Sainsbury’s £12bn merger with Asda could provide a major boost for the Nectar loyalty scheme and unlock customer insights on millions more UK shoppers, triggering a boom in data-driven marketing for both the supermarkets and brands alike.
Although the deal still requires regulatory approval, industry observers believe that the additional insight from Asda – which does not currently have a loyalty scheme but has built a single customer view (SCV) database – will give the Nectar scheme a major shot in the arm.
Sainsbury’s bought Nectar for a “knockdown” £60m in February, and one insider said it would be “madness” not to expand the scheme to Asda stores.
In recent years, both Sainsbury’s and Asda have ramped up their use of shopper insight. Asda has been developing its SCV; a platform for analytical and targeted, relationship marketing for the past four years and recruited former Tesco Clubcard and Sainsbury’s loyalty chief Andrew Mann as head of insight in 2016.
In the same year, Sainsbury’s created the role of chief data officer as part of plans to put customer information at the heart of its business, and appointed News UK chief Andrew Day to the job.
By pooling these operations into the Nectar scheme, the new group could challenge the dominance of the Tesco Clubcard.
The source said: “The customer data held by both Sainsbury’s and Asda would be a treasure trove for data-driven marketing. It would be madness not to bring Asda into the Nectar fold.
“Let’s face it, Nectar has never quite lived up to its billing. But this deal could be just the catalyst it needs to really take off.”
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