Sainsbury’s halves value of Nectar points

Sainsbury’s is halving the number of Nectar points it offers per £1 spent and is attempting to soften the blow with more “bonus” point offers and personalised rewards.

Changes to the Nectar scheme have been met with a backlash on social media

Customers using Nectar’s scheme will earn one point for every £1 spent in store or online from April 2015, down from the two points per £1 offered now.

Instead, Sainsbury’s customers will earn more bonus points through events and increased personalised points offers including one-off points offers for fuel purchases, a “Christmas Double Up on points” event on products such as toys, entertainment, seasonal, electrical, home and clothing as well as one-off competitions.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman says: “We are changing the way customers earn Nectar points and launching more high-value bonus events, like Swipe to Win, 10xpoints on fuel and adding more categories to our Christmas ‘Double Up’ event so that customers can make their points go even further.”

The issuing of points for the reuse of shopping bags will also be scrapped from next April.

It is hoped the new incentives will produce a more engaging loyalty programme and a more compelling marketing opportunity for Sainsbury’s.

The supermarket often cited the marketing opportunities presented by the data collected through Nectar for its 39 consecutive quarters of growth, which came to end in March.

A campaign announcing the changes has launched with customers affected by the changes informed of the switch by email.  A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s says a further campaign to inform of the deals to come will launch soon after.

However, the news has predictably met with a backlash on social media with Twitter users quick to express their disquiet over the change.

It comes amid a difficult time for Sainsbury’s, which has seen sales decline and its brand tarnished after it hit the headlines over a poster meant for a London store’s staff room that encouraged staff to try and get customers to spend 50p more each shop was accidentally put in the shop window.