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Beth Schultz

We Know Better, But Still We Love Loyalty Cards

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bulk
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Data Doctor
Hate them
bulk   9/25/2013 2:12:14 PM
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Personally I hate these cards, not because I give up info, but because they take up too much space in my wallet. I am looking forward to a digital verson I can keep on my phone and the shop can just scan the QR code. 

Alexis
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
Alexis   9/25/2013 2:47:52 PM
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I agree. CVS, for instance, will let you give a phone number instead of your card - but you can't access the instore coupons (in a kiosk) without the card. Very frustrating.

TalkerZ
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Hate them
TalkerZ   9/25/2013 2:49:37 PM
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My objection at CVS are those mile-long receipts that using a loyalty card generates. Why can't the offers just be stored with your account and accessed automatically when you check out?

Ariella
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
Ariella   9/25/2013 2:54:50 PM
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@TalkerZ that's been a point of contention for a long time. In the past, they have said, CVS  has claimed that customers like having the paper coupons, but now they have finally agreed to shorten them 25%.see http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/08/30/long-cvs-receipts-spark-social-media-sensation/VzQeVzNmBB3ECqy6vQtj1N/story.html) They have recently started emailing customers, and so they've been trying to get more email addresses from people coming into the store. I heard some cashiers discussing how many they managed to get that day. Perhaps they were promised some kind of incentive payment for it. 

SaneIT
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
SaneIT   9/26/2013 7:37:14 AM
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For the stores that allow you to get a loyalty card/keyring tag with just a phone number, pharmacies and grocery stores for example try using your area code and 867-5309.  I've used it many times to create cards at local businesses and tell friends who don't want to go through the process at the register to just use that number.   I've been telling friends this trick for about a decade and have never had anyone tell me that it wasn't accepted.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
BethSchultz   9/26/2013 7:48:24 AM
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I like the privacy aspect of using this number, but then wouldn't you always need your loyalty card on hand, rather than being able to key in your phone number at POS, to have your points accrue?

BethSchultz
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Blogger
Re: Hate them
BethSchultz   9/25/2013 3:15:20 PM
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Ah, but the ones I use most often -- for the grocery store -- don't require the physical card in hand. All you have to do is enter your phone number at the point-of-sale system. Alternatively, some stores offer the cards in mini versions you can slip onto a keychain. Those can come in handy, too.

tinym
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
tinym   9/25/2013 11:21:27 PM
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Hmm... let's make that list of loyalty cards. I have a few I like to use. I tend to decline signing up for new programs. Walgreen's is the newest program I joined.

Walgreen's Balance Rewards - I noticed retail prices on some items spike in the last two months. I blame the loyalty promotions.

GameStop - We seem to only buy used video games (a couple times a year). Buy 2, Get 1 free covers that. The cost of the pro card is easily saved in one trip.

MyCokeRewards - I've been a member since 2007 and gotten magazine subscriptions and t-shirts.

Carino's Pasta Points - I like getting free food with this program.

Papa John's pizza rewards - more free food here 

 

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
BethSchultz   9/26/2013 7:20:25 AM
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Besides my grocery store cards (Dominick's & Mariano's), I really like the Target red debit card, with an automatic 5 percent off purchases. It's nice knowing that I'm getting a slight savings on anything I buy there, since I'd most likely be buying it there anyways. I also like programs that provide free shipping, as does the red card, too.

bulk
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
bulk   9/26/2013 12:28:35 PM
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@Beth, 

Dont worry , the phone will be backed up to the cloud ;-) 

and I also had the target Red card, I liked the 5% savings on everything I would by. It also gave me an excuse to buy a pretzel on my way out every time. ;-) why not, I saved 5% on everything else and I will get another 5% off on that ever so yummmy pretzel. lol

michaeljackson
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Hate them
michaeljackson   9/26/2013 2:51:34 PM
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Just another way of collecting "Big Data" without ever giving the customer a "real incentive" for using it.

bulk
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
bulk   9/27/2013 1:33:49 AM
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@michaeljackson, 

I just assume that everything a retailer do is to captuer data and use it to sell me more things, so that doesnt bother me. 

Pierre DeBois
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
Pierre DeBois   9/28/2013 8:35:45 PM
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True point - plus the main objective is making that data work effectively through analysis.  Collection means nothing without the proper investment, and right now that nvest is still a struggle, given the flack about Big Data. Not against it, but many execs are hesistant to invest in people and resources, or to organize themselves to make a difference with Big Data.

rbaz
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
rbaz   9/29/2013 2:58:48 PM
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Pierre, you are absolutely correct. Data collection is merely the first step of many and the raw data is meaningless. I suppose that many executives don't want to appear left out of the big data push so they at least collect data until they can develop a plan. In the void!

Pierre DeBois
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
Pierre DeBois   9/29/2013 10:09:06 PM
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Rbaz, one add to that thought - if they wait too long, the data's value gets lost. I still see too many businesses being cautious for minor reasons.

rbaz
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
rbaz   9/30/2013 1:08:59 AM
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Pierre, delays caused by being cautious is a sign of the lack of a plan or overall strategy, which in turn signals the lack of commitment. Half hearted approach is a blueprint for failure.

BethSchultz
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Blogger
Re: Hate them
BethSchultz   9/27/2013 11:41:14 AM
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There's a Starbuck's in my local Target. But, dang, I don't think the 5% discount applies there. 

bulk
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
bulk   9/27/2013 12:51:09 PM
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That is a good question, It works at the snack bar where they have the pretzels, but I never tried at one of the in-store Starbucks. Let me know if it works!!!!

tinym
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
tinym   9/27/2013 11:01:52 PM
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@beth it does apply! I was sent to checkout at Starbucks when many lines were full. My receipt said Target and I scanned my card on a target card scanner.

BethSchultz
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Blogger
Re: Hate them
BethSchultz   9/30/2013 8:11:02 AM
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@tinym, interesting. Did you buy a latte while you were at it? I don't recall the scanner at the Starbuck's being a Target scanner at the store I frequent. But I'll have to look next time I'm there. I also can't imagine a situation where I am that would have the Target lanes full and not the Starbuck's counter, too. Occasionally I am tempted to get a coffee after shopping, but the lines there usually serve to make me think twice about that -- and skip it. 

tinym
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
tinym   9/30/2013 9:05:03 AM
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@beth funny thing... there's a free standing Starbucks across the street from this Target store so the lines are usually very reasonable.

Pierre DeBois
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
Pierre DeBois   9/28/2013 8:26:10 PM
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Beth, that kind of selectivity may be standard practices with some discount programs. There's a BP near me that is part of a truck stop - The Standard BP discount card I have can not be used at the pump dispite being BP gas. 

tinym
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
tinym   9/26/2013 11:22:28 PM
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@Beth I have a red card too but haven't used it for discounts in a long time. I wish Target would get on board with a regular loyalty card. I tend to forget to pay the card on time so it's easier for me just to keep the balance at zero. I know they have a debit card program that tracks purchases through your debit card to give you discounts but I don't want to sign up for that one.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
BethSchultz   9/27/2013 10:42:38 AM
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I'd finally signed up for one because of the debit option -- since I was always paying with my bank debit card anyways, I figured I might as well get the 5% discount. But oh do I get mad at myself when I forget to pay with the red card!

bulk
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Hate them
bulk   9/26/2013 3:42:10 AM
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@Beth, 

I dislike the keychain version of the cards just as much. the realestate in my pockets is at a premium. I like to keep as few keys on my key ring as possible. normally just two, and I am working on dropping that number to just one. ;-) soon enough I will just have to carry my phone, or so I hope. 

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hate them
BethSchultz   9/26/2013 7:11:12 AM
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So let's hope you never lose that phone!

Jeff
User Rank
Data Doctor
The rich get richer
Jeff   9/25/2013 4:17:02 PM
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Yeah, my keychain is silly.  I have Starbucks, Qdoba and Giant Eagle (local grocery) on there.  Giant Eagle does a cool thing with GetGo gas stations. Buy food here and earn discounts on gas.  Though I almost lost my mind when the power went out while I'm filling up at 3.07 a gallon the other day.  Kid comes out and says he can discount me.  

 

What does my subject have to do with all this?  Well, nevermind the whole incident makes my kid late for karate and she has to do pushups for being late.  But then a kid whose rich daddy I used to work for pulls up in his new porshe while I'm stressing over my .40 per gallon.  Sorry for the whining but what are the odds?  Predict that!

