A loyalty card is a card issued by a supermarket or chain store to a shopper, used to record credit points awarded for money spent in the store (Collins English dictionary, 2014:440).Some may say that loyalty cards should be allowed while some people may feel that loyalty cards do not benefit us as smart shoppers at all and everyone is entitled to their own views and my view is that loyalty cards should in fact be allowed and they have a positive difference when it comes to shopping.
When buying your groceries or even clothes in retail stores do one ever think that companies are actually compiling a profile about them and all the buying habits that one has to check what each buyer prefers. An article written by Donna Ferguson has proved that companies do check your buying habits and your information is stored and used to their advantage about what you always need proving that supermarkets actually do this and this is why most companies have come up with the loyalty shopper card program so they can keep a tab on your buying preferences so that the buyer gets a bargain or earn points that you can use in the long run, In order for you to get a loyalty card the shopper needs to shop a lot at a certain shop in order for shoppers to make the best of any loyalty card but another thing that you need to think about is your privacy because when one signs up for any shopper loyalty card you need to provide your identity number, contact details, email address and sometimes your physical address which some companies later on sell that information to third parties which is why people will get endless calls and messages from other people and that is actually invading of policy because now almost everyone knows how much you spend and on which items that you do. In recent news CVS extra care card users information was exposed on the company’s website and this shows us the risk of loyalty card programs but the question is “what is more important you saving money or protecting your privacy” (Bosworth, 2005:1).And as a customer you need to know that If you have a loyalty card the supermarkets will build up a demographic profile of you, and collect data about how loyal you are, what you buy and how much you spend, says Guy Montague-Jones of The Grocer.
But most shoppers approach loyalty cards with a mixture of weariness and amusement so not everyone will experience such problems because not all companies do this but one needs to be careful. Technology writer De Clan McCullagh stated that “nobody’s forcing shoppers to sign up for such cards if you do not want loyalty cards do not sign up for them”.
In South Africa we have a few shopper loyalty cards that everyone is familiar with which is Clicks club card, Pick and Pay smart shopper card, Dischem and SAA voyager.
In Durban during 2017 Clicks Clubcard had taken over the top spot for most used loyalty program at 67%, Pick and Pay smart shopper at 66% and Dischem at number 3 with 44% (Dhivana, 2017:16) followed by Woolworths and other shopper loyalty cards that are available in South Africa so this shows that actually more and more people are starting to use loyalty shopper cards since they were introduced to shoppers so maybe this is why some people actually sign up for any shopper loyalty cards that they feel is more suitable to them from all of the shopper cards available. And this goes back to one question “should shopper loyalty cards be allowed” considering that they have the same pros and cons because some pros can actually be turned to cons by people and vice versa for few example one can look at the ones that I have actually found out.
Improved customer retention that makes clients feel valued and appreciated.
Brand differention so that your business can be distinguished from other businesses.
Your points do not expire.
If you forget your card you are always able to use your friends or family member’s card.
You get to save money when you use your loyalty shopper card.
Shoppers will remain loyal to your business because they believe that the company cares about them.
Positive company image (Anon, 2017:9).
You do not have privacy everyone knows what you buy.
Every company is doing it; almost all companies have loyalty cards so it doesn’t change anything.
You almost always have to give out some personal information such as your full name, email address or phone number businesses sometimes use this information in a wide variety of way and may sell your information to third parties.
Loyalty programs hope to bring more repurchase based on the historical behavior but with time, their income needs and life change and naturally their buying patterns will change. Study.com 11 March 2017.
Loyalty cards manipulate the shopper and ask a lot from the shoppers by wanting the shopper to carry a card with them every time they shop or have loyalty card numbers stored in the shoppers memory or cell phone whenever a shopper makes a purchase.
Shopper loyalty programs clearly offer benefits to both shoppers and business but not all of them are successful so understanding the pros and cons can help a shopper to check if they want to sign up for the shopper loyalty card to avoid making mistakes (Anon, 2017:9).
In conclusion loyalty cards are perceived to be a good thing by some people while other people feel that they are not doing any good for shoppers and also businesses. For me personally I believe and feel that shopper loyalty cards are in fact a good thing and more and more people need to join in and sign up for shopper loyalty cards as it helps you stay in your budget and even save a bit because you will get discount on some products especially on the products that you buy the most as they are able to trace your buying habits and by doing that they are actually doing good for shoppers on every level possible and an interview with Cromhount in 2016 it proved a lot of things like the most recent findings after questioning 27 446 respondents regarding shopper loyalty cards it was found that more South Africans are using shopper loyalty programs than in 2015 with the biggest increase of 13% amongst those under 25 years of age (Cromhount, 2016).
Anon. 2017. Ways to make your clients feel valued: 9 March 2017.
Bosworth, M.H. 2005. Interest rates and economic growth. 289-315, November.
Collins English dictionary. 12th ed. 2014. Collins: Harper Collins.
Customer loyalty. 2017. Customer loyalty: definition for 2017. http://www.study.com 11 March 2017.
Cromhount, A. 2016. Interview with the researcher on 22 November 2016, Cape Town.
Declan McCullagh. 2005. Loyalty cards reward or threat. http://www.consumeraffairs.com 23 November 2005.
Dhivana, R. 2017. Which are best loyalty card programmes in South Africa? http://www.iol.co.za 16 October 2017.
Ferguson, D. 2013. How supermarkets get your data. The guardian: 8 Jun 2013.
Name and Surname: Elam Madolo
Student Number: 215046218
Subject: Business Management 2
Topic: Should shopper loyalty cards be allowed