Asda responds to rivals’ reward moves
UK supermarket Asda has outlined a number of new measures in response to recent moves by rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s to build customer loyalty.
Asda says it plans to get customers more involved in its business as a way to generate loyalty. Three different initiatives will include customers helping to choose product ranges and monitoring its processing plants and head office on webcams.
The “Chosen By You” initiative will involve an existing community of 18,000 regular Asda shoppersbeing given access to products before they go into store. From January 2010, the panel will influence purchasing decisions, product development and packaging.
“Your Asda”, will be centred around a new blog called “Aisle Spy” and will allow consumers to trace the journey of Asda’s products on webcams.
A third initiative “Bright Ideas”, will see Asda offer £100,000 to any shopper who comes up with an idea that saves the firm £2m.
Competition between the UK’s major supermarkets has ramped up during the recession with Tesco offering double points on its Clubcard loyalty programme, and Sainsbury’s announcing it is to invest millions of pounds in a coupon-based rewards scheme.
Asda CEO Andy Bond said its new measures would also rebuild trust in big business, which had been damaged by the recession.
“Events over the past year mean that faith in big businesses is lower than it’s ever been, because people have stopped trusting what’s going on behind closed doors. So, from today, there is no ‘behind the scenes’ at Asda,” Bond said in a speech to the London Chambers of Commerce.
“I firmly believe that customer loyalty cannot be bought with plastic points or discount vouchers; it has to be earned.”