Waitrose to close part of its loyalty card scheme

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #1

How on Earth am I supposed to be able to afford my Fair Trade organic avocados now?



Good riddance. :slight_smile:

The only way those “loyalty” schemes are sustainable is by charging “non-loyal” customers more; would be better to just make everyone pay a bit less.


But where would be the fun in that? :upside_down_face:

Slightly relevant:

I think the author makes a lot of valid points there…

(Caspar) #4

If something is confusing, why not try to simplify it?

I liked it, but it did take a bit of time to figure out what I had to do. It made buying ground coffee much cheaper from Waitrose than Sainsburys. I have a branch of each very close to my flat, but I usually go to Sainsburys as it’s overall cheaper, and shopping there made my nectar points stack up. I’m happy to have a loyalty scheme if it means they can customise deal and make sure shops stock products (and alternatives) that I’m actually going to use.

Sainsburys got rid of two for one deals a couple of years back and now only do discounts on single items which I definitely prefer.


Those pick your own offers were a PITA to use, they were a really good deal if you could be bothered to keep on top of them, but I’m guessing few people did.

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #6

Agreed. For me it was bananas and instant coffee.


Yes - total waste of time. I can never remember which items I picked, and you don’t get any other points or money off ever. It’s great for free coffee and Sunday Times though :wink:

As for the “end of plastic loyalty cards”, this is years away. I tried to pay with points using Android Pay in Boots the other day. Cashier said you can only do that using the physical card…

(Valeri) #8

Boots are a unique case as they do not accept 3rd party storage apps for in-store swaps, but their own doesn’t offer neither barcode or qr code.

Cashiers have to manually type-in the number as they completely refuse to use the one saved in StoCard.

Sainsburys, Waitrose, M&S and Coop don’t mind at all - scan & go. Haven’t tried with Tesco as their club card app has good enough QR code and I use that.

Maybe one day all of them will integrate with AndroidPay and ApplePay’s loyalty options, but until at least one of them does it and gains competitive advantage, I can’t see the market changing.

I have considered Tesco’s Wallet app for a millisecond, but then decided I cannot be bothered with yet another wallet app.


Until one of these apps allows me to upload an Oyster travelcard (not PAYG), I can’t turn NFC on anyway, cos I keep mine in my phone case to avoid card clash…would be great if Monzo could be the one to do this

(Caspar) #10

I was hoping Boots would kick off using Apple Wallet (/the Android equivilent) to allow their Advantage card to be used that way as their owner Wallgreens was one of the first businesses in the US to do it, but no sign of that happening yet. Tesco issuing contactless Clubcards is a good shuffle forward at least.

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #11

Have to disagree, slightly. I have a bunch of ‘loyalty’ cards for merchants to whom I am not loyal. They are actually giving a small reward to those customers who agree (whether they know it or not) to share some personal data with the merchant. And they are not rewarding those customers who value privacy or convenience more highly.

I doubt that any merchant would reduce prices in return for not gathering data.


They’re not really contactless in the waving sense- they’re just QR codes. Mine doesn’t scan.

(Caspar) #13

In the US with Wallgreens you can add your Balance Rewards card to Apple Pay, so you bring up the card in Wallet (or have it auto-appear when you’re in a store) and it works through the contactless termanal, the same as the new physical Tesco Clubcard does. https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/applepay.jsp has a demo.

Apple has supported loyalty cards through NFC for a while now, but Wallgreens is the only retailer I know of that’s started to support it.


By “non-loyal” I meant more generally the people who don’t opt into the loyalty scheme, and nothing to do with actual loyalty to any particular chain (to be fair I don’t think actual “loyalty” will ever be possible as different chains have their own, separate but really good products, meaning most (all?) will always shop at both places).

I doubt that any merchant would reduce prices in return for not gathering data.

I disagree - I’m not actually sure how good that “data” is from a profitability point of view. What’s the actual use of that data? Sending personalized vouchers and ads? How many people still fall for this BS?

I’d say most loyalty schemes are there because of legacy (the systems and engineers are more or less paid for already), but if it was today I’m not sure the overhead of implementing a loyalty system (all the software and data scientists to make sense of that data to deliver personalized ads & spam to people) is worth the seemingly low gains considering how much the average customer is already bombarded by ads from everywhere, and as a result became pretty much immune to them.

To me, canning the non-working loyalty system and reducing prices seems like a profitable, win-win strategy.

(Valeri) #15

Totally contactless - you can touch it on the payment terminal and it is read in. The Tesco contactless clubcard, I mean.


Not the key fob…


You should read “Scoring Points” by the guys from dunnhumby who set up the Tesco scheme. It is VERY clever, and I can’t see why it wouldn’t add value today.