Do carrots really work?
Have you ever analyzed your purchasing habits?
I like getting free things and I bet you do too. I like my car to be clean and if I can get a free car wash why wouldn’t I. Esso Extra points are redeemable towards your car getting washed at locations that obviously have a car wash. I’m not sure how many times I have driven past competitor gas stations with my gas light on in search of an Esso so I can collect points to redeem against a free car wash.
You have to understand that I will NOT get in line at a gas station to save a penny per liter, I value you my time more than the $0.60 cents it will save me on a full fill. To be honest I have never done the math on exactly how much I have to spend at the pump to actually get my free car wash but I will still run around to a certain extent to get my points. I find the psychology very fascinating! I’m not as loyal as I used to be simply because you still need a physical card with Esso and they have certainly lost business from me due to that.
Do you collect Starbucks stars? I do! And I have the app on my phone. Do I go out of my way to collect them? You bet I do! Do Waves or Blenz get any of my business? I do not remember the last time I spent money at one of those franchises. I know some of you are Starbucks haters, personally, if Waves had a reward program that was convenient and digital I would go there too. I am only loyal because they reward me for being loyal and it’s with me ALL the time (on my phone). Starbucks is changing their reward program (interestingly it will be the same formula as the KiSSapp) soon. With the current Starbucks program, I never purchase more than 1 item at a time because you get 1 star per purchase. If I go to Starbucks with my 3 kids I make them get in line behind me. The kids have the app on their device and we’re all connected to the same account. Now I get 4 stars instead of 1. I suppose it’s because of people like me abusing the system that they have changed it :-).
During my research about gift and loyalty cards, I learned about the shopper’s drug mart optimum card that is available on your phone. Now that I’m enrolled in the optimum program I find myself going to shoppers more often…is it a coincidence? I even did the math at 1 point (no pun intended) on how much you have to spend to get their largest reward. You have to spend something like $8000 to get $170 in rewards. It’s crazy but these programs WORK! And you can make them work for pennies on the dollar.
Your Local Grocery Store
Most grocery stores have some sort of membership program too. Scan your card and get the members price. It’s not even a loyalty program really, it’s not even a discount program, they mark the prices up then give you retail at the till if you scan your card. This allows the grocery store to have a deep understanding of your purchasing habits. It also makes you loyal.
Costco amazes me… Pay to shop there, have limited hours and people flock to them, at least they still do here in Canada. I have never paid for a Costco membership and would much prefer to go to Superstore at 8 am when it’s empty and collect my PC Points.
What credit card doesn’t offer some sort of point system? I have a business credit card and a personal credit card, both are redeemable towards flights. For a guy who doesn’t really buy into loyalty programs it sure seems I do participate in them a fair bit.
Your customers have purchasing habits too, the question is “How can you encourage them to make your business a habit?”
What purchasing habits do you see in yourself towards membership programs, loyalty programs or collecting points? Do you still carry a wallet full of cards? Are you one of the rare people who is not influenced at all by loyalty/membership programs? Do you collect air miles?