Retailer Loyalty Nostalgia: Back to the future?

Retailer Loyalty Nostalgia: Back to the future?

by Debbie Simms

Competing for share-of-shopper is an ongoing quest between the retail giants but the tools they deploy quickly become stale. Points-for-purchase for example are kind of abstract and often not meaningful enough to alter behaviour. I can think of a few simple things that have however changed mine. My local Spar store did a great knife promotional offer recently where I was offered stickers I could collect to redeem against a range of chic chefs knives. I enjoying shopping at the store anyway but I must have at least tripled my Spar spend over the Pick ‘n Pay and Woollies along the road I usually frequent over that period. What cook doesn’t love a sharp knife?

The promotion had a very “retro” feel; it was all very analogue – collecting stickers – tallying up whether I had enough to get the style of knife I wanted… it reminded me of my mom doing the same thing in the 70’s when she collected a series of brown and orange pots being offered by our local Checkers store.

Retailers have long spoken of an enhanced “Shopping Experience” which will be key – but it is hard to resist a great offer with personal individual appeal that represents tangible, covetable value. I was excited about the knives! I was not however engaged by Stickies or the R1.50 off my next Brand Match Purchase, when I can never find the last slip in my stuffed purse. Stickies did however enjoy fabulous success and took on a life of its own for a time. I guess it comes down to the fact that these are a “one size fits some” approach. I love the idea of Woolies “My School” Card do not get me wrong, but the knives won hands down. The incredible convenience and enhanced localised product selection of My Spar (think quality fresh bakes, French inspired confectionary and imported ice-cream) certainly helped.