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Convenience Store Decisions: Customers Shell Out for Mastercard/Citibank

March 08, 2005
By CSD Staff

Shell Oil Products US (Houston, TX) has exceeded its goals for the fourth quarter promotion and marketing campaign with MasterCard International and Citibank.

The promotion was designed to drive incremental traffic to Shell-branded gasoline stations and drive usage of MasterCard cards in addition to generating new applications for the ShellMasterCard from Citi Cards. As a result of the promotion, Shell MasterCard accounts booked during the fourth quarter increased significantly, and given that Shell MasterCard cardholders typically shop more loyally at Shell, these new accounts represent additional gasoline volume for Shell. Additionally, during the promotional period usage of the Shell MasterCard card increased by an average of 32% nationwide compared to the same period last year.

The results, which exceeded company expectations, were accomplished through a sweepstakes tied to MasterCard usage at Shell stations. More than 30 million people qualified for the sweepstakes and were entered for the chance to win one of 35 2005 Chrysler Crossfires and $1,000 worth of Shell V-Power premium-grade gasoline each time they used their MasterCard cards at Shell. The promotion helped increase total MasterCard transactions at Shell by 19%, which correlated to a 22% increase in total payment card transactions for Shell nationwide.

“Advertising, ‘viral marketing’ and 35 stylish Chrysler Crossfires helped us create excitement with our target consumers and exceed program goals,” says Elizabeth Hudson, manager of co-brand and third-party card programs for Shell Oil Products US. “The approach motivated existing customers to shop at Shell more frequently, attracted new customers to the brand and increased the number of new Shell MasterCard accounts booked during the fourth quarter.”

The communications campaign generated awareness through advertising, public relations, and point-of-purchase programs. Additionally, promotional materials were designed to highlight the benefits of the Shell MasterCard and encourage consumer applications. Similarly, an attractive direct-mail offer was sent to 5 million consumers with an incentive for applying for the Shell MasterCard during the promotion. Shell MasterCard cardholders earn Shell gasoline rebates on every purchase they make with the card. They receive a 5% gasoline rebate on gasoline purchases at Shell and a 1% rebate on retail purchases anywhere else the card is used.

“Shell operators cite the Shell MasterCard as a valuable part of their business,” says Hudson. “Marketing campaigns in support of the card help drive business to Shell locations, and the card allows our retailers and wholesalers to save on transaction fees when customers use the card at Shell. What’s more, the Shell MasterCard is very attractive to drivers because the card’s 5% gasoline rebate gives cardholders added value every time they purchase gasoline at Shell.”

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