Somerfield has unveiled the replacement to its Saver Card loyalty scheme in the shape of a new entirely supplier-funded coupon programme.
The supermarket, which dropped the card scheme in May as part of the new management's strategy review and cost-saving drive, will from next year offer customers printed coupons tailored to their particular purchases on each shopping trip.
The initiative will be focused on encouraging repeat purchasing of specific brands as well as increased spend, and so directly affect the top line, said Mark Grice, managing director of Catalina Marketing, which runs the scheme and ran Saver Card.
"If Coke wants to target Coke buyers they can talk to them directly, offering an incentive on the coupon to increase the regularity of purchase or to try a new brand extension. There is minimum wastage for this form of targeted promotion. It is based on actual purchasing behaviour."
The system can also identify what is not in the basket, he added, offering customers coupons for brands that would typically be bought with items in their basket.
Another option is to add a time element - for example offering money off if the product is bought again in two weeks and repeating the offer again the next time.
"As well as increased sales this is locking in a change in the customer's behaviour."
The new programme will incur no set-up costs and minimal running overheads for Somerfield as the existing standalone printers used for the card scheme will be used. It is currently talking to between 15 and 20 suppliers, said Grice. However, it is open to all suppliers of any size and any budget as they can do national promotions or narrow it down to a region or individual store.
Somerfield trading and marketing director Colin Smith said: "This is a great proposition for brands, providing a new channel to directly target and communicate with potential customers. It allows us to deliver real added value for Somerfield customers."
Saver Card was formerly focused on Somerfield's category level spend rather than on specific brands, and so it had footed the bill.