Tesco Clubcard Targets Customers
By Laura Elliott.
UK retailer Tesco has announced that visitors to its online website will soon be sorted by the company into separate categories, according to their wealth and age. The move is said to be an attempt to offer shoppers more promotions specific to their needs.
Each shopper who owns a Tesco Clubcard – an estimated 18 million do – will be split into separate groups according to their spending in previous visits when they log on to the Tesco webpage. Reportedly, one of the most important distinguishing factors will be whether customers have purchased a large number of Tesco Finest products.
Tesco’s chief executive, Philip Clarke, is said to be sinking £1 billion into the scheme in an attempt to improve the chain’s sinking UK sales figures. He said that one of the most important weapons is the Tesco Clubcard, which has a great deal of information on specific customers including where they live, and how many children they have.
As reported by The Telegraph, in a speech to a Forum in Istanbul entitled ‘Follow the Customer or Die’, Mr. Clarke said that Tesco’s Clubcard was a “critical” part of the retailer’s strategies.
He said that “Data about food is more insightful than any other kind of data: you are what you eat. But now we’re turning Clubcard digital, correlating the data we have about what food people buy with sources of data – social networking data, mobile phone data, payment methods – so we can get to know our customers better still, and use that understanding to deliver an even more personalised offer.”
“For example, we’re now making changes to our UK website to highlight promotions that are relevant to the customer who is browsing the site. Using Clubcard data, we would show, for example, offers of our Everyday Value range to price-sensitive customers and offers of our Finest range to more upmarket customers.”
Although this new scheme may seem like a clever way to target specific customers, it may also prove to be controversial. Earlier this year, customers complained when Tesco announced that it was planning on tailoring some of its stores according to the affluence of the surrounding area.
However, a spokesman for the chain said that they were not aiming to stereotype customers. He said that “Of course they will have the full range available of products on the website, but what we are saying is it makes sense to promote Everyday Value products to people likely to be financially stretched”.
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