Monday, April 21, 2008
Not So Optimum.
Like many other companies the Canadian chain Shoppers Drug Mart has a customer rewards program. Regular customers can collect Shoppers Optimum points, which can be redeemed for a cash discount. For example the minimum amount of points you need to have for a discount is 3500, which allows you to take 5 dollars off your purchase. The next level is 7000 points for a 10 buck discount and so on, up to a maximum 75 thousand points and 150 dollar discount. But the impression I get is that perhaps the program has been a little bit too successful. As the years have gone by earning points has become more restrictive. For example you used to be able to collect and redeem points on transit passes and tickets, but first redemption then collecting points from these products was discontinued. Other products such as phone cards met a similar fate. The latest change was altering point collection so instead of a point for ever 10 cents you spend(excluding taxes) it's now 10 points for every dollar you spend. And this is rounded down to the nearest dollar. So if you buy something for $1.75 you'll earn 10 points and not 20. Buy something for less than a buck and you get no points. This change will further slow down how quickly points accumulate, and hence how often Shoppers has to give out discounts. Personally it seems a little petty to make earning points on a sale price chocolate bar or bottle of water impossible. You need buy a lot of those to reach 3500 points. It also seems petty to round points on a $1.99 purchase down to 10 points when an extra cent in the price would earn you 20 points.