Our interest in the evolution of
loyalty schemes was piqued by a recent article on Marketing Week
online heralding the new guard
of consumer driven programmes.
To quickly condense that article into a few soundbites for the
FB status generation:
- a Colloquy study
shows only 31% of people think loyalty schemes are relevant
- 3 new models have emerged putting consumers first through
data-mining and harvesting
- Model 1: data-matching e.g. NPower who match
offers to known leisure and lifestyle interests
- Model 2: paid-for privileges e.g. Ocado
Savings Pass to save money on a basket of products
- Model 3: Social Network loyalty e.g. nearly every brand on
Facebook getting you to like them in return for something
Another new innovation in loyalty schemes landed on my very own
doormat this week, myWaitrose. Hence
On the face of it, the concept is very refreshing.
- You can't earn points but you will be sent random offers of
relevance (see below)
- If you remember to show your card at the till, Waitrose will
'learn' what you like and let you know when your favourites are on
- One shopper per shop per month will win back their whole
- One customer per month will win a year's worth of Waitrose
- Check in online regularly for exclusive competitions,
discounts, experiences etc
So, quite an ambitious package
and, of course, we have our own opinion but Waitrose (bravely) have
us What you Think forum where real life punters share their
thoughts. Here's a summary of the main complaints:
- Various: why do I have to enter myWaitrose card number again
for each competition entry?
- Cookie: "no real incentive to use the card
every time... I'm guessing the novelty will wear off"
- Bluemental: "your cashiers didn't even know of
- Mrs Lincoln: "not impressed that the vouchers
for special offers can't be used online"
(Editor - it's hard to buy petrol online!)
- Various: I can't use myWaitrose card with QuickScan
self-checkout. Waitrose clearly haven't thought this
So are all these innovations going to change the face of
loyalty? Yes, up to a point. On the whole myWaitrose appears to
have been well received apart from the odd compliance or technical
issue which often happen in the early days. They might be late to
the supermarket loyalty party but with their enigmatically
different approach they could be partying late into the night while
other schemes have long gone to bed.
Overall data mining is a logical advancement in making the most
of your customer relationship. The trick here is clearly how well
the data is interpreted and actioned. The potential picture could
have so many permutations that making the offers relevant on a
macro level would be impossible or mega expensive. Clearly the
Waitrose route of offering universally appealing Christmas wrapping
paper, sweets and petrol can't go far wrong.
Finally, we are astounded that companies confuse Facebook
likes with any real sense of loyalty. It becomes a rather
meaningless playground popularity contest. If you're 'bribing' them
with an offer in the first place, then what sort of people are you
being liked by? Bargain hunters or loyal fans? How many ever come
back and interact once they've liked you for a freebie?
If you want to save up to £50 on your first 5 shops with
Waitrose online, click on their logo below: