Sam's Club Launches CRM Discount Program

In the world of retail CRM programs, warehouse chains such as Costco, BJ's and Wal-Mart's Sam's Club occupy a very specialized niche: they can boast that their customers use their loyalty cards just about 100 percent of the time, allowing for near-perfect purchase histories for all customers. Of course, requiring that the membership/loyalty card be displayed to get into the store and to make any purchases certainly doesn't hurt. But it's equally noteworthy how little those chains have pushed those extraordinary purchase history databases. Sam's Club has now made such a move, claiming to be the first warehouse club chain to offer automatic paperless coupons. These chains have typically provided deeper-than-normal discounts, but they make it up with membership fees and, much more importantly, volume purchases.

That's not merely buying huge quantities of products, but packaging the products to force consumers to buy larger quantities at any one time. If the consumer can use 100 bars of soap, they can enjoy that financial benefit. "There are no coupons to clip and no rebate forms to complete and mail," said a Sam's Club statement. "Members will receive customized offers tailored to them and discounts will be automatically taken at the register using their existing membership cards."

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