A focus on today’s smartphone-using customer, alongside an online loyalty scheme linked with store marketing, is driving Circle K’s success, Hong Kong chief operating officer Pak Chi Kin told the Independent Retail Owners Forum last week.

The firm’s OK Stamp It app was a key reason why sales grew by 4.6% last year in a flat Hong Kong market, Mr Pak said.

Since it launched two years ago, more than one million Hong Kong residents have downloaded the app, which works with the Octopus contactless card most people use to pay for transport and convenience purchases.

“Our aim was to drive online traffic to our bricks and mortar business, and we achieved a 5% sales increase in our first year,” said Mr Pak.

The app also enables users to collect ‘stamps’ to get money off or to exchange for small toys.

There are more than 90,000 gold members of the scheme, who shop 30 times every 90 days. The scheme now offers free products and prize draws.