Two years after Waitrose launched myWaitrose, half the supermarket’s sales are now coming through the loyalty card.
Informing suppliers of the card’s success, the upmarket supermarket said it now had three million members, and that myWaitrose cardholders were spending twice as much money and visiting stores two-and-a-half times more frequently than the average customer.
Unlike more established loyalty cards such as Tesco Clubcard and Sainsbury’s Nectar, myWaitrose is not a points-based scheme. Instead, it offers free gifts, money-off deals and competitions.
Since launch, Waitrose has built up the card gradually. Initially, competitions to win free groceries and days out were the main attractions, but other benefits have now been added, including a free copy of the Waitrose Kitchen magazine and free newspapers and hot drinks.
Most recently, in October Waitrose started offering cardholders 10% off more than 500 branded and own-label products.
The card has impressed rivals. At its trade briefing in October, Marks & Spencer said myWaitrose was working well and praised its creation of a sense of value combined with flexibility. Booths also appears to have taken inspiration from myWaitrose for its new loyalty card (see below).
“The really clever thing about the myWaitrose card is the range of benefits. It is constantly reminding shoppers that Waitrose is giving them something back,” said Richard Buchanan, founder of brand consultancy The Clearing.
Waitrose told suppliers it had plans to develop the card further. It said improved functionality meant it could now do more personalised offers, allowing suppliers to target lapsed customers.
The card still has some way to go before it becomes as popular with Waitrose shoppers as Tesco Clubcard and Sainsbury’s Nectar card. It is understood more than 60% of Tesco and Sainsbury’s sales are through their loyalty cards.
Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said the take-up of the myWaitrose card was impressive at this stage. “The fact that 50% of sales are through myWaitrose is a tremendous endorsement of what shoppers think of Waitrose and what the card offers them.”
Waitrose declined to comment to The Grocer. In its half-year results in September, it said of the myWaitrose card: “Carefully targeted and personalised offers and deals, together with free tea and coffee and regular discounts on everyday staples, have helped strengthen our customer relationships and drive volume.”
Booths: ‘we want it to be exciting’
Booths is preparing to add more benefits to its new loyalty card.
Launched in the summer, the Booths Card allows shoppers to do away with paper receipts and offers other benefits including money off large purchases of wine and a free quarterly digital magazine.
Like myWaitrose, it is not points-based. “We are enhancing it but we don’t want to turn it into another points card. We want it to be an exciting card to own,” said Booths retail director Paul Minett. Ideas under consideration include free hot drinks and newspapers, 10% off new products tried, and money off meat.
In its first 90 days, 85,000 Booths card were issued and cardholders spent £10 more than other shoppers.