Loyalty Cards Need THESE Changes...
I've got a problem with Loyalty Cards. Here's how to make them better.
Just about every major retail store and restaurant has a Loyalty Card program that lets you get discounts and other perks just for using your card. While I don't have a problem with the concept, there's definitely room for improvement.
Every Loyalty Card is based on a simple trade. You get a discount, in exchange for giving them a way to track your purchases. While I don't have a problem with them collecting this information, I think retailers need a bit more transparency in what they collect.
Here are two suggestions.
First, since they're collecting all this information, doesn't it make sense to give customers a way of seeing their transaction history? This can be particularly useful for keeping tax records. Instead of sifting through hundreds or even thousands of transactions on your receipts at the end of the year, wouldn't it be great for a store like Walmart or Target to give you a list of all your transactions, sorted by category? Think of how much time this saves you when it comes to tax time?
This would be a complete game changer for a lot of people, because they wouldn't need to save or sort through each item on their receipts.
This would be even better than reports from credit card companies that can only break down your purchases by store name and store category. If you buy medication, clothing, food, and tires in Walmart, they can only give you one total under "Retail".
Reports generated by using your Loyalty Card can not only be broken down by each item, but they would be accurate, even when you pay using cash.
Second, as long as they are giving customers access to the data, they should also give customers a way to edit their history. For example, you may not want a store to have a record of certain private purchases, or purchases made for somebody else. There's no reason for the store to target you with coupons and advertisements for baby products, just because you purchased a few baby items for a co-worker's shower.
Joe Crescenzi, Founder
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