Recent reports indicate some of the biggest household brands have signed up to a new buying service, by which grocery bills could be cut up to 30%, and the need for supermarkets could be eliminated completely.
Companies such as Unilever, Mars, and Reckitt Benckiser have signed agreements to sell directly to their consumers via a new digital platform and tech company, INS. This could also have a direct impact on how brands are able to use customers’ data for loyalty scheme and rewards.
Here, Rob Meakin, Managing Director at Loyalty Pro, comments for Finance Monthly: “The move by brands to offer a more convenient, cheaper service to consumers and cut out supermarkets is a clear attempt to gain some of the market share – and power – of grocery leaders like Tesco and Sainsbury’s and now Amazon, of course. In being able to gather data from their customers more easily, brands are going to create recommendations, rewards and loyalty schemes based on consumer buying patterns. With consumers’ allegiance shifting more away from brands and towards service (same-day and even same-hour delivery), this is an opportunity for brands to reclaim customer loyalty and our advice to retailers is to watch this development very closely and make sure they are prepared to fight for their consumer.
“As data becomes the fuel for any business, retailers need to be actively trying to grow their customer loyalty by utilising the customer data at their fingertips to offer rewards schemes in the same way brands are now likely to. Loyalty points and rewards are a currency themselves, and with household budgets squeezed, consumers will be looking for the best possible deal. They also want to feel valued wherever they shop, rewarded for their custom and loyalty through points, offers and even charitable donations. We live in a society where loyalty can appear dead, but the truth is that it’s simply changed. Consumers still value great service and that can absolutely be delivered by anyone – from a single store high street retailer to a multinational online service. The key is to use data to understand what they want and deliver an experience using personalised and relevant communications which will encourage customer loyalty. With brands about to cut out the middle-man, no retailer can afford to rest on their laurels.”