Not only do I need to fit money and coins in my wallet, but also memberships cards, business cards, and now loyalty cards! Although the loyalty programs idea has been around since the eighties, it has reached Lebanon only recently.
There are several types: Some make you gain points on your purchases. After accumulation you either buy certain items, get discounts or get prizes. Others give you instant discounts; and the more you purchase, the higher the discount. Some will have to get your purchases recorded manually and after a certain amount, you get a discount or gifts. Some, give you a percentage of your money back when making the purchase. Others even offer you to buy the loyalty card if you do not wish to wait to accumulate points to access discounts.
Plastic, paper… everybody is doing it! Stores and banks! Why now? Is it the recession or the care about everything related to marketing?
Personally, since I’m trying them, I feel more comfortable with cards offering gradual discounts. I think it’s more interesting. Yet, I remain concerned about the data the companies gather about me, it’s safety and the way they intend to use it.
And one more thing for the stores: If you do have a loyalty program running PLEASE have the decency to ask the customer “Do you have our loyalty card?” BEFORE registering his purchase. Cashiers are always in a hurry to get to the next customer and we, customers, are always in a hurry to get our things and leave; but, in many instances if the card is not given before the purchase is registered, points/discount are lost.
What do you think about all this loyalty programs craze? Do you have a few cards already? Do you think it’s useful? Do you believe some programs make more sense than others?