Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Do Loyalty Cards Make You Loyal

The Spar collect a knife/sticker loyalty program got me thinking - do loyalty cards really make us loyal. You can read about our Spar sticker collection over here and here. We only managed to get two knives, now I wish I had done a lot more shopping at Spar. If the "prize" at the end is worth it then yes the loyalty program will make me loyal. When I was first given a sticker card by the cashier at Spar and some stickers I lost them/threw them away - it was far too daunting. All those tiny empty blocks would take forever to fill, not realising how quickly all the R50.00's add up. The second one I did the same with, until Mark got onto the sticker collecting bandwagon. Spar is Mark's shop of choice. Then we filled up a card and received our first knife. That knife is worth R599.00, according to the card and the price you would pay for it without any stickers. The second one that we chose is R369.00. The program ends on the 23 November and we have 12 stickers to go, which at the current high cost of living, should be a breeze to fill, except yesterday and today I shopped at Woolworths. Not my best thinking moment.

My next and top loyalty program is my Clicks Club Card. I stand to be corrected, but am almost certain Clicks was the first store to introduce a loyalty card and I have had mine forever. If my memory serves me correctly, I have had it from before Chad was born. Out of all my loyalty cards, I have seen the biggest benefit/saving from my Clicks Card. I have one issue with it and that is, because of the SA National Post Office strike, I have not received my vouchers for months. I think they should add the loyalty points to the card, which can then be converted and deducted when you shop in the same way that the Pick 'n Pay point system works. One less reason for needing a postal system. If anyone working for Clicks Club Card is by any chance reading this, please can you change the current voucher system to an innovative one in order for it to by pass the redundant postal system we have. I have used the points to buy so many of my beauty products, which is a huge bonus. It also helps fund my obsession with pretty nail colours

Next is my Pick 'n Pay shopper card. I love how you can collect points and then convert them to a voucher in the store and get your cash back without relying on a voucher sent through the mail. I am an analytic person and analyse everything, but I don't analyse to the point of calculating best rewards by point and percentage. I have no idea how many points per rand you get from Pick 'n Pay or Clicks and this post isn't to recommend the best loyalty program, it is just an exercise in whether loyalty programs make me loyal to a store or brand.  To be honest I get more points and benefits from Clicks Club Card than Pick 'n Pay and rand for rand I don't think I spend more at Clicks. If I did it would be worrying, as we do our big shop at Pick 'n Pay Hypermarket. I have seen tweets from people who have used their points to buy large appliances with their Shopper Card points. I have not had nearly enough points to buy a small appliance let alone a large appliance like a dishwasher or get all my January back to school goodies with my shopper card points. We are clearly not doing enough shopping at Pick 'Pay.

I have had My School Card forever. Initially it was for Clint's primary school, then for Clint in high school, then Chad primary school and Clint high school, split half and half and then Chad only. The purpose of the card is to get extra funds for your school, just by merely swiping your card when you go shopping. I only really use it at Woolworths, because I don't know which other stores are affiliated to the card or only remember after I have paid. A few years ago, I added Highveld Horse Care as a beneficiary and made it a 50/50 split between Chad's school and Highveld Horse Care. A deserving Charity, I feel, because not only do they rescue abused and neglected horses, but they also assist with the caring and medical needs of horses in poorer communities. Finally, a few months ago, I deleted Chad's school from my card and added Randburg SPCA and Animal Anti-Cruelty League. Getting points for a Private School felt like I was shopping at a Chain Store and giving points back to the store to thank them for letting me shop at the store. It just did not sit well with me, but being the Queen of Procrastination,  kept collecting points for a privately run business - Chad's school. When we received the exorbitantly increased school fee schedule for next year, I shot out of my procrastination funk and deleted the school and added the other two charities. I need to add a fourth one so that my points are split evenly. Not that I spend millions, but every cent helps a needy animal. I am not sure if you can have more than three charities on a card, maybe that is why I only have the three - will need to check.

The other loyalty program that I think is pretty awesome, is the Tsogo Sun Rewards program. Just by completing a profile and getting a couple of promotional emails and not the spammy type that bombard you with a daily dose of junk. I think it is once a week or once a month, but definitely not a lot, you get discounted accommodation and 1 gig free Internet usage for each day you stay in a Tsogo Sun Hotel. You know how awesome a gig of FREE internet a day is when you are uploading holiday photos to any Social Media platform that you use. You know how expensive mobile data still is in South Africa - when you are paying for it yourself. I have a Silver Star card, but did not realise that it was the same as the Tsogo Sun Rewards program and lost out on both the 1 Gig a day free internet and accommodation discount when we went to Durban the first time this year.

The other cards I have that I don't really use is my Dischem Card - Clicks is my go to store, but I do use the card if I, on the odd occasion shop there, like when I bought the Regal Joint Mobility Remedy for the dogs. I have an E-Bucks card, that I don't use. apparently you now have to use it when paying with an FNB bank card that your salary gets deposited into. I don't bank with FNB so it is pointless having the card and I need to throw it away. Mark had one before it only worked with FNB and we used the points when we bought tickets to fly down to Cape Town and for the three of us, we ended up paying only R399.00 for a single trip to Cape Town. Not R399.00 each - R399.00 for all three. Pity they changed the reward system. I have a reward card from Foshini Group, which I have never used, because I forget that I have it. It was given to me when I bought Chad clothes from Markhams and I think I have R80.00 discount voucher on it - maybe it has expired.

So although my purse looks like it belongs to the land of plastic, most of the cards in there are loyalty cards and not plastic money of the credit card kind. There are other factors that keep me shopping at the same store, like quality of products; friendliness of staff; layout of stores. Our Spar that we always shop at have friendly staff and they are reasonably well stocked so I go to that one all the time, even though there is one right next door to work. Woolworths have the best products so that keeps me loyal, but both of the stores in our area are badly stocked. The staff are not really friendly and more often that not their products on the shelf are passed the sell by date; they are both badly managed and the loyalty program does not benefit me at all, but I go back because Woolworths goods are the best - especially their fruit and veg. I have loved shopping at Clicks my whole adult life so continue to shop there and I love their loyalty program. I used to love shopping at Hypermarket, because I knew where everything was until someone redesigned the store and it is a nightmare to find the basics and not even the loyalty shopper card gets me excited to shop there anymore.

That is my take on loyalty cards and how loyal they keep me, Are you a loyalty card collector, which are your best cards?

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PS - This is not a sponsored post or paid post in anyway. Just a list of the loyalty programs I use and enjoy.
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