Loyalty card scheme offers easy wins for farm shops

Customers using loyalty cards at farm shops spend up to a third more on average than other customers, research shows.

Tulleys Farm in Turners Hill, West Sussex, is a farm shop and attraction. It uses the Ice rewards programme – a loyalty scheme where customers use a card to collect digital points that can be spent at small and large retailers in the UK.

Owner Stuart Beare said loyalty card customers spend an average of 33% more in the shop.

“We used to run our own loyalty scheme but it was quite rudimentary with no data being collected on our customers,” said Mr Beare.

“The Ice scheme works better as it can be integrated into our existing structure and collects a lot of information about our customers. It’s easy for an independent to be part of and it’s good that we can offer something that Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda are doing, for example.”

For every £2 spent in the shop or tearoom, customers collect three Ice credits – worth 1p each – which they can choose to spend on-site or at a number of other retailers which take part in the scheme, such as Marks & Spencer or John Lewis.

“The aim of the scheme is to reward consumers for buying from local or environmentally friendly producers,” said Jude Thorne, chief executive of Ice. “There’s no charge for joining – retailers just need a broadband line. They pay 2% of the turnover from Ice transactions to use the scheme,” said Ms Thorne.

Retailers sign up to three years and Ice provides all the equipment and training needed to run the scheme. The system collects customer data which can be accessed by the retailer. Crucially, it also allows farm shops to benchmark against similar businesses.

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