The Pick n Pay Smart Shopper Card is Pick n Pay’s way of rewarding their loyal customers every time they shop. This card allows its owner to earn points on purchases made at any Pick N Pay store countrywide. However there has been great criticism of the card as the card does not actually give you that much cash back.
The Pick n Pay Smart Shopper Card works as follows, for every rand spent you earn one smart point. This may sound like you are getting a lot back but 1000 points only amounts to R10. So effectively you are only getting 1% back on every purchase. They claim that with all the double, triple and bonus points that you earn on promotions in store your points will add up quickly but for you to earn R100 back, you will have to spend R10 000. That doesn’t seem like much of a loyalty programme to me. Pick n Pay should have tried to match the great discounts that you get from Woolworths if you are a card holder. Currently they have a large range of promotions on nearly every category and these savings amount to 10% off of a large number of purchases. This means that you do actually save money when you get a Woolworths card, unlike with your Smart Shopper Card.
Another issue that I have found with the Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card is that they require a lot of your personal information before you even get the card. They claim that they will then use this information to send you promotional offers that are relevant to you. However, should you not wish to receive these “offers” then you will not be able to use your Smart Shopper card. This means that not only do you not save a lot, but you will be spammed with promotions. This card really doesn’t offer its customers very much other than admin. Clicks club cards offer better rewards that Pick n Pay does but you cannot purchase food at Clicks which makes the Smart Shopper Card look even worse. They claim to be rewarding their loyal customers but all it seems like they are doing is building a database for spamming purposes. This is every consumers nightmare as daily we are bombarded with advertising messages saying that we should buy this, or look out for that, and now our local supermarket wants to do it too. Do they not understand their customers’ needs at all?
Another thing that Pick n Pay is trying to do is to allow their customers to donate their points to charity. Although this seems like a lovely concept, it really doesn’t amount to much for these charities. I think the marketing manager of Pick n Pay who decided upon this store card really didn’t investigate the market properly and rather just let a product go to the market without thinking through the implications for the brand. All extensions of a brand should strengthen the brand and the bond that consumers have with it, and Pick n Pay has completely missed the mark with this one. Instead of offering real savings and rewards to their loyal customer base, they have offered them a card that not only leaves them open to spam, but also leaves much to be desired.
I do not think that this card has any place in the very overcrowded market place that is the retail market in South Africa. Unless Pick n Pay start realising that what they are offering is not what people want, their brand is going to suffer greatly from a failed loyalty programme.