The No-Advantage AdvantEdge Card at Price Chopper
I consider myself a savvy consumer who appreciates companies who understand and cater to me as a consumer. I appreciate exceptional customer service whether in helping find the right product or helping resolve an issue with a bad product.
As I work in the marketing field, I also understand how businesses try to better market and sell their products through programs and campaigns. I also know that a tremendous amount of information is collected on each buyer with every transaction. That’s why I’m baffled and frustrated with the Price Chopper AdvantEdge Card.
For those not familiar with the card, it allows AdvantEdge card holders to save on certain products that are labeled with “AdvantEdge Savings”. So a card member pays less on certain items than a non-card member. In addition, a card member also accumulates points which qualifies them to receive freebies. This is where my issue comes in.
I’ve spent many thousands of dollars at Price Chopper as I think they carry a wide fresh selection of vegetables and have a nice stock of fresh meats. So while I’ve spent thousands of dollars at their store, my “reward” after using the AdvantEdge Card is a free greeting card. That’s right, thousands of dollars in food purchases and you get a free greeeting card. I can hardly contain my excitement.
My annoyance with this is two fold. First, I think it’s disingenuous as it strikes me as trying to pass off a freebie with a value of $2.99 that really is worth maybe 49 cents in terms of the cost to Price Chopper. Second, I never, ever buy greeting cards from Price Chopper. I buy food. So the offer is not only meaningless but worthless to me.
If Price Chopper wanted to make me a happy AdvantEdge card holder, why don’t they look at what I tend to buy or just bought and give me a savings on items I care about. I’d rather take the 49 cent savings on stuff I care about: fresh clams, fresh spinach, pomegranates , or whatever the items are that make me unique. If you collect and gather all this information when I use the card, why not use it to thrill me as a consumer versus annoying me?
It’s marketing and business 101 that the businesses who can crunch data on their customers get unique insights into their customers so they can make them relevant and attractive offers that bring their customers back. I find the card so annoying that I sometimes will not go back just for the hassle especially since I lost my card so every time I have to present my drivers license. And no, I’m not going to queue in a service line for 15 minutes to figure this out.
Finally the savings on the AdvantEdge items sometimes appear overstated as the original price is markedly higher than other local markets while the AdvantEdge price sometimes is close to the competitive price. Again this can vary as sometimes the savings are in fact sigfnificant so I do not want to paint with an overly broad brush. But again it diminishes the value of the card and the relationship when you see this work against you.
The lesson from this is that consumers are increasingly savvy and marketing and sales approaches need to be savvier than their customers. Don’t offer greeting cards to a guy who loves pomegranate .