SignageWire

Grocery store loyalty programs alert customers to recalls

Published on: 2015-02-05

Schenectady's Daily Gazette offers this scenario and compelling use for loyalty program data:

The phone rings and a recorded voice, named Brenda, chimes in. But she’s not offering the dream vacation or magazine subscription — this is an important message, Brenda quickly assures. This about a recall of thousands bottles of Samuel Adams beer recently sold at Price Chopper supermarkets.

"They are being recalled because the bottles may have glass defects and very small fragments or slivers of glass," the recording continues. "Our records indicate that someone in your household may have purchased this product."

Roughly 12,000 Price Chopper customers received a similar message after Sam Adams issued the recall in early April. Those receiving the call all had one thing in common: They use the Rotterdam-based grocery chain's AdvantEdge card when making their purchases.

Many supermarket shoppers depend on so-called loyalty cards for in-store discounts, but few of them realize a simple bar code scan could end up saving them much more than money. Increasingly, supermarket chains are relying on these programs to gather the information they need to contact customers almost instantaneously after a recall has been issued.

Our take:

It does seem like grocers and other retailers collect far more data about customer behavior and buying patterns than they ever successfully put into use.  And as the above scenario notes, "use" doesn't necessarily have to be marketing-related or something that's exclusively designed to boost sales.  In some cases, loyalty data can actually be used to build... loyalty.

By alerting potentially-affected customers about product recalls, Price Chopper is encouraging customers to continue shopping at their stores, since they're thus not only entitled to the same shopping experience as always, but also additional ancillary services, like recall notification, that the vast majority of competitors probably won't be offering.


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