New for Waitrose - The Loyalty Card

Waitrose's first customer loyalty card
Waitrose's first customer loyalty card

Select Research carried out online customer research for the new Waitrose Loyalty Card.

Waitrose Debuts Loyalty Card October 25 2011 UK supermarket Waitrose is to introduce a loyalty card, almost two decades after rival Tesco. The up-market grocer will send cards to members of its myWaitrose online club, which has been gathering insights for around two years; and will also offer them in stores. Waitrose has generally outperformed its larger rivals in recent years, enjoying its high-quality niche and expanding steadily while Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrison have battled for the middle ground: thus not having a loyalty card has not been an obvious disadvantage, but the urge to better understand its customers has apparently helped to persuade it the time is finally ripe. The announcement represents a big turnaround from Waitrose’s previous stance. Back in 1999, Marketing Director Mark Price talked of loyalty card ‘mania’ and ‘hype’, questioned how its competitors would ‘make the £ millions invested in them deliver a return’, and described them as ‘confusion marketing’ having a ‘diminishing effect’. He also cited Mintel reports affirming that ‘the existence of a loyalty card scheme is not associated with a degree of loyalty in shopping habits’. No doubt the company will argue that its myWaitrose card is different - instead of the points-based systems used by Tesco and others, myWaitrose cardholders will get access to exclusive competitions and offers. Every month, one cardholder in each store will get the value of their past four weeks’ shopping paid to them, and one will win a full year’s worth of Waitrose groceries. CRM Manager Leigh Rengger, a former Head of Loyalty at Sainsbury’s, says the idea is to ‘say thank you’ to customers and to ‘understand more about the food they love’. The scheme will be operated in partnership with direct marketing agency Kitcatt Nohr Digitas. Tesco’s Clubcard partner firm dunnhumby, now a subsidiary of the supermarket which also sells its services to other retailers, has become a global success story, with founders Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby stepping down as Chairman and CEO last year some £17.5m the richer. Tesco has since reinforced its commitment to customer data and strengthened dunnhumby with the purchase in May of US-based social media marketing and analysis company BzzAgent for a rumoured $60m. http://www.mrweb.com/drno/news14452.htm

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