It is now a common occurrence when ordering your morning latte to be asked to proffer your loyalty card to be stamped, which is only one of a mixed selection of loyalty incentives on offer by your favourite coffee shop. As UK coffee wholesalers our main customers are independent coffee shops so we like to explore what is going on in the larger chains to help independents compete. Here is the ‘low down’ on loyalty cards.
On the high street, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to your custom in coffee outlets such as Starbucks, Café Nero, Costa, Pret A Manger and Marks and Spencer all jostling for your business. With competition getting more furious, a growing priority for British enterprises is to add loyalty to the menu with a mixed range of incentives, spanning reward based membership schemes, smart phone apps, points based reward cards and even random freebies.
Loyalty Offers available
It all began with simple cards, similar to those of Caffè Nero who allocate a stamp for every purchased drink, offering a free drink for every tenth. Costa Coffee requests that customers register their details to join a membership club and receive messages by email with promotional offers, such as free treats and special events. Their points based club card also lets customers accrue points for every pound spent, redeemable in their outlets.
Starbucks permits customers to use their smartphones to collect bonus stars received for each purchase. The Starbucks App can also be used to pre-order a coffee and to pay “contactless” without using cash.
Pret a Manger revealed a scheme to promote “random acts of kindness” whereby staff members in their outlets were licensed to offer a free drink to regulars and any customer who took their fancy. This exposure caused a media frenzy and debate, with some customers claiming the policy was biased and false.
Is it cost effective?
The answer is probably no, if you consider the Costa Coffee Club which offers 5 points for every £1 spent in store. If you buy the cheapest Americano coffee on the menu at around £1.95, you will still need to purchase around 30 Americanos, at a total cost of about £76.05 to qualify for your free one cup. Using the stamp card at Café Nero, after the purchase of nine of their cheapest Americano coffees, spending a total of £18.45 will give you a return of £2.05.
Are they worth it?
By using your coffee shop loyalty cards they are saving you money and if this is your main motive they are certainly worth exploiting, although they are not a substitute for hunting out better deals. It is always worth owning and using a loyalty card especially if you don’t mind, in some cases, handing over personal data to these companies to receive exclusive deals. However, this should never be the only reason you take your custom to just one coffee shop.
Here at The Coffee Wholesalers, we may not offer you a loyalty card for your return visits, but we can guarantee to give you the best single origin coffee wholesale offers. For example, from us you get high quality coffee beans and if you by 5 kilos of single origin coffee beans, we give you one kilo free.