Aral extends market leadership thanks to PAYBACK

The first twelve months of the cooperation between Aral and PAYBACK have been a resounding success. Since May 2006, Aral has been focusing more closely on customer loyalty and on Germany’s largest loyalty programme. Aral has more than met the goals it set for itself. A growth in fuel sales has enabled Aral to increase its market share in the service station market to 23 percent despite tough competition. As a result, the brand has defended its no. 1 position and is well ahead of its nearest competitor. “Introducing the PAYBACK card has enabled us to boost customer loyalty and win a lot of new customers. We award points to almost every second buyer,” says Walter Clements, Chief Executive of Aral.

More than 20 percent of all members have filled up more often at Aral since May 2006, and 65 percent of all PAYBACK customers who buy their fuel from Aral come from the other PAYBACK partners as a result of the programme’s network effect. “What’s more, introducing PAYBACK has not only improved our fuel business, the programme is also responsible for increasing car wash sales and shop purchases,” continues Clements.

In addition to the network effect of the partnership’s strong brands, the programme also gives Aral the opportunity to get to know its customers better and address customers more effectively than before. Before PAYBACK, the no. 1 company on the German service station market had enjoyed success with its “Volltreffer” (Bull’s-eye) activities, but decided after three years that the time was right to introduce a new, innovative customer loyalty programme.

The PAYBACK marketing platform offers Aral a number of opportunities. The points statement that PAYBACK sends out several times a year has proven to be ideal for direct marketing. This service informs millions of customers of their current points balance and keeps them up to date with the latest special offers and rewards.

Coupons enabling customers to accumulate extra points are used to encourage consumers to take advantage of the cross-selling platform and quickly fill up their points accounts. One particularly successful method of attracting new customers is to send out vouchers entitling cardholders to collect multiple points. For PAYBACK customers who have not bought fuel at Aral before, the promise of multiple points gives them a strong incentive to switch to a new service station brand. Aral’s own mailing campaigns have also been well-received by both existing and new customers. These activities are supported by the PAYBACK e-mail newsletter.

The PAYBACK programme is undergoing continual expansion and further development. For instance, when customers were keen to have a bonus card that could be used for collecting points and making payments at selected programme partners, the CRM specialist responded by launching thePAYBACK Plus card at the beginning of March 2007. Aral is one of the companies where customers can use their PAYBACK Plus card to collect points and pay for purchases.