Whole Foods Prices On the Rise
 
When Amazon acquired Whole Foods, one of the first orders of business was reducing the grocery retailer’s prices in order to change consumer perception of the brand (healthy but pricey). Now, due to pressure from producers, Amazon has been forced to raise prices at Whole Foods. Similar price increases have been announced by Proctor & Gamble and other major suppliers, meaning that consumers can expect more expensive goods across the board.
 
Price increases always have a negative effect on brand favorability, so brands are going to have to consider loyalty strategies to promote customer retention.
 
Ulta Ramps Up Loyalty Program
 
Ulta Beauty’s Ultamate Rewards program has extended its perks and rewards for 2019. The program continues to offer free membership, but now its points, which are earned on a point-per-dollar basis (or at a greater rate for Diamond and Platinum members who spend larger amounts on Ulta products and services annually), can be redeemed on any Ulta product or service, including salon visits.
 
Effective loyalty programs enable consumers to redeem points or receive rewards early and often, so this is extension is likely to improve Ulta’s customer retention.
 
Productivity and Happiness, Aristotle Style
 
Writer and LinkedIn influencer Gretchen Rubin has published a new interview with academic and author Edith Hall. Among the topics they discuss are the habits that Aristotle advised people to cultivate in order to live a happy life. Hall puts a great focus on habits that lead to increased productivity. One piece of advice: “People need to find when their brains work best and then fit their daily schedules around that.”
 
Financial Institutions Are Increasing Loyalty Incentives
 
Rewards are one of the primary incentives to sign up for a credit card. Now, banks and credit unions are using emerging technologies like predictive data, artificial intelligence, geo-location and real time point of sale, in an effort to up their rewards game by offering their consumers relevant rewards. This should also lead to increased integration between retailers and financial institutions.
 

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