Customer story

Radar helps BJ's Wholesale Club increase app engagement

BJ’s partners with Radar to help improve member experience within the BJ’s mobile app, through its digital capabilities and features, while driving loyalty and app engagement.
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higher engagement rate¹
increase in digital sales²

The company

BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc., a leading warehouse club operator, has a mission to deliver unbeatable value to its members while offering incredible savings through variety, assortment and exclusive benefits. BJ’s mobile app is one of the key ways it delivers on its commitment to its members across 235 clubs in 18 states. With over 6M+ downloads, the BJ’s app offers features such as coupons, member benefits, shopping lists, options for buy now, pay later (BNPL), and online shopping.

The challenge

In recent years, BJ’s has made significant investments in digital transformation to advance its omnichannel capabilities and to offer increased value and convenience for members. In 2018, BJ’s began exploring solutions to provide members with more convenient in-club and order pickup experiences. By implementing location functionality into the app and mobile web experience to determine when a member is in the vicinity of a BJ’s club location, BJ’s could improve features based on the member’s proximity to a particular club.

After developing a plan to seek out a location infrastructure vendor, the team created a list of requirements for a location solution:

  1. Support multiple use cases, including vicinity-based in-club app modes, location-aware messaging, and arrival detection for pickup orders.
  2. Accuracy for an in-club app mode and precise arrival events for order pickups.
  3. Integrations to seamlessly connect and route event data to several systems within BJ’s tech stack.
  4. An open-source SDK, strong supporting documentation, and enterprise-ready data governance features.

BJ’s evaluated several industry options and explored developing location infrastructure in-house. Ultimately, the team chose Radar due to the platform’s extensibility. In 2019, BJ’s chose Radar as its location provider for all use cases that require determining when a member is in the vicinity of a BJ’s club: in-club mode, location-aware messaging, and order pickup.

The solution

BJ’s selected Radar’s leading vicinity-based location technology platform to support multiple use cases across its mobile app and mobile web experiences.

By using Radar’s location infrastructure, BJ’s automatically displays an in-club mode when a member opens the BJ’s app in the vicinity of a club. This allows BJ’s to deliver both a better member experience and personalized offers to members who have opted-in to location tracking. BJ’s in-club mode displays app features that provide members with convenience and savings, such as:

  • Redeemable and previously used coupons
  • Previously purchased items
  • Options to pre-order deli items for quick pickup
  • Membership information and loyalty program offerings

BJ’s also uses Radar to streamline and expedite the buy online, pickup in-club experience for members. By using Radar, BJ’s is able to verify when members arrive to collect their order ahead items. This allows in-club team members to appropriately prioritize orders and ensures shorter wait times for all members.

In addition to supporting multiple use cases with location, Radar met BJ’s other criteria for location infrastructure, including a superior developer experience, robust integrations, and enterprise-ready feature set such as custom data retention settings and role-based access control.

The results

BJ’s has seen measurable improvements in revenue through the mobile app, mobile app engagement, and order ahead wait times since implementing Radar.

In 2022, BJ’s digitally-enabled sales growth was 47.0% year-over-year². This was driven, in part, by Radar. BJ’s mobile app users who have opted-in to location have a 4x higher engagement rate¹ than users who have not opted-in. With precise arrival detection from Radar, BJ’s has improved its pickup experience and reduced order wait time.

Radar is a valuable piece of BJ’s mobile app infrastructure and BJ’s continues to use Radar’s location data to help power its digital transformation strategy. By using Radar, BJ’s is able to deliver on its commitment to its members while driving brand loyalty and revenue.

¹ From opted-in users, as measured by Radar based on app user sessions tracked from 12/27/2022 to 1/26/2023
² As stated in BJ’s Second Quarter Fiscal 2022 earnings report

As we continue to expand both our club footprint and the ways we strive to deliver value to our members, we need the right technology in place to support these strategies. Radar’s extensibility means that we can rely on the solution as we expand into new markets and explore new uses for location-powered experiences.
Anirudh Bhargava, VP of Digital Engineering

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