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Jane Evans, Head of Data Planning

Tesco should refocus Clubcard to actually reward customers

“In response to the article ‘Tesco should hold back from selling the Dunnhumby family silver’ (RetailWeek.co.uk 7 October), I am not entirely in agreement with the author. Tesco built its previous success on the strength of its Clubcard database, which is in no small part thanks to Dunnhumby. But in a digital world, where brands can track the digital footprint of a consumer, providing a full and rich picture of their behaviour, is data from a points style swipe card as valuable as it once was?

In the past, the Tesco Clubcard database was the largest and most insightful in the market, which focussed on providing customers with huge benefits, which was a result of the hard work and innovation from both Tesco and Dunnhumby in the early days of the programme, but the supermarket has become guilty of maximising the business opportunities that customer data provided rather than using that data to the customer’s benefit. Now, as the supermarket faces a challenging time ahead, a sale of its stake in Dunnhumby would provide the retailer with a princely war chest to stave off competition in the ‘race to the bottom’ on pricing.

As we come out of a recession and consumers are increasingly asking the question, “What’s in it for me” perhaps it is time Tesco returns to its original and simple proposition of using its data to understand what their customers want and focus all efforts on delivering that to return to the top of the sector, rather than auctioning customer insight to the highest bidder.”

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