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Oct 19, 2018

Pester power packs a punch

by Helen Tarver - Account Director

Pester power packs a punch

We’ve said goodbye to free coffees from Waitrose (unless you bring a cup!), lost value on our retail reward points and had cuts on where we can redeem them in recent years. It’s fair to say retailer loyalty and point systems have been overhauled, downgraded and discontinued en masse of late. However, a quick look around our high street supermarkets has shown that one variation of retailer loyalty schemes is thriving.

Schemes that offer collectable children’s toys as a reward for purchase have been out in force for the back to school season. It would seem that kids’ gifts are making the traditional transactional reward system more emotionally engaging or, perhaps to be more accurate, they are harnessing the power of pestering children to great success!

Research has revealed that 48% of children have two to three collections on average and cards are the most collected item. If supermarkets get this offering right, it can lead to a playground frenzy that will ultimately convince Mums and Dads to select one retailer over another as their choice of weekly or top-up shop.

September saw the return of Sainsbury’s LEGO cards due to the phenomenal launch of the scheme in 2017. Every £10 in store got you a 4-pack of cards and the supermarket claims that we collected an impressive 100 million packs in just six weeks last year making it Sainsbury's most popular toy of 2017. In fact, the accompanying collector album sold out something I’m sure they will be keen to avoid this time around.

Lidl has released several variations of its Stikeez characters free with every £10 or €15 spent in stores across the UK and Europe for several years. These popular sticky critters have been released as aliens, vegetables and they even morphed into sporting characters for Euro 2016. As with Sainsbury’s, Lidl found itself in hot water in Germany several years ago when it sold out and was unable to meet shopper demand.

A recent trip to Co-op showcased their latest kid’s collector scheme in the form of the Goodness Gang who are available in exchange for stickers until early October. A slightly more complex scheme, with one sticker for every £5 spent and 30 stickers needed before you can get one cuddly veg or fruit character at a £2 price point. If £152(!) for Marvin Mushroom or Sophie Strawberry seems a bit steep, they can alternatively be purchased for £10 outright in store.

Elsewhere in the world, Little Shop was introduced earlier this year by Australian chain Coles. The scheme has already seen success in South Africa and other global markets and rewards shoppers with miniature supermarket products for every $30 spent in store.

They recently announced an impressive sales growth of 5.1% which they have accredited to Little Shop for driving shopper numbers and spend.

With 30 mini items in total to collect, the scheme combines the power of collector with the added bonus of showcasing brands and securing them a place in family homes. So strong is this combination that some of the brands in the collection of minis have seen growth of up to 50% on actual retail sales.

Tiny things targeting little people but with big results. These schemes seem so successful that we are unlikely to see the end of them soon - steel your nerves Mums and Dads!

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Shopper, Marketing, Retail, Loyalty

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