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The rich get richer
BethSchultz   9/26/2013 7:31:41 AM
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A Chicago grocery chain, Dominick's (now a division of Safeway), has the same sort of program with Mobil. That's great, since I like to shop at one and the other is my preferred gas station (and with two SUVs -- gulp -- we spend a lot on gas in this household). With that latter bit said, I can certainly appreciate your experience at the pump. That just wasn't your day.

urbie4
User Rank
Data Doctor
Lithuanian Cheesehound
urbie4   9/26/2013 8:55:25 AM
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Privacy, schmivacy.  My favorite loyalty card is from CheeseBoy, a relatively new fast food chain specializing in grilled-cheese sandwiches.  They have a card, but also an app you can fire up before you get there, and just tell the cashier "My short code is 368" to get the payoff.

Which is... buy 7 sandwiches, get one free!

End of discussion. :-D

Noreen Seebacher
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lithuanian Cheesehound
Noreen Seebacher   9/26/2013 11:15:34 AM
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You made me laugh urbie4!

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lithuanian Cheesehound
BethSchultz   9/26/2013 12:32:08 PM
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Almost sounds worth moving to the Northeast for!

SRS1
User Rank
Master Analyst
Re: Lithuanian Cheesehound
SRS1   9/26/2013 1:52:55 PM
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Urbie, where are these grilled chesse sandwich shops located? Sounds like a great idea and using the customer card for free food is amazing. 

urbie4
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Lithuanian Cheesehound
urbie4   9/26/2013 1:57:05 PM
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It's a Boston-based chain: http://www.cheeseboy.com

There are two particularly convenient locations: South Station (where my train arrives), and 280 Washington St., which is right around the corner from my office!

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lithuanian Cheesehound
BethSchultz   9/27/2013 10:40:37 AM
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You would have thought something like this would have originated in Wisconsin, with all those cheeseheads!



tomsg
User Rank
Prospector
They have to pay
tomsg   9/26/2013 11:19:08 AM
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You can see that most people only join because they are given something. It is up to you to determine if the payment is worth the information you are giving up. In most cases, I just say no.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: They have to pay
BethSchultz   9/26/2013 11:24:38 AM
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So in most cases you say no but have said yes on occasion? What's been worth it to you?

tomsg
User Rank
Prospector
Re: They have to pay
tomsg   9/26/2013 11:34:17 AM
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I have said yes on those occaisions it has been worth it to me. But that is a VERY rare event.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: They have to pay
BethSchultz   9/26/2013 11:46:02 AM
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Right, I get that it's rare -- but what I'm curious about is what makes you sign up. Is it because you'd be buying a lot from the retailer anyway so any promo would be an opportunity to save? Is it because it offered a discount on a specific product you'd been intending to buy? Did free shipping do the trick? Something else?

tomsg
User Rank
Prospector
Re: They have to pay
tomsg   9/26/2013 11:56:26 AM
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The best example i have is Panera bread. i go there for lunch about once/week and they offered me discounts on what i usually buy to sign up. I get almost one offer a week ( which co-incides with my normal visit0 and I always save at least $2 for lunch. All I gave them was my e-mail, so I thought it was a good trade.

Maryam@Impact
User Rank
Blogger
Loyalty card trap
Maryam@Impact   9/30/2013 11:15:02 AM
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I do have quite a few loyalty cards. I like the ones that actually give me a benefit. Some really give consumers very little in return. I recently read an article about large supermarket chains eliminating loyalty cards because they didn't really have a use for the data and customers didn't find it very beneficial. I think that tiered loyalty that offers true rewards is the future of loyalty marketing that will truly create loyalty.

 

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Loyalty card trap
BethSchultz   9/30/2013 1:05:29 PM
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@Maryam, not to be creepy, but I thought about you the other night when I was picking up a pizza for dinner at a little restaurant nearby. This is one of those places that give you a free pizza for every 20 coupons you collect based on your pizza purchases. It still gives out those paper coupons to collect, but I also saw that it now also offers  the Belly loyalty program you wrote about for us a while ago: Belly Ups Loyalty Quotient for Small Shops. I was quite impressed it'd gone so "high tech" with its loyalty program!

Maryam@Impact
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Loyalty card trap
Maryam@Impact   9/30/2013 4:37:37 PM
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Beth I am glad you remembered my blog! I am seeing more of Belly and others in my area. The place I first started using Belly just awarded my daughter a free yogurt she was thrilled.

Technology has great opportunities to improve loyalty programs for users and retailers. It makes tiers, award and tracking more simplistic.

Hope the pizza was good!

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Loyalty card trap
BethSchultz   9/30/2013 5:51:43 PM
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Good, but not as good as homemade. ;-)

 

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