Lidl is one of the UK’s favourite grocers, recently crowned “Supermarket of the Year” at the Retail Industry Awards in 2020, beating tough competition from the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Iceland. The brand is beloved by Brits for its efforts to provide “affordable fresh produce to families across Britain and encourage children to eat healthy food, while also championing its network of suppliers” (Retail Gazette). The brand opened its doors 25 years ago in the UK and has gone from strength to strength. It’s “Big on Quality, Lidl on Price” promise and its cheeky advertising (such as it’s realistic Christmas 2020 ad which promised “At Lidl we’re big on a Christmas you can believe in”) have won it a place in the nation’s heart. It now has 5.9% market share (Kantar) and is the UK’s 7th biggest grocer.
By: Charlie Hills
However, what Lidl didn’t have in the UK was a loyalty programme. In September 2020 this changed. And it changed with a bang, Lidl Plus has gone big on loyalty. Lidl didn’t follow the rules the big 4 grocers have set — there are no points, no complicated redemption procedures, and no plastic cards. “Big on saving, no fuss, that’s Lidl Plus.” Lidl Plus is uniquely Lidl.
Members can save even more on their weekly shop. The App has fantastic features, all designed to delight and enhance the Lidl Shopping experience:
- Plus Coupons: members can bag bargains on their favourite products every time they shop with 4 new coupons every week.
- Coupon Plus: members are set spending targets and when they reach them, they get extra money off coupons.
- Plus Prizes: members shop and spin every time for their chance to win £20 off their next shop.
- Plus Partner Offers: members get exclusive discounts and benefits from friends of Lidl including offers like the chance to win Haven staycations, money off Sky subscriptions, or free digital fitness memberships.
And it’s all delivered in a fuss free digital app, with a digital card, digital leaflets and a seamless user experience. It’s a far cry from what the other big UK grocers are up to — Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons are all fixated on points and still have the legacy of the plastic card. Even Tesco’s recent disruptive launch of a subscription model “Tesco Clubcard Plus” which gives members 10% off 2 instore shops, 10% off selected Tesco brands in store, access to a credit card, and double data for a monthly subscription is still points centric. The smaller grocery players in the UK like Waitrose, Iceland and M&S are also approaching grocery loyalty differently — not a point in sight.
And is it working? Lidl Plus is now 6 months old, launched in the middle of a global pandemic, with most of its members in some level of lockdown for half its lifespan. It’s smashed its membership targets and now has over 4 million members, active rates are exceedingly strong, and participation in all elements of the programme are very high. Customers are loving the app and employee feedback is very positive too.
Claire Farrant, Marketing Director of Lidl said, “Lidl Plus is an important commitment from the brand to show our customers how important their loyalty is to us. We want to help them save even more on their weekly shop in a uniquely Lidl way. We are absolutely delighted with the programme’s performance so far, and looking forward to activating our plan for 2021. Watch this space for new app features, new offers and more.”
We think Lidl Plus is one to watch. It demonstrates the importance of a brand investing to craft its own unique loyalty experience — based on its unique positioning, strengths and customer relationships. Don’t just follow what the bigger players are doing. We asked in August last year “if good things happen when you drop points?”. Maybe the answer to is to be more like Lidl… and don’t even start with points.
Charlie Hills is the Managing Director & Head of Strategy at Mando-Connect and a featured contributor to Wise Marketer.