How does the program work?

Why is this transaction incremental?


Go ahead, try it! 

As soon as your business is live on Upside, you’re probably going to want to open the app and test it out — we certainly hope you do! One of the first things you’ll likely pay attention to is the offers you see in the app at your own locations. 


If you see a transaction made by you or an employee come up as incremental, you might be confused - don’t they already make all of their purchases at your stations anyway? Read on to learn more about how incrementality works for this unique set of users.

You’re unique among Upside users

First, it’s important to note that you and your employees are not the typical gas station customer — far from it. The frequency with which gas station operators and employees travel between stations and make purchases make them very different from the average consumer. The chart below (developed using data for a real Upside retailer) illustrates this point.




Gas station employees make significantly more purchases than your average customer.  In the example illustrated by the graph, the employee was in the top 1% of customers in terms of purchase frequency. Your employees will exhibit abnormal buying behavior because they have unique motivations for transacting at your locations. 

Employees may purchase products at your locations more frequently to test the consumer experience, and they often have incentives like employee discounts that sweeten the deal. Your employees, more than any other loyal customers, will find your site to be the most convenient choice when they need to make a purchase, because they are already on-site for work. 




Upside is not designed to be used by gas station operators and employees; it’s designed for the average consumer, who has either not been to your site before or transacts infrequently. Then why, you may wonder, would a transaction made by you or your employee appear incremental? There are two common reasons: 

  1. They’re actually spending more at your station now than they were before using Upside!
  2. They’re spending the same amount but, over time, their control group’s spending has decreased. 

Your employees may be spending more

Upside’s personalized promotions are designed to change customer purchasing habits, even for previously frequent customers. At times, we are able to incentivize even your employees to consolidate more wallet share to your business, or they may begin transacting more frequently because they want to test the app.




Here’s an example from a real Upside retailer. In this case, an employee was not shopping at the business because it was too expensive. Once they joined Upside, they began transacting much more frequently.


Their control group spend has decreased

Another reason why your employee’s transactions might be incremental — even if they are spending the same — is that the expected spend from their control group has decreased over time. Once more, it’s important to note here that gas station operators and employees are a very atypical consumer segment, and their behavior does not align with the average user experience. 

We know that among the broader population, without intervention, even the most loyal customers gradually stop shopping with you over time. In fact, Upside ran an analysis across our entire network to measure the behavior of the top 2% of customers at retailer’s sites, without Upside’s intervention. After a year, 57% of those top customers had stopped visiting, moving all of their spend to competitors. 

00_lightbulb.png You’re probably familiar with this natural attrition - it’s what traditional loyalty programs seek to minimize, and it’s why we complement your existing loyalty programs so well.

So when your employees don’t decrease their spend over time, this creates a gap between their behavior and their expected behavior, or their control group.




Your employees create an exception to what we know about customer behavior because of their unique motivations. Remember, their behavior reflects an incredibly small percentage of customers at your business. In these instances, Upside’s measurement methodology is still working correctly — these are just anomalous cases. 

In summary

  • If some of your employee’s transactions are marked as incremental, it's important to understand that the product is still working as it should!
  • Upside is not designed for gas station operators and employees — it’s designed for the average consumer, who is — at best — an infrequent purchaser at your business today.
  • Upside can add you, your employees, and your family members or other frequent purchasers to a "VIP list" to more closely monitor and report on their transactions. Reach out to your account manager if you are interested in reporting for these hyper-frequent customers.
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