Tech Transformation Podcast: Inside Yesway’s New Loyalty Program With Darrin Samaha

Convenience chain Yesway is in growth mode, and being able to generate strong consumer loyalty has been key to its success. Now, as the company looks to its future, it’s revamping its loyalty program and using technology and automation to better understand and deliver personalized experiences. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Darrin Samaha, VP marketing at Yesway, about the ways they’re thinking more strategically about loyalty, how they plan to leverage new partnerships and data, and the new ways they’re measuring success.

Listen to learn: 

  • How Yesway IDs the priorities for both consumers and its business within the new program
  • How automation and personalization will drive loyalty vs. previous programs 
  • What it was like getting IT teams on board and obtaining their buy-in
  • The potential of hyper-rural markets and the value of generating emotional loyalty
  • Where the program is headed as they scale up
  • Thoughts on the potential of generative AI in the retail space



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On thinking more strategically about loyalty: “We're looking at a better customer journey and experience. We'll have a new app, which will be exciting for us, and we're looking to follow the model that you've seen a lot of QSRs with using the phone number as the ID, which will be great, much easier, frictionless. 

“Better personalized communication — being more relevant, being in real time. That requires data, but it also requires really understanding your audience, segmenting better, and having the right promotion for those customers and meeting them there. It’s communicating with them the way that they want to be communicated, whether it's an app, whether it's SMS, potentially even MMS, and even email. We're doing all those things; we'll continue to do that. 

“We'll look at gamification. We've done that now, but we want to take that to the next level as well. And I think behind the scenes, that kind of feature-driven stuff, we're looking at the overall integrations to figure out what can we do that's better than what we do now? How do we make the experience easier, whether it's electronic age and ID verification, digital couponing, reporting behind the scenes that we can then kick back onto our supplier partners to leverage more funding? We're doing all that now, but we're going to do it better, and I think more quickly, going forward with our new partnerships. 

On driving different outcomes with customers: “It's really about understanding the consumer and their wallet and what share of that wallet we're currently getting — and how do we increase that share and drive more of those businesses to us?” 

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