Shops have used ‘loyalty cards’ for years – it’s a proven marketing method that encourages customers to keep coming back to the same store (or brand), to stay loyal, and to spend more in the hope of getting more back. It’s a win/win for shops and customers, with the shop nurturing that all-important customer loyalty, and the customer getting everything from money off products to exclusive special offers, bonus buys, and a host of other possible rewards.
Superdrug has taken this idea and applied it to its own brand, introducing the Beautycard in 2011. The distinctive mirrored card immediately captured the attention of customers, who signed up in store for it in their droves. Today, the Beautycard (or Health & Beautycard as it’s more correctly known) is one of Superdrug’s marketing success stories and is hugely popular with a very loyal customer base.
It’s clear, then, that the Beautycard has been a real boom for Superdrug, but what’s in it for the customer?
Everyone loves to save a bit of money, and if you can do it simply by shopping at the same store when you need toothpaste, perfume or foot powder, then that’s even better. The increments are simple – you earn a point for every pound you spend instore or online. The shop offers bonus points on certain items so it’s easy to accumulate a lot of points very quickly.
Other advantages include:
Member pricing – a Beautycard effectively makes you a ‘member’ to an (albeit not very exclusive) club, so you can benefit from lower prices on selected products, both instore and online. These products change every few weeks and are often seasonal. So during the summer, you may get discounts on sun products, while closer to Mother’s Day the offers switch to perfumes, for example.
Bonus points – a point per pound isn’t a huge amount, so to really boost the points kitty, it’s possible to earn triple or extra points (from 50-500 extra points) when you buy selected products. The greater the number of points on offer, the more expensive the initial purchase to acquire them, but they still count as additional points on your card, and still have the same value.
Treat Thursday – another excellent marketing exercise by Superdrug is Treat Thursday when exclusive offers are available on certain brands or categories. Cardmembers are notified by email if they have an online Superdrug account.
Birthday treats – as with any loyalty card, you have to give over a certain amount of personal information (which is protected under consumer rights laws such as GPRD). So yes, Superdrug do know when your birthday is, but that can be to your benefit because the company gives out exclusive birthday treats to members.
How much are points worth?
Basically, it’s a penny a point, so 100 points are equal to £1, and so on. You can use your points in store or online to get money off your shop, and you can use a mixture of cash and points to pay for your purchases. You can only use your points in blocks of 100 (so you can’t apply 130 points to your shop, for example, you could only use 100 and keep the remaining 30 points on your card to accumulate towards your next block of 100).
How do you get a card?
Health & Beautycards can be picked up for free from your local store and can be registered online by going to the Superdrug website and clicking the pink ‘Register’ button. Once registered, you can use the card both instore and online, and the points are automatically put onto your card either by the cashier in your store, or electronically if you’re shopping online.
Are they worth it?
As instore loyalty cards go, Superdrug’s Health & Beautycard offers a fairly high degree of return on each purchase. If you use the store regularly then the points can very quickly add up. You do have to give up a certain amount of personal information to register, but again you’re covered by the Data Protection Act and the new GPRD regulations, so Superdrug has a duty of care to store and use your data responsibly. If you’re just an occasional shopper then it’s probably not worth registering, but if you do use Superdrug regularly then it’s definitely worth signing up.