Thursday February 20, 2020

Loyalty is the watchword for SuperValu

Strategic partnerships and a new app have gained the retail giant 150,000 Real Rewards members in under a year

25th June, 2017
Evelyn Moynihan, head of loyalty, and Des O’Mahony, interim marketing director, SuperValuClare Keogh

Less than a year after the relaunch of its loyalty programme, SuperValu has seen an additional 150,000 signing up to Real Rewards. It now has 1.1 million Real Reward members.

Evelyn Moynihan, SuperValu’s head of loyalty, said that by deploying the use of data to deliver personalised experiences and an ambitious partnership scheme, it wanted the loyalty programme to be the number one in the country.

The surge in new members since last October is due to a number of different factors. The company, which is owned by Musgrave, invested heavily in the launch of the new scheme, and has spent €2 million since October on marketing.

Moynihan said it had invested in paid and own media, with TV and digital being the main media types used. TV drove overall awareness of the new programme and new partners, while digital has converted and got people to link with the partners. SuperValu’s channels, like its email database, have also been of benefit.

In the past 12 months, it moved all of its stores to the same national programme which has simplified the loyalty scheme for shoppers. Moynihan said this was a significant change for the programme, adding that SuperValu wanted to make it “as simple and easy as possible” for customers to collect points when they shop.

Musgrave interim marketing director Des O’Mahony said that SuperValu gave back over €40 million of consumer value that was redeemed annually through Real Rewards, which was “a significant investment”.

In addition, it spent €400,000 developing a loyalty app, which has over 50,000 downloads to date. Through the loyalty app, all vouchers sent out to the customer are available on their phone.

“We no longer have disgruntled shoppers coming in having left their vouchers on the fridge,” Moynihan said.

A major focus of SuperValu’s marketing team now was the development of its partnership programme, she said. It has had a partnership with Electric Ireland for three years and since the relaunch of Real Rewards last year, it has introduced new partners including Bank of Ireland and Aer Lingus. It has six partners now, and is planning on adding another national brand in the autumn.

It also launched an online shopping portal offer that enables customers to earn Real Rewards points when they shop with over 120 online brands such as eBay, Expedia, Debenhams, Asos and Eason through the website. She said it was like an “online shopping mall provided by SuperValu”. It was launched last October, and the priority is to educate its employees on the ground and its customers about how it works.

O’Mahony said it was important to educate the public about the partnership programme so it could be further developed.

“Having all the partners on one programme is new to this market, it will take a while to build that understanding. We have got off to a great start. We have 100,000 people engaging with our partners, but there is a lot more to do there,” he said.

At the moment, it has 100,000 customers engaging with partners, Moynihan said.

“Shoppers engaging with Real Rewards are obviously loyal to SuperValu, but those who go that further step by engaging with partners are earning significant value from the overall programme,” she said.

Shoppers who engage with the programme, including with SuperValu’s partners, receive €500 of value every year, Moynihan said.

For the future of its Real Rewards scheme, it is working with British company Aimia, a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics firm, on a development roadmap. This will include using data to drive insight into customers so it can personalise the programme for members.

It already does this to a certain extent – like creating personalised vouchers for customers – but it plans on increasingly using data in the future for more tailored shopping experiences.

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