It’s not uncommon for cashiers at supermarkets and other retailers to swipe a generic loyalty card for customers who forget their cards or don’t have one. But some retailers, including Safeway, have stringent policies against the practice. How strict should stores be in requiring only loyalty cardholders to gain access to rewards? [more...]
Safeway should NOT allow the use a generic affinity card. It erodes all the value of having a loyalty/affinity program and diminishes the value of the customer insight collected by the program.
However, no customer that asks for the Club Card Price should ever be disappointed either. Safeway should have a fast and easy way to instantly register shoppers in the program (using their e-mail or phone number) and then apply that instantly registered account to the in-progress transaction.
Safeway does already allow phone numbers to be used in lieu of the ClubCard. The problem is that Safeway hasn’t invested in its customer facing IT enough to make club card registration an instant process (so it’s an offline process that is time consuming to initiate at to the POS).
When a retailer offers a loyalty program to customers, they raise the shoppers’ expectation that their loyalty will be recognized and rewarded. When the retailer cuts corners, and only half-heartedly supports that program, the gap between expectation and delivery and the resulting disappointment is greater than if no loyalty program had been offered at all.