ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

7-Eleven opens up mobile rewards to age-restricted products

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is expanding its mobile rewards program via a verification system for age-restricted promotions, enticing shoppers interested in alcohol, tobacco and gambling products to sign up for the application.

The mobile rewards application for 7-Eleven has been restricted to deals on products available to all ages, leaving out a method to drive sales for a significant portion of its inventory. The convenience store’s latest promotion is prompting users to verify their ages to receive these promotions in the future, driving sales for these products while also catering to a larger demographic.

“Mobile has grown up, it has become, or at least should be, an integral part of every marketer’s and retailer’s business,” said Michael Becker, managing partner at mCordis. “Clearly, 7-11 gets it.

“The mobile application, especially for shopping, is a central tool for servicing and supporting one’s most loyal customers,” he said. “And customers want shopping apps, apps that help them interface with their preferred brands and retailers.

“According to Flurry, mobile shopping apps have seen significantly growth the last two years.”

Rewards members of 7-Eleven received email notifications, informing readers of the new policy in which users can verify their ages to receive content regarding deals for products available to those 21 and older. Users can adjust their account information within the mobile app to start receiving the age-restricted content.

In the rewards app users access the My Account page and select “verify age” to enter the appropriate information. Once the legal-aged individual inputs their birthdate and home address they are eligible to receive the extra promotions.

The mobile app also prompts users to choose from which products they are interested in such as tobacco, alcohol and lottery. To select options for any or all categories, users select the on-button for the respective item groups.

To receive special rewards for these products when available, users can browse on the scan and save page within the app.

The convenience store is increasing awareness for the new promotional additions by information members via email and walking them through step by step. This is important for retailers and app providers, as mobile-pushes such as this are most helpful when users can participate, and informing consumers on how to do so ensures maximum usage.

Mobile app importance
The retail chain also stayed current with the mobile-driven evolution of what constitutes “convenience” through a partnership with ordering app Tapingo that brings products directly to college students (see more).

7-Eleven also hoped to increase store traffic by rolling out the 7-Eleven Bill Pay app, which enables shoppers to pay cash to more than 17,000 local and national billers with a bar code scan at participating locations (see more).

“Notice, the practice of advising people on the company’s information practices, is one of the four core tenants to the Federal Trade Commission’s and marketing industry’ accepted privacy regulations and best practices, the others being choice, (the practice of given an individual the choice to participate, to opt-in or out), control (the ability for an individual to manage their data and preferences) and transparency (the ability for an individual to have a clear understanding of how their personal information and preferences might be used),” Mr. Becker said. ” 7-11, by notifying its customers about the changes it is giving them notice.

“It is adhering to the high industry privacy standards and best practices set out by regulators and industry leaders,” he said. “It is also practicing stellar one-to-one marketing.

“It is using the notice to educate its customers about a new feature and giving them the options and instructions of how to use them.”