Sainsbury’s is edging closer to the holy grail of building a group-wide 360-degree view of its customer base after finally adding Argos, which it bought four years ago, to the Nectar loyalty scheme, which it acquired in 2018.
Nectar points can already be spent at Argos but it is the first time the loyalty card can be used at Argos to earn points when making a purchase across its range of DIY, home, health and beauty, garden and toy products.
At present, Nectar members can collect points when spending money at Sainsbury’s but also at a raft of other partner brands including American Express, Caffe Nero, Daily Mail, eBay, Eurostar, Esso and First Group.
However, it has always been the company’s intention to use Nectar to build a clearer picture of its customer base across its four divisions of Sainsbury’s, Argos, Tu and Habitat, with the retailers increasingly working together behind the scenes. Habitat is already a member of Nectar.
At the time it purchased the loyalty club from Aimia for £60m, Sainsbury’s said: “One of our strategic aims is to know our customers better than anyone else and obviously having ownership of the Nectar scheme allows us to do this and it’s a great opportunity.”
Sainsbury’s already gathers data from multiple sources; it has over 18.5 million members of the Nectar scheme and claims to have 33 million customer records at its disposal. It also has a partnership with both Accenture and Google to implement machine learning technology to identify what customers want and the trends driving their eating habits.
As part of the new Argos regime, Nectar points will be doubled if purchases are made between September 18 and September 26 but members will have to link their accounts to the Argos app to collect points with purchases online. In-store, customers will either type in their account number or swipe their cards.
James Moir, managing director of the loyalty scheme’s parent company Nectar 360, said: “We’re constantly looking for new ways to reward our customers, so we are very excited to offer a new way for shoppers to get the most out of their Nectar points with one of the nation’s most loved brands.
”The Nectar app is a one stop virtual shop to make points work harder and we hope that with this new offer, our customers can kick start their early Christmas shopping and get more from their purchases at Argos.”
Sainsbury’s quest to be a data-driven business was further boosted in June, when new chief executive Simon Roberts moved both chief digital director Clodagh Moriarty and chief marketing officer Mark Given up the corporate ladder on his first day in the top job.
Moriarty, who took up her current role in June 2018 after eight years with the business, was promoted to retail and digital director, responsible for ensuring customers experience an integrated and seamless retail digital experience across the Sainsbury’s, Argos, and Sainsbury’s Bank divisions.
Meanwhile, Given was promoted to Sainsbury’s operating board. He first joined the retailer as head of brand communications in 2013, then became director of marketing planning, and marketing director, before taking on the CMO role for Sainsbury’s and Argos – as well as leading Nectar – in August last year.
He also spearheads customer insight, marketing strategy and planning, CRM, loyalty and all digital marketing.
In a message to staff, Roberts said: “Bringing together our retail and digital teams under Clo’s leadership will create a business that shows up in the same way for customers wherever they shop with us. Mark’s appointment to the operating board will ensure that we really understand how customers are feeling, what they’re thinking and how this affects the way they shop.”
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