Nectar's progress and future plans unveiled
The latest progress and future plans of Nectar's operator, Loyalty Management UK (LMUK), have been made known this week, including news of some of the retail sectors from which new programme partners will potentially be appointed as the UK-based coalition loyalty programme progresses.
The latest figures handed to The Wise Marketer from LMUK reveal that Nectar now has some 18 million cards in circulation, spread throughout approximately 12 million households. These updated figures highlight the fact that Nectar has indeed reached LMUK's first-year target of 50% UK household penetration since the programme's launch in September 2002 (see feature article).
A spokesperson for LMUK told The Wise Marketer that Nectar will be carrying out specific first anniversary activities, full details of which are to be announced during the lead-up to the big day on September 16th, 2003.
A brace of sponsors New sponsors (points-issuing partners) are also the order of the day, as LMUK confirmed that it is looking at partnering with more companies including a high street bank, a utility provider, a pharmacy chain, and a dry-cleaning firm.
None of these potential partners have been named yet, although negotiations are said to be underway already.
But the programme's existing partners have much to celebrate too, it seems. One year after Nectar's launch, the benefit of their involvement in the programme seems clear to both BP and Sainsbury's, whose combined market share of the retail petrol market has increased by a total of 3% year-on-year, according to figures quoted by LMUK.
Banking loyalty The inclusion of a high street bank in Nectar's list of sponsors is expected to be at least two years away still, and possibly as distant as five years from now, depending on the talks currently in progress between LMUK's CEO, Rob Gierkink, and the unnamed bank.
The general idea, however, will be to present Nectar collectors with the opportunity to earn points for banking activity and commitment. For example, consumers could be awarded points based on the amount of money they keep in a savings account, or on the value of bills paid, or even their choice of cash machine network for cash withdrawals.