business news in context, analysis with attitude

Most supermarket chains with frequent shopper/card-based marketing programs collect emails from their consumers, according to a new study released by Retail Systems Consulting (RSC), here. More than half these chains have online signup available for their frequent shopper cards – which RSC says is “an important automatic way to collect email addresses. More than three-quarters of them request consumer’s email addresses on physical application forms.”

The information is included in RSC’s Card-Based Marketing (CBM) Report of US chains.

Of the 66 chain retailers tracked in the CBM report, 81 percent have “email address” as an optional field on their physical application forms, and 53 percent allow consumers to sign up for frequent shopper programs online. Sixty-eight percent of those that do not have online signup have the alternative of allowing consumers to print applications at home or in the office and bring them into the store.

“We think it’s positive that over half the retailers have online signup available,” said Carlene Thissen, president of RSC. “The beauty of online signup is that retailers get email addresses of consumers who are actively engaged in online activities, highly likely to provide an email address, and probably desire email communications. It is still important, of course, to provide an ‘opt-out’ or even better, ‘opt-in’ to future retailer-initiated e-mailings, and the retailers are being careful about providing those opt-outs or opt-ins.”

Other information derived from the report includes:

  • Eighty-two percent of retailers with card-based marketing have online ads or flyers.

  • 26 percent offer coupons through SmartSource or CoolSavings.

  • 45 percent offer ValuPage.

  • 52 percent of the sites include recipes.

KC's View:
An update of these numbers and addition research will be a highlight of RSC’s annual Global Electronic Marketing Conference (GEMCON), scheduled to be held this year in Las Vegas from October 24-26.

By the way, we’ve been asked once again this year to participate in GEMCON…moderating panel discussions and audience participation, as well as presenting MorningNewsBeat Live! each morning. (It ain't Jon Stewart doing The Daily Show, but we do our best…)

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity, and we hope to see you there.

For more info about GEMCON 2005, go to: