May 12, 2022
Key reasons for tobacco scan data incentive programs include margin management, customer traffic, and basket size. These factors help maintain your competitive position. Cigarette and OTP sales often range from 20 to 30% of a c-store inside sales. Customers that use tobacco rebate programs are frequent shoppers and know they can get what they need at other stores. They are quite cost-sensitive, but spend a lot of money.
Cigarette margins are not as high as other products, but the volume is so high that money can be made. Using tobacco rebate programs allows any dealer to compete on price without having to sacrifice all the margin. The tobacco manufacturers will use the tobacco scan data to validate sales and reimburse discounts to c-store operators. Thus, the cigarette margins are maximized.
Competition Uses Tobacco Scan Data Incentive Programs
The large chains are using the tobacco scan data incentives already. If you do not have this program, you have one less reason for customers to visit your stores. Customers are well aware of the programs and know the price. Tobacco is a big expense and they look for value.
Traffic for Tobacco Drives Visits
One of the big reasons for repeat visits is the regular purchase of tobacco. Getting fuel often happens on the same visit. Losing sales for one item will likely create the loss of fuel sales. Further, getting fuel buyers into the store is an important driver for overall sales success. It is important to avoid losing customers to larger chains that have tobacco clubs or incentives that you cannot match.
Tobacco Customers Buy a Lot of Stuff
Cigarette, snuff and cigar smokers are great customers. In addition to keeping traffic for fuel, they also purchase a lot of other things like energy drinks, soda, and beer. Numerous studies show the high value of these customers that not only visit frequently, but also buy other products. Of course, the other products have even higher margins. These customers are important to c-stores.
Altria and RJR Marketing Support
Altria and RJR provide many incentives that are only available to participants in the tobacco scan data incentive programs. There are three tiers available and each tier, while adding some complexity, brings additional discounts and competitive advantage for your stores. Many scan data providers have options for independent c-store dealers and family chains that provide a simple approach to age verification and loyalty.
To summarize the key reasons for tobacco scan data incentive programs:
- independent and family chains stay competitive,
- maintain solid margins,
- hold onto traffic and
- increase basket size with these programs.
Contact your scan data provider and verify you will have all the programs you need in your market. Top scan data providers deliver training and support. The tobacco loyalty and rebate programs are complicated. The scan data requirements are strict. As such, understand the experience and support included with the service. Before you move forward, confirm you have necessary support to comply with all the submittals requirements. Ask about their availability to setup the programs in the price book, meet with your tobacco reps and address all the technical processing.
More Information on Tobacco Scan Data:
- Tobacco scan data programs
- National Drug Helpline
- Interview with Amber regarding promotions and other sales management items