Spotify’s review of your year in music has steadily upped its game, comparing a user’s listening habits to others on the platform and letting individuals know what makes their music journey unique. It’s a tradition that has come to mark the beginning of the festive season. So what’s it got to do with Tesco a month after Christmas?

A plethora of copycats have followed in Spotify’s footsteps, from Wagamama to ClearScore – yes, the credit scoring company.

Tesco’s shopping Unpacked landed on the Tesco app this month, collating users’ loyalty card data from throughout 2023 to break down their individual habits.

What did you buy most often? How much money did you save using Clubcard Prices? What was your preferred meal deal? All these questions and more can be answered with a quick scroll.

Word of mouth advertising

It has the capacity to further entrench brand loyalty, as consumers are reminded just how committed they are to specific products. And it may well spark debates with others who plump for rivals. For the brands Tesco stocks, free word of mouth advertising is a boon many would dream of.

Social media platform X is spattered with posts from a few Tesco shoppers who opened up their apps to find out just how many pints of milk, bottles of cherry-flavoured Pepsi or tins of tuna they bought last year. What a thrill!

One user appeared to average a pot of Tesco’s fakeaway garlic & herb pizza dip every fortnight. Another demolished a grab bag of Wotsits every 2.4 days. The home truths delivered by presenting the numbers in this way may just lead to a few belated new years’ resolutions, but perhaps not likely one to “buy more dip”.

The proposition has promise. And yet, Tesco’s is a lacklustre imitation of Spotify’s loved annual wrap. Its muted colour scheme, inability to share it to social media with a click, and lack of insight into how shoppers compare with others make it seem like a rushed effort. Am I in the top 1% of pesto lovers? I guess I’ll never know – and I do really want to know.

Customers will forgive almost anything if you excite them

The magic of Spotify Wrapped was in its shareability. Its slides are optimised for Instagram stories. One tap and you can send your highlights to friends. And now it tells you where in the world people have similar tastes to you.

Tesco does none of this. Without a share button in sight, it forces users to screenshot it to share it, and with some fairly generic insights into your shop, the presentation might be more at home in a boardroom than as an attempt at engaging consumers. Nor is it particularly easy to find within the app.

Because, devoid of excitement, Tesco Unpacked serves only as a reminder of just how much data it holds about its customers.

It reminds shoppers of the good, the bad and the ugly of their buying habits – and that they’re not always guaranteed their privacy if they want the Clubcard discount. So, it might not be such a wise move.

Asda, which doesn’t collect loyalty scheme data on the majority of its customers, plumped for a colourful social media post detailing its insights into the nation’s shopping habits at large. It found Brits bought 21.3 million pizzas from its counters, prefer pepperoni as a topping, and want a cheese & onion sandwich, cheese & onion Walkers and a Coca-Cola in their meal deal at lunchtime.

That was the less intrusive option to engage with consumers.

Because the fact of the matter is that what we put into our trolleys feels much more personal than what we put into our ears. And pizza dip, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same social kudos as Strangers by Kenya Grace.