Woolworths Rewards: The Verdict

So the new Woolworths Rewards program has been active for almost two months now and I must say I think Woolworths may have got it right. There are product categories that give shoppers the opportunity to earn bonus points and including BWS and Woolworths petrol stores in the mix has helped shoppers earn a substantial amount of points.

There are also promotions that enable customers to earn additional points by spending specified amounts of money each week for a certain amount of time if they wish. But even at 1 point per dollar spent, I think Woolworths has gone a long way to try and win back some of the customers they lost to Flybuys.

I personally think that it is now one of the better loyalty schemes out there at the moment. What are your thoughts?


Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

Loyalty programs can play a big part in our behaviour as shoppers. They are also a valuable tool for retailers when it comes to collecting market research data. A good loyalty program can determine whether or not we shop with a particular retailer. Recently the Woolworths Rewards program has come under fire by shoppers and media.

I have to wonder what the Woolworths marketing department were thinking when they developed this program. In theory they had a good idea but when executed it fell short. If you’re not familiar with the program Woolworths offer a dollar amount cash back on products displaying their reward dollar ticket. Once you’ve accumulated $10, this comes off your next shop. 

There were a couple of problems with this. Firstly, they had a good loyalty program whereby you earned Qantas Frequent Flyer points when you spent over $30 in one transaction. This proved valuable to a lot of shoppers. When they introduced the reward dollars program they abolished their affiliation with Qantas. The other issue is there aren’t many products that are relevant to most shoppers that carry a reward, so to achieve a $10 cash back is no easy feat.

For months now social media has been inundated with shoppers complaining about the lack of reward products on offer therefore resulting in thousands of dollars being spent with no reward. A lot of these customers mentioned they no longer scan their card when they shop there, meaning that Woolworths doesn't get the valuable market research data. Quite a few customers mentioned going back to Coles for their Flybuys program.

While the Woolies marketing department may have got it wrong when it came to the new rewards program, they are at least listening. At the end of the month they will launch their new loyalty program.

They have once again reinstated their affiliation with Qantas and now shoppers will earn 1 point for every dollar they spend in Woolworths, BWS and Caltex. Once a total of 2,000 points has been accumulated, shoppers will get $10 off their shop. My question is: how long will it take to accumulate 2,000 points? It seems they’ve been paying attention to Coles and their Flybuys program. You can redeem 2,000 Flybuys points for $10 off your shop but its not at all hard to get to 2,000 points if you shop at all the Flybuys partners and take advantage of their bonus points offers. 

If Woolworths will be offering bonus points at any given time it may not take long at all to hit 2,000 points but if you base it on an average of $100 - $120 a week between groceries and fuel it will take approximately four to five months to get a reward. Will this be enough for shoppers? Time will tell.

Speak Our Language

Often we forget that we are not the target audience when it comes to what we communicate. While our target audience may require our services, we need to remember that we may be providing them with a service because they do not have the expertise to carry out the function that they hire us to provide. 

When we correspond with our clients we need to remember that we are possibly talking to a lay person when it comes to our field. I am guilty of making marketing and consumer behaviour references that my clients don’t understand. It’s great we know what we are talking about but if your client doesn't know A from B then we need to be mindful and give them the main points in easy to understand terms.

Don’t ever treat your client like an idiot but keep in mind that they may not know what an AB demographic is or what a HDMI cable is. They just need to know that you are developing a campaign targeted at white collar, high income earners or that there is a cable that will give you a great quality image on your TV.

Using easy to understand language can eliminate a multitude of problems down the track. How many times have you thought you were getting one thing but ended up with another simply because you didn’t understand what you were being told. 

So before talking to a client think about what you need to tell them and whether you are using technical terms or if you using terminology that is easy to understand.

The Customer is Always Right. Or Are They?

When working for different clients there are times you don’t like their ideas or don’t think their ideas will work for a particular campaign. It can be hard to determine whether you should be honest and tell them you don’t think their idea will work or go along with it because you’re being paid to work for them.

I believe that you are working for your client so you owe them honesty and the benefit of your expertise. They have hired you to perform a function and they expect desirable results. We all take on clients with the hope they will offer repeat business so if you are working on a project and it doesn’t have the results they expected then they are within their rights not to hire you again. Not to mention their perception that hiring you was a waste of resources. 

It’s understandable that you want to keep your client happy but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your reputation and expertise. If you don’t agree with a client’s idea or viewpoint tell them in a diplomatic manner. Don’t shoot down their idea instead explain why their idea may not work and perhaps give examples of where ideas similar to theirs havn’t yielded results.

The relationship with your client will fare much better if you can be honest with them and provide the results they are after.