For the average shopper, supermarket loyalty is a thing of the past.

With price and proximity being two of the most important factors in where people shop, it’s usually a case of whatever makes life easier.

Waitrose, a supermarket well known for its middle class ‘essentials’, is attempting to change this attitude with a new focus on digital personalisation.

Creating incentives

Last year the company delved into patterns of consumer behaviour, discovering that if a customer shops online five times, their loyalty is more likely to be retained long-term.

Using this insight, Waitrose worked with Monetate to roll out a campaign in order to ensure customers reached the milestone.

Sending unique codes every time a new customer placed an order, it offered an £80 discount spread over five separate shops, encouraging shoppers to return time again.

The incentive clearly proved too good to resist – Waitrose saw a 24% increase in orders from new and early stage customers thanks to the campaign.

For more on this topic, read: Customer acquisition among online grocers: What’s on offer?

Greater targeting

Money-off motivation has not been the only tactic used by Waitrose of late.  

Last year, data from the ‘MyWaitrose’ loyalty cards was utilised to ramp up personalisation.

During the run up to the Christmas period, the supermarket discovered which card-holders had purchased a turkey the year before. 

By offering a 20% discount to those who were yet to make the same purchase in 2015, Waitrose was able to target shoppers in a unique and personalised way.

The company subsequently saw a 20% uplift in conversion, proving that this type of tailored message is a big hit with regular shoppers.

Empowering consumers

Another example of Waitrose using personalisation to great effect is last year’s ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ Scheme.

Available to MyWaitrose card holders, it allowed them to choose specific items to save money on.

In signing up to the scheme, customers were able to pick ten items with 20% off for a limited time.

With the double incentive of both savings and greater control, this is an excellent example of how to effectively empower the consumer as well as improve general perception of the brand.

As well as building on its online efforts, a similarly personal customer experience is set to be created in-stores.

Having recently announced a partnership with point-of-sale specialists Ecrebo, the supermarket plans to complement its MyWaitrose scheme with tailored offers at the checkout.

By printing out coupons based on the contents of their basket, the customer will be offered instant and personalised rewards.

So, what next for Waitrose?

Now enjoying a period of increased growth, for the moment at least, it appears this is one supermarket that customers are more than happy to return to.