Swiping Nectar Card

The new version of Nectar will no longer allow customers to earn points on each pound they spend, but only on specific items they select for themselves

Sainsbury’s will be trialling a dramatic overhaul of its Nectar loyalty scheme on the Isle of Wight from 12 April.

The new version will no longer allow customers to earn points on each pound they spend, but only on specific items they select for themselves. The supermarket has said the digitally-led, app-based revamp comes in response to customer feedback, and will give customers the opportunity to create their own unique offers.

Those taking part in the trial, set to run indefinitely, will be able to select their own offers from a list based on the products they buy most often online or via the Nectar app. Points will be earned on these offers and their loyalty to Sainsbury’s as opposed to total spend.

Sainsbury’s Bank will continue to offer double Nectar points with selected insurance products, and instead of doubling the one point per £1 spent in store and 1pt per litre of fuel offer, Sainsbury’s will double the points each customer earns per transaction.

Points will still have the same value they do now, existing points will remain, and there will be no change to the scheme at other Nectar partners.

The revamp includes similarities to those seen in the myWaitrose loyalty scheme element Pick Your Own Offers, which ended in February with Waitrose claiming some customers found it confusing.

“We are excited to be trialling this new Nectar scheme, which gives more rewards to our loyal customers,” said Helen Hunter, director of innovation at Sainsbury’s.

“By giving them the option to choose the products on which they earn Nectar and awarding points based on loyalty, we’ll be able to show our most valuable customers how important they are to us. We’ll be actively listening to customers during the trial so that we can shape new Nectar as we learn.”

Rob Meakin, managing director at Loyalty Pro, said: “Sainsbury’s decision to reward its customers based on how often they shop and how long they’ve been shopping reflects a growing trend of the importance supermarkets, retailers and businesses in the hospitality industry are placing on customer retention.

Consumers now expect a certain level of personalisation with deals they make - this is what we’re calling the ‘membership economy’, where everyone is now expecting the VIP treatment with tailored rewards that reflect the consumer’s own buying patterns. As more and more consider loyalty as a sort of currency, the battle between the UK’s top supermarkets will only intensify.”