Sam’s Club Customer Loyalty Gets A Plus


Most companies collect reams of data about their customers; that’s nothing new.

Sam’s Club, however, is in the forefront of using using sophisticated technology to mine that data and create individual offers and discounts for its customers based on their buying histories. And not only that, but it also gets customers to pay more for the privilege.

The Wal-Mart-owned warehouse club’s “plus” members, who pay a higher annual membership fee, have access to a program called eValues, which launched in 2009 to create individualized discounts and create special offers (and incentives) for each member.

No coupons are needed — the discounts are automatically uploaded onto the member’s card and can be accessed online, via a mobile app or at a kiosk in the store.
The offers − created with tools including predictive analytics, enterprise mining, grid technology and business intelligence − are strategically planned to not only involve products the customer has bought before, but they also seek to lead the customer to areas of the store where they have not been active.

Sam’s Club’s customers seem to like the level of personalization: the “plus” level of membership has grown 36% from a year ago.

Retailers should take note: It’s not just offering the customer what they know they want; it’s offering the customer what they don’t know they want yet.