tesco clubcard

Sir, The news that Tesco is winding up the ‘trade up’ voucher side of Clubcard through the Boost scheme (‘Tesco drops Boost to give Clubcard revamp,’ 30 April, p7) is a further indication of a sea change in the world of shopper loyalty and promotions.

The consumer behaviour around Clubcard has long been cast in a different light from other schemes. Nectar generally meant ‘money off’, while Clubcard has hinged on ‘treat yourself’ or experience-based rewards based on long-term relationships.

Even consumers in the Christmas schemes are affected - a blow to cash-strapped households who will now look to different ways to make up the difference.

We are a nation of careful savers who now look to really understand the detail behind any loyalty or savings style schemes that the retailers bring out. This disappointment will see this band of savvy consumers looking for another way to maximise the basket spend. Coupon and voucher redemptions are at record highs, especially retailer-issued coupons. With a shift in strategy, many will need to look carefully at how to address this gap with shoppers.

With the withdrawal of Boost, shoppers are starting to question - who really pays for these schemes? And more concerningly, consumer realisations that brands actually pay for a lot behind the scenes leaves more vocal bloggers to ask: when will the next cut to our loyalty be made? This latest set of developments does little to encourage consumers to engage in long-term loyalty if the scheme’s value is seen as potentially fleeting.

Carey Trevill, MD, IPM