Firstly I enter Tesco and an hounded (well asked) by a lady if I would like a Clubcard. Now when I used to work at Sainsburys all those years ago in my youth I remember the ‘excitement’ of the Reward Card. But an excellent article in the Guardian last weekend highlighted the ‘dangers’ of these loyalty cards. Well not so much dangers, but you give them a lot of information for a small (typically 1%) reward. They know everything you buy, when you buy it, how much you spend, what you spend it on. This reach goes further with your Nectar card: when you buy petrol (BP) (+ where you are), what calls you make (Vodafone), amongst other shops. Ok, so they don’t share their marketing databases but it’s probably only a matter of time.
If you don’t mind them knowing what you like then I suppose it’s fine but the negative effects such as the smart tactics they can use are scary. If they know enough people like a certain product, they could increase the price of an item in a certain store to see if the increase alters demand. They could ‘groom’ their top 10% of customers and make them pay more because they are loyal to the supermarket because of the card.
Oh and the RFID chips embedded into Mach 3 products which activate a camera is another sign that these chips could soon be embedded into everything… Fine for the distribution chains. Not so fine when someone could use a card reader to work out everything you are wearing, what is in your bag and link you as a person walking around a shop to the products you approach, ignore and purchase…
Oh yeah and 3 Muller Yogurts for 99p (a bargain I thought), not til I left the checkout did I realise that they were 34p each. You do the maths….