Big Four supermarkets too obsessed with each other and pointless loyalty cards
When Morrisons announced that they were going to price-match Lidl and Aldi, everyone sighed. The Lidl trolled Morrisons. Fact is, loyalty cards are not nearly as good as the Big Four supermarkets think they are.
The supermarkets will hardly notice though because they're not looking at the customer, but rather, far too obsessed with the competition.
A former senior Tesco executive has hit out at all this. Andrew Higginson said: "We need our boardrooms to have less hubris and to be more honest about the job the company is doing for its customers."
"Management teams often seem to be focused on the wrong thing. Too much of the industry has raised prices to widen margins. Aldi and Lidl haven’t got any cheaper, it’s that the supermarkets have got more expensive. Supermarkets haven’t focused on customers, or Aldi or Lidl, or Poundland. They’ve been very focused on each other."
This is why customers have been showing no loyalty to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. And why should they? Consumers aren't going to be won over with a loyalty card, which are often more trouble than they're worth.
In 2014, a lot of customers are savvy enough to know that, for example, Morrisons 'Match & More' initiative is not really a thing to help us save money, but rather, something that helps the supermarket to collect data on us and our shopping habits. Of course, there's now so many loyalty cards on the market that the novelty wore off years ago. When Tesco launched the Clubcard back in 1995, it was a big deal - now they're ten-a-penny.
Most importantly, shoppers have realised that you're better off shopping at somewhere that has consistently low prices rather than relying on someone who will try and woo you with cashback or coupons. Not everyone is convinced that the Morrisons price match scheme will pay its way, while they know that Aldi and Lidl will be cheap, regardless.
Soon enough, we could see a Deathwatch: Loyalty cards.