Somerfield card offers some lessons in loyalty

I found your Insight article (MW June 2) on loyalty cards interesting, and yes, traditional points schemes appeal to certain groups, typically women with children at home and elderly “coupon aficionados”, but what about the rest of the population?

Younger shoppers are often the least loyal of all and single men tend to be “top-up shoppers”, motivated purely by convenience and cynical about “earning” an often minuscule payback for their spend.

What we have seen with Somerfield’s Saver Card is a loyalty scheme appealing to a wide market, and utilising a range of devices to ensure this loyalty is encouraged across the board, ensuring customer data is maximised while maintaining its broad appeal.

Instant reward is essential, as are simple devices, such as the bar-coded key fob, to appeal to time-poor (often male) shoppers. Intelligent use of shopper data enables us to devise appropriate coupons in store, designed for individual shoppers to attract that all-important repeat visit and increased spend. Exclusive Saver Card in-store offers every week ensure that the benefits of the card are always visible.

VIP customers are identified and acknowledged with extra rewards, such as free wine or chocolates on their birthday and at Christmas, which has proven to have a long-term positive effect on retention and spend.

Points don’t always mean prizes for everyone and customer relationship management programmes need to develop beyond the norm to enjoy long-term success in an increasingly diverse and demanding market.

Caroline Wilde

Managing director

RMP

London SW6

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