The New Normal: Continuing the Conversation

Our latest webinar, The New Normal: Reinventing Grocery Retail Loyalty Programs, was held May 27, 2020. We received such a large number of questions from the audience that we didn’t have time to answer them all – so we’re continuing the conversation and providing answers to some of these questions below.

If you didn’t get a chance to view the webinar earlier, it’s not too late! It’s available on-demand here, and if you have additional questions that are not answered below, please feel free to reach out to our experts, Sidney Dunn and Bindu Gupta.


Q: How do we stop the consumer from "tuning out" the loyalty process due to too many irrelevant coupons or deals put in front of consumers that they feel are wasting their time?

A: As a customer, there is nothing more frustrating than getting irrelevant offers or coupons. This is where the power of data comes into play. Brands should leverage all possible data attributes that they have access to and merge it with the power of machine learning to provide hyper-personalized 1:1 offers to their customers. Brands can also put their loyalty programs to good use by rewarding customers in exchange for their preferences or buying behaviors – and guess what? Customers are willing to share data in exchange of personalized rewards. In a survey of more than 7,000 consumers, Salesforce found that 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. Similarly, 52% of consumers would share personal data in exchange for product recommendations, and 53% would do the same for personalized shopping experiences.

Q: How can single-store, independent supermarkets launch loyalty programs?

A: Single-store independent supermarkets or smaller size retailers can use a cloud based platform such as Comarch Loyalty Cloud (CLC) to launch a loyalty program. Not only is there no implementation cost, but it’s also super easy to use with its limitless promotion configurations. CLC has a modular structure consisting of both front-and back-end applications, a mobile app, and an open API, which enables easy integration with external data sources. In other words, YOU have the power to create promotions your members will see on their mobile app. No IT teams, codes or algorithms required.

Q: What are action oriented rewards? Can you give an example?

A: Action-oriented rewards are rewards accrued by the customer / loyalty member as a result of an action they took. For example, a brand might reward 10 points to members in exchange for a quick survey of their favorite brands or writing a review on social media. These can be both transactional and non-transactional in nature and are a great tool to keep members engaged, especially when they are not actively shopping or purchasing.

Q: In looking at the recent trends and concerns by shoppers to be in less crowded stores, can loyalty programs offer "club only" hours or appointment-only time to shop? How can they do so without alienating other shoppers?

A: Great question! This is a classic situation of maintaining a balance between keeping your existing members happy and establishing a relationship with new customers so they turn into loyalty members in the future. While establishing member-only hours or appointment times can make existing members feel special and privileged, it is also essential to provide alternative shopping options and benefits to other shoppers during these times. For instance, offer more delivery or BOPIS slots on days with member-only shopping hours.

Q: How can we deal with push-back from grocers regarding loyalty programs slowing down their check-out lines (Point of Sale)?

A: Digitizing the entire loyalty program is key to a seamless member experience. A strong mobile app with key elements of enrolling, accruing and redeeming rewards in a few taps is essential for that frictionless experience. In addition, retailers are now using scan-and-go technology and contactless payment options which can be integrated with the mobile app for a smooth POS experience as well as earning and redeeming rewards.

Q: Can you explain how you define the low value, mid value and high value segments? Is it based on profitability of the customer group or based on recency, freq, and spend level – or something else entirely? Many of the examples given in the webinar seem to be focused on the high value segment – how do you deepen engagement with mid value?

A: Well, this is dependent on the business and the industry, and of course also on the KPI(s) that are considered in how the brand perceives value for the loyalty program (i.e. # of transactions, points earn-to-burn ratio, member-gets-member, etc).  

I’m not sure if all the retail programs we showed focus on the higher-value segments necessarily, however, you are right that they offer the most value to the more engaged members (who are typically the higher-value ones). Concerning the mid-value segments we focus on, we can deepend engagement by providing surprise & delight incentives, as well as rewards that can be reached with just a few visits or a lower $ threshold. Once those incentives are achieved, the program can start slightly increasing the thresholds to derive more value from these segments.  

Q: Are you seeing grocers in the US leveraging data they collect from the DunnHumby and Nielsen/Precima or IRI suppliers to leverage greater insights and deliver more personalized offers to shoppers?

A: Well, we can’t necessarily answer this on such a large scale. But within the CPG and retail spaces, all of the programs we’ve been in contact with have some 3rd party data provider to gain greater insights on their customers as well as to help build out their member profiles. 

To learn more about ways in which Grocers & Retailers can adapt their loyalty strategies to reestablish lasting customer loyalty, click here to view our latest infographic.



Sidney Dunn

Bindu Gupta
Bindu Gupta
Loyalty & Marketing Strategist

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