Asda is asking suppliers to stump up six-figure sums for access to its new Customer Insights Platform powered by Quantium, The Grocer has learned.
Documents sent to companies, following the launch of the new system at a supplier conference in the autumn, reveal Asda plans to charge suppliers tens of thousands of pounds for access to a single category in the database, with much larger payments for those working across categories.
Asda claims the new service, which will include customer insights from its Asda Rewards loyalty app being trialled in 16 stores since last year, as well as bankcard data, will give more in-depth insight to its supply chain on customer trends and enable more targeted decisions on price and promotions.
Asda is due to phase out its free Retail Link database, based on till roll data, which has been provided for free for two decades under Walmart, though the supermarket insisted it was developing an alternative free service for suppliers.
Those who upgrade to the new service will receive regular reports on shopper trends as well as bespoke training on how to use the system, which Asda claims is competitively priced compared to information from the likes of Tesco Clubcard.
However, critics claimed it was optimistic of Asda to expect major buy-in while still in the formative stage of its loyalty programme.
“Suppliers have had access to free information which makes working with Asda easier for over 20 years,” said Ged Futter, founder of The Retail Mind and a former senior Asda buyer.
“Now, at a time when inflation is rising, the cost of working with Asda will become prohibitive for some suppliers.”
He added: “When I was at Asda we used to joke that Retail Link had more information than The Pentagon and it was free.”