Sainsbury's trials digitally-focused Nectar scheme

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Sainsbury’s is shaking up its Nectar points reward scheme with a digitally-led trial where shoppers only earn points on preselected products and loyal customers are rewarded with the greatest number of points.

Currently, the Nectar scheme pays one point for every £1 spent in Sainsbury’s stores, or per litre of fuel at Sainsbury’s petrol stations.

The digitally-led trial, which is being run in Sainsbury’s five Isle of Wight stores, requires shoppers to choose offers online or via a new Nectar app, which are curated based on the products they buy most often.

The app allows customers to register their cards and scan their smartphones at the checkout. Shoppers who don’t want the app will be offered a newly designed card.

After making their selection, shoppers in trial stores will need to buy the items within seven days and scan their apps or swipe their Nectar cards to collect the points.

Shoppers will earn points on these offers, with the amount awarded depending on a customer’s loyalty.

Loyalty will be determined by several factors including frequency of shop and size of shop.

The new Nectar scheme will offer points equal to the value of the existing scheme: 500 points will still be worth £2.50 and existing point balances won’t be affected.

Households will also still be able to pool their points together via the app. However, Sainsbury’s is encouraging individuals to set up their own accounts so that offers can be personalised to their preferences.

The new scheme means that shoppers will earn points on fewer items they purchase, but could potentially receive more per item, consumer group Which? said.

“However, if shoppers don’t select the offers, they won’t be able to earn points on them. This means shoppers really need to actively engage with the scheme to benefit,” it added.

“The new scheme is also digitally focused, requiring offers to be picked online or through the Nectar app. If you don’t have a smartphone you can use on-the-go, it could be harder to collect points on your shopping.”

Sainsbury’s says the Isle of Wight trial will run indefinitely, with insights from the trial used to shape the future of the Nectar scheme.

Around 19 million people are currenly signed up to the loyalty scheme which started in 2002. Of these, 40,000 are in the Isle of Wight.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Old man Sainsbury is credited with saying that retail is detail but the details of this scheme are well, too detailed.

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  • Very funny Professor, couldn't agree more, I am already feeling sorry for the customer service desk 'colleagues' in-store that have to try and explain to confused/angry customers.

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