Customers Hold All the Cards
By George Anderson
Just about every retailer today (at least it seems) has some type of loyalty/discount card program. Drugstores, department stores, grocery stores, book and music stores, etc.
all offer them and consumers have a wallet, purse or keychain filled to prove it.
A report on the Knoxville News Sentinel Web site, said retailers are really beginning to offer personalized shopper programs based on an analysis of the data they receive
from the cards.
Russell Palk, president of the Tennessee Retail Association said, “It’s solely a way to provide better customer service.”
Even with high profile reports of thieves stealing personal financial information from stores and financial services businesses, most consumers today are comfortable with stores
collecting information based on their purchase histories.
Karl Snyder of Knoxville, who buys groceries at Kroger, Bi-Lo and Food City using each store’s loyalty card, said it’s all about saving money. “There are things that I show a
tendency to buy and if it generates an extra coupon for me at the register, I’m OK with that,” Snyder said.
Debbie Spearman, Kroger’s assistant loyalty manager, said one of the main benefits of the data collected is it helps stores to stay stocked with the products consumers want.
“Not every store is the same and not every shopper is the same,” she said. “It allows us to provide targeted marketing and targeted products to certain stores.”
Moderator’s Comment: How can retailers use shopper cards to differentiate in a market where so many others also offer similar programs? What retailers
have impressed you with their card program? –
George Anderson – Moderator