Woolworths has quietly introduced Everyday Rewards membership pricing online and in store, dividing customers.
Woolworths has added a new feature to its Everyday Rewards loyalty program as it soft launched special membership pricing across its network. Everyday Rewards members now have access to special members-only discounts across the product range. According to Woolworth’s website, different offers are available every week both in store and online and shoppers can access them by linking their Everyday Rewards card online or scanning it at the checkout in store.
Although Everyday Rewards is free to join, customers are divided over the new scheme with many outraged, concerned that this will force people to hand over their data in order to make ends meet in a cost of living crisis. Controversially, some shoppers are claiming the member price is not a deal at all, but rather an opportunity to rise the standard prices on products which Woolworths has denied. Netizens have also expressed concern about elderly shoppers and those who struggle with tech being unable to navigate through the sign up process.
According to Jonathan Reeve VP APAC at loyalty platform Eagle Eye, this move signals a strategic shift in the Australian market now that the country’s largest retailer Woolworths appears committed to the member-pricing approach.“It’s great to see Woolworths testing out new approaches. We know there is a group of customers who may not respond to loyalty points schemes but will respond to discounts, so this is a way for Everyday Rewards to appeal to this group.
“Member pricing is already established in Australia at retailers like Rebel Sport and Dan Murphy’s. In grocery, Coles Group and Flybuys have also been experimenting with member pricing, However, Woolworths’ move seems to be more of a long-term strategy, indicated by the Group’s CEO Brad Banducci’s note, ‘We’re starting small but have exciting plans…’”
Across the ditch, the Aotearoa New Zealand arm of Woolworths, currently called Countdown but set for a Woolworths rebranding in coming months, has had a similar loyalty system in place since 2003. The OneCard loyalty program is set up in the same way, free to join and it offers special “club price” discounts to shoppers. As a result of the $400m Woolworths rebrand, the supermarket chain has confirmed it will be ending the OneCard programme and similarly transitioning to a new loyalty scheme that would give “more personalised value and experiences”. While the company hasn’t confirmed it will be transitioning to Everyday Rewards, it is likely considering the rebrand. “We look forward to sharing more detail about that programme later this year,” a spokesperson from Countdown said.