Sainsbury’s overhauls Nectar with shift to digital loyalty programme

Nectar is launching a new app and website and refreshing its brand as it looks to offer a more personalised experience for users and boost engagement.

nectar digital

Sainsbury’s is overhauling its Nectar loyalty programme, launching a new app and website that will offer shoppers more personalised offers as it looks to boost engagement with the scheme.

The “fully digitised” programme will be available to customers from today (2 October). It allows users to access new offers every week on the app and earn bonus points on products they buy regularly at Sainsbury’s, as well as one point for every £1 spent.

The revamp follows a trial at Sainsbury’s stores on the Isle of Wight and in Wales that tested what features and offers most appealed to users. It means customer will get unique offers via the app or on the website every week and will gain points by saving the offers they like before they shop.

While some of these offers will be for Sainsbury’s products, customers will also receive promotions such as money off spend and Nectar bonus points. They will also be offered deals from Nectar partners, for example at launch there will be an offer from eBay to earn double points on spend between 2 and 9 October.

Alongside this, Nectar is doing away with the need for a physical card, introducing a digital card available in the app that can be scanned in Sainsbury’s and at Esso. The physical card will still work, however, and points accrued through it will be made available on the app.

Nectar managing director James Moir says: “We’re delighted to be unveiling a new world of Nectar to our customers, making it easier than ever before for them to get the most out of our hundreds of partners and rewards on offer.

“During the trials in Wales and the Isle of Wight, we listened to what our customers wanted and how they like to receive offers, in an increasingly digitised world. This led us to a change in direction for the Nectar scheme, enabling our customers to have a much more personalised experience with offers that are completely unique to them.”

Nectar has more than 18 million customers and deals with a wide range of partners where points can be spent, including Eurostar, Sky and Caffé Nero. Points can also be collected from almost 400 partners including Asos, Topshop and Not on the High Street.

The revamped offering includes a redesign of the Nectar brand with an updated font and focus on its purple colour, rather than purple and yellow.

The overhauled offering comes after Sainsbury’s bought Nectar for £60m from parent company Aimia last year. It is the latest loyalty scheme to attempt more personalisation in a bid to boost engagement, following in the footsteps of both Waitrose with its ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ scheme and Marks & Spencer’s ‘Sparks’ programme.

However, both of these have struggled to maintain consumer attention. Waitrose scrapped pick your own last year after people complained it was too confusing. And M&S boss Steve Rowe has also admitted its loyalty programme is too “confusing” and will be updated.