Woolies Hold’em: Coles Your Move

Genius move by Woolies. They’ve introduced a new plastic card that you can keep track of those handy petrol discounts. Given the state of fuel prices these days, everyone’s using that 4cents off per litre deal when they buy over $30 worth of groceries.

But the thing is, as my tax partner used to say, you pay premium price for your groceries AND premium price for your petrol. It’s not such a great deal to spend more on grocercies just so you can get that 4 cents off. I’ve been guilty of it in the past.

However, in terms of marketing potential for this card, this is a boon for woolies. Because each customer now will have an incentive (the petrol discount) to have that card and they can track what that customer is purchasing, the frequency of their purchases, where they are purchasing, what time, favourite products, etc….. The information you can get from that will be incredible. Of course, Woolies isnt advertising this fact 😛

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Fuel’s Gold as a Million People Play Cards With Woolies

By Julian Lee, SMH

June 5, 2008

WOOLWORTHS has left the door open for its new discount fuel card to morph into a sophisticated customer loyalty card similar to that pioneered by the British supermarket giant Tesco.

Its Everyday Rewards Card, which completed its national debut in NSW last week, allows shoppers to collect fuel discounts on a plastic card rather than on paper. It also offers entry into a weekly prize draw in stores as well as an intermittent national draw worth $10,000.

Woolworths executives say the uptake of the card has “surpassed expectations” with “well over a million” shoppers registering their details – the first step in harvesting crucial data on what customers buy and when.

Richard Umbers, general manager customer engagement, said there was nothing to stop Woolworths turning the card into a tool that targeted shoppers with offers for specific products based on their shopping behaviour.

“There could be things in the future that might be of value to them [but] we have to make sure we don’t send them offers that are of no real value to them,” he said. “I haven’t ruled it out as direction we are going in but at the moment we are concentrating on building it around the sweepstakes and the four cents-a-litre discount.”

Tesco has about 10 million Clubcards operating in Britain, collecting a wealth of data on its customers and informing every aspect of its business, from store layout and merchandising to buying and marketing. Each year millions of coupons offering discounts or promotions are mailed to customers as “rewards”.

Mr Umbers said it was unlikely Woolworths would directly follow Tesco’s lead. “I see no potential in coldly marketing offers that are simply spam and send [customers] to different brands and products around the marketplace. I don’t see a place for that.”

He said Woolworths was evaluating a number of options, among them its Frequent Shopper scheme in Tasmania, but any decision would be based on whether customers are asking for something more.

Chatter on the company’s blog and online surveys convinced Mr Umbers of the switch from paper to card. “The more involved in the direction it is going the stronger the program will be,” he said of customer response.

A Woolworths-branded credit card is to be introduced next financial year and some observers have speculated that the two could be combined into one card, to which a Woolworths spokesman responded: “We are aware of the link between the two but we are not giving away any details.”