Retailers want to alter habits

I was surprised that in your recent article on supermarket loyalty “Loyalty cards are missing the point” (MW June 18) you also missed the point by assuming that data is all that counts in loyalty programmes.

Of course, data collection and manipulation are important but, as the loyalty debate rages on, many people seem to have lost sight of what exactly it is that retailers are striving to achieve. At its simplest, it’s a change in consumer behaviour.

The big question is how to secure it at a positive return on investment. No-one has yet, to the best of my knowledge, proved that the use of loyalty data is really paying its way compared with all of the other variables at the retailer’s disposal.

It would have been interesting in your article to look more closely at Asda, the only major supermarket retailer without a loyalty card scheme.

Asda has clearly recognised that loyalty only counts once people are in store and, as a result, it is concentrating its efforts on building traffic.

One of its primary tools is The Asda Magazine, the UK’s largest monthly title with a circulation of more than 4 million, which has a strategically targeted distribution designed to build traffic within the fiercely contested battleground for secondary shoppers.

You headlined another article in the same issue “Supermarket strategy stalemate calls for imaginative solutions” and that’s exactly what The Asda Magazine is.

Craig Waller

Managing director

Premier Magazines

London SW1

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