UK supermarket chain, Tesco, has rolled out targeted electronic coupons at the checkout for its Clubcard members.
Tesco operates one of the most successful and sophisticated loyalty programmes in the world. When its ten million plus members have their Clubcards swiped at the checkout, their purchases are recorded in the Clubcard database. They earn one point for every one pound spent.
Four times a year, each member receives a personalised mailing that includes two types of coupons: Coupons to the value of the points earned that quarter, and coupons providing money-off offers on specific products. These mailings are said to account for some 6% of the mail handled in the UK at the time they are sent out.
The product-specific coupons are targeted using data from the Clubcard database. The 'points' coupons can be used in payment for goods at the checkout, or can be used to buy Air Miles. One 2.50 coupon (250 points) can be exchanged for 40 Air Miles. Customers spending an average of 60 or more per week over each 13-week period get 80 Air Miles for each 250 points.
Not a replacement
Since its launch in 1993, Tesco has constantly developed and honed the programme. Now, following a successful trial in a branch in Wales, electronic coupons at the checkout have been rolled out nationally. According to a Tesco spokesman, these are not intended to replace the mailings but to supplement them. The coupons are automatically printed by the tills at the time of purchase. Unlike some similar systems, they are not triggered by the purchase of a specific product at the time but by the customer's recent purchase history.
One hundred different offers - to be changed every two weeks - will be available at any one time. The redemption rate is expected to be high.