Sainsbury’s is trialling a new version of its Nectar loyalty scheme, where customers will no longer earn a point for each pound spent.
In the trial, which will run across Isle of Wight stores from 12 April, points will be earned for purchased items, the purchase frequency and how long the customer has been shopping with the retailer.
This news comes after Sainsbury’s acquired Nectar in February for £60m from a Canadian firm Aimia.
The loyalty scheme started in 2002 and has an estimated 19 million subscriptions.
Sainsbury’s is attempting to regain its customer’s loyalty as millions of customers are abandoning supermarkets to shop at discounters Aldi and Lidl.
According to Sainsbury’s, the new version of Nectar will improve how the scheme works and aims to reward loyal and frequent customers with a greater number of points, meaning customers shopping elsewhere at times will miss out on the rewards.
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Currently, Nectar cardholders are rewarded every time they scan their card when paying for the shopping, as well as whenever they spend money at 500 other brands, including BP petrol stations and eBay.
Customers can spend collected Nectar points on the Nectar website or use them to spend at Sainsbury’s.
Sainsbury’s innovation director Helen Hunter said: “We are excited to be trialling this new Nectar scheme, which gives more rewards to our loyal customers.
“By giving them the option to choose the products on which they earn Nectar and awarding points based on loyalty, we’ll be able to show our most valuable customers how important they are to us.”
In addition to the change in how points are allocated, Sainsbury’s will also introduce a new app featuring individual offers based on previous shopping data, the ability to collect points using a QR code on a smartphone, a new purple Nectar card, and offers to redeem points against luxury items.
The new Nectar scheme will allow customers to select five offers, which will continually give bonus points on the items they regularly buy.
Shoppers will receive new offers every Friday, which they can load onto the card and use within the next seven days. They can redeem the offers by showing QR codes from the app, or entering the details online. The points will only be redeemed on items customers have selected offers for, and not the money they have spent.
Hunter added: “We’ll be actively listening to customers during the trial so that we can shape new Nectar as we learn.”
Sainsbury’s has not disclosed when it plans to conclude the trial and if the trial will be expanded nationwide.