From innovative retail co-operative to digital trailblazer

Calgary Case Study
min read


App downloads in the first 5 months

Our experience working with Lobyco has been very positive, and we have loved the approach of starting the partnership in an agile way... the whole project, from deciding our partner to enrolling the app, has taken less than a year. I believe that is because we found our best fit - a partner that has already proven their worth, understanding our business having come out of a grocery retailer themselves.”

Ken Keelor

CEO, Calgary Co-op

The Calgary Co-op Journey

Since opening its first store in Calgary in 1956, Calgary Co-op’s focus has remained - selling fresh local produce to local people. Despite significant expansion, it is still owned by its members, and still strives to offer its customers local products of the highest quality at the lowest possible price, and to deliver an exceptional customer experience. To continue achieving this in an increasingly digital age, the Co-op teamed up with Lobyco in 2022 to explore how they can meet the needs of the modern shopper, and less than a year later, in September 2023, Lobyco went live with a brand new Calgary Co-op member app and connected experience. Thisapp has since evolved to connect Calgary Co-op’s different lines of business, which include food, eCommerce, pharmacy, gas (petrol), car wash, home health care, liquor, and cannabis. It has also increased the store’s appeal amongst its entire member base, particularly helping to meet the needs of younger demographics.

The Solution

To overhaul Calgary Co-op’s membership model, Lobyco developed a groundbreaking member app complete with games, prizes, and more immediate cash rewards. Developed in under a year, the app was aimed at unlocking the full potential of the Co-op’s strategic objectives, and building on its existing services, to give the store a clear digital edge over its competitors. In the months since its launch last September, several game-changing features have already made the app a huge success:

- Calgary Co-op Bonus Cash: With the introduction of a brand new loyalty currency, Calgary Co-op members can earn ‘Bonus Cash’ in several different ways. Whether earned on a selection of rotating products, on a basket, or through filling up a tank of gas, this Bonus Cash balance will be updated in real-time within the app. This gives members a real tangible glimpse of the value they are receiving through the app, increasing their value perception and keep them shopping in Calgary Co-op stores.

- Games & Rewards: With this feature, Calgary Co-op’s customers can play games for a chance to win free weekly prizes and discounts. Usually, this involves the customer receiving a free item as their reward, paid for by a supplier, or a discount to use in their WSB stores.

- App Coupons: Using coupons within the app, customers can receive cash discounts on individual products such as apples. My Offers (personalized offers by dunnhumby, App Exclusive Savings, More Savings)

- Shopping List: Customer’s can use the shopping list feature to effortlessly keep track of the groceries they need. Lists can easily be added, edited, and shared, making the shopping experience that little bit more streamlined.

- Rich Receipts: Helping to reduce Calgary Co-op’s physical footprint, customers can now choose to see an e-receipt in their app instead of a physical receipt. They can also choose to receive both a physical and a digital receipt if they prefer.

- Digital Payments: With digital payments, it’s possible for customers to add their credit card to their app, so they can quickly choose to pay with either that card or their bonus account, depending on their preference at the time. This helps to save time during the payment process, creating a more seamless shopping experience for Calgary Co-op’s customers.

The Result

It’s clear to see from the numbers that the Calgary Co-op app has so far been very popular with customers, with over 100,000 downloads! Adding to the success of the existing app features, the partnership between Calgary Co-op and Lobyco continues to flourish. Recently, Lobyco has helped to modernize the store’s patronage and equity membership benefits process. This means there’ll be no more sending cheques in the post with no visibility on earn throughout the year, as members can now see their earnings accumulate through the year in their Member Earnings Bubble. The aim is to increase loyalty, sales, and connection to the Calgary brand by maximizing engagement. We expect to see even more impressive results in the near future as this partnership progresses.