I. Came across an article detailing how local grocers and pharmacies had been building mobile number databases of their frequent customers and using the SMS as a medium to communicate offers. What's more they were in fact allowing multinationals to access their database for a fee!
II. We were comparing the services offered by the local grocer with those of the larger format hypermarkets. Well, I thought the local grocer beat the supermarket hands down (well at least in my opinion!), and here's how
a. The shopkeeper recognizes me ( four generations actually)
b. Knows precisely which brand, variant and size I need
c. Recommends new products
d. Stocks products exclusively for me
e. Delivers home in ten minutes
f. Extends credit
g. And keeps telling me that he is charging below MRP
And ...no he does not have a rewards programme!..well not yet at least!...So tell me again...how is the hypermarket better again?
What's more....I believe I purchase much more than I actually need at the supermarket and post the expenses for parking, pizzas, cold drinks and more...am not too sure if I saved or gained too much!
We then tried to superimpose some or all of these benefits into a Loyalty/Relationship/Rewards programme and realized that we were indeed in a very long and dark tunnel.
The local grocers are today armed with a slew of technologies and tools coupled with the personal touch that most large format retailers would find fairly tough to compete with. Mainframes at modern day large format retailers are pitted against the greying hairs of the local grocer.
I rather fancy the chances that David has in this game of loyalty! Its just not in the reward points...goes much beyond
(Incidentally why are loyalty programmes synonymous with reward programmes?)