7-Eleven app onto their Android or iOS device and register. Each time they purchase a Slurpee, they must present their scannable bar code on their smartphone to the cashier.

A digital punch card will be visible on the app’s home screen, and will keep track of the amount of beverages purchased.

Seven-Eleven will likely maintain fans’ loyalty with this offer, especially as many of them head to stores to get their fill of Slurpees before the weather grows colder.

Additionally, consumers can pay it forward and donate their free Slurpee to a friend or a stranger. The convenience chain recognizes that many guests walk in with friends or family members, and wants to offer an all-inclusive freebie to those individuals as well.

Mobile commerce mindset
The brand has been keeping in tune with its mobile commerce-focused mindset as of late, and has been leveraging its smartphone promotions in a way that also benefits in-store customers.

Several weeks ago, 7-Eleven added Passbook support to its app to drive mobile purchases by streamlining transactions and making it easier for users to participate in the retailer’s loyalty program (see story).

Earlier this summer, the chain partnered with mobile payment service PayNearMe to enable users of Nevada sports betting service William Hill’s application to deposit cash to the app within 7-Eleven stores, in an attempt to draw in more customers (see story).

Seven-Eleven is likely to experience another surge in 7Rewards loyalty program sign-ups as consumers clamor to receive the extra punch for their complimentary Slurpee.

“We believe our 7Rewards members will love the chance to earn an extra punch for the free Slurpee in the ‘Buy One, Get One’ offer,” Mr. Doddala said. “This is a great example of 7-Eleven creating promotions that appeal to our customers.

“We look forward to a positive response this week.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York