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Why Aldi is now also testing a loyalty programme

Why Aldi is now also testing a loyalty programme

In Belgium, Aldi Nord is testing a loyalty programme in its app for the first time. Shoppers can save points to redeem them for free products. But of course, there is more to it than just customer loyalty.

Redeeming points

This week, a new feature appeared in the Aldi app in Belgium: a loyalty programme. Customers can create a profile in the app and scan a QR code at the checkout of participating shops to collect points with their purchases. They can then redeem those points for free products or discounts.

The pilot project is being tested in some 70 Aldi shops in West Flanders and northern Hainaut, a representative region with both urban and rural and bilingual shops. The test is co-directed and followed up from Germany by Aldi Nord with a view to a possible international roll-out, according to German trade media.

Rewarding loyal customers

Aldi must be just about the latest retailer to launch a loyalty programme – rival Lidl has been offering discounts in its Plus app for some time. It is a remarkable strategic turn for the discounter, which avoids complexity as much as possible. The initiative does not seem illogical: with more than 440 shops and a market penetration of over 80%, Aldi can hardly grow in Belgium by opening additional branches or attracting new customers. A savings programme could encourage occasional customers to come more often and buy more.

“With the new applications in our app, we want to reward loyal customers extra, on top of our low prices and weekly promotions. So a customer who frequently shops at Aldi will save extra in a smart and easy way,” spokesman Jason Sevestre told VRT.

Data is crucial

But that may not be the full explanation. An app does more than redeem points and give discounts, it collects valuable shopper data for Aldi: personalised data about customers’ buying behaviour. Such data have become crucial in competition. They allow product ranges and promotions to be better aligned with customer preferences and to send customers targeted offers over time.

Retailers can also market data by selling them to suppliers – an aspect that is probably less of an issue for Aldi with its limited range of branded products, but still: the discounter reaches a broad audience that can be of interest to a lot of advertisers. So it remains to be seen what Aldi intends to do with the collected data.

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