The Health Star
Rite Aid was the first to fold in a health-driven component to its loyalty program; as participants move up the Wellness+ ladder, they earn health-related perks, like free healthcare assessments.
Wellness+ membership grew 8% to 25 million, during the company’s recently reported second quarter. Members accounted for 74% of front-end sales, compared with 69% one year ago, as well as 68% of prescription sales.
Importantly, the number of gold and silver members has continued to increase, as well. Gold and silver members show basket sizes about 40% to 50% larger than other members, and almost half shop Rite Aid weekly. The Wellness+ program has also helped Rite Aid improve script count, as it offers big rewards for prescriptions filled — a loyal Rite Aid pharmacy customer can quickly move to Gold status in the program.
The big data Jedi
Nielsen’s SVP consumer and shopper insights Todd Hale points to Kroger’s loyalty card as one of the best examples of consumer data aggregation. “Not only do you save money when you use their loyalty card, but you [also] save money no matter where you shop,” he said of Kroger’s 1-2-3 Rewards Visa Card, which is linked to its loyalty program.
That catapults actionable shopper data to an entirely new level — Kroger knows what its best customers are buying from other retailers.
“If you think about the digital world, we’re going to know where you browse; we’re going to know what you watch; we’re going to know where you are,” Michael Donnelly, Kroger SVP merchandising, recently told analysts. Donnelly outlined a future where personalization becomes so fine-tuned that a customer can walk into the supermarket with a prepopulated shopping list generated by a retailer.
ExtraCare strikes back
CVS/pharmacy certainly is the leader in terms of how to translate reams of shopper data into programs that drive profitable results. It’s been at it for almost 15 years, and its 70 million active cardholders makes for the largest loyalty program in retail pharmacy.
In a major nod to the program’s success, 67% of CVS transactions and 82% of all front-store sales are tied to ExtraCare, and card members buy 85% more items per trip versus nonmembers.
ExtraCare also is enabling CVS to evolve its circular program, which has been negatively impacted by the drop in newspaper circulation in recent years. CVS will reduce circular pages over time, shifting those dollars into digital promotions through ExtraCare. The retailer is currently piloting a personalized circular program that tailors customized offers based on front-store purchasing history.