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Where's the party at?

This is my fourth year of reviewing the joy and distress that marks another year of my existence on this planet. #makingretailhappen #findingmyhum

I can't say I was very excited about the impending event but I still live in hope of an incredible retailer recognising my loyalty and gifting me something big... as a thank you for shopping. Lots. (hint hint... Stirling Sport, Kate Spade, Juliette Hogan, Gregory, Kathryn Wilson, the list goes on and on...)

There has been so much discussion in the media about privacy and how much data we share yet I am pragmatic. Like many shoppers, I understand the quid pro quo exchange of my data for reward and recognition. I am happy to dish out information about my age, preferences, anything in return for some love.

How did 2018 stack up in an age of personalisation, useable data, marketing automation?

2018 Top Hits

Country Road and Trenery.

Year on year they perform - $20 voucher. No strings attached. 2 month expiry.

I haven't spent as much with them this year so I am delighted with this.

Cotton On Group.

A free $10 voucher. No strings attached. 1 month expiry.

Nice one.

New Balance.

A free $10 voucher. No strings attached. 12 month expiry.

They haven't got their email sorted and every single one comes through like garbage.


Ever the consistent player. Again, I haven't purchased a heck of a lot with these guys over the past 12 months (vs. prior years) but they still acknowledge the big day and try to bounce me back in.

A free pen. Not a cheap crappy pen either and I get to choose the colour.

Nice one.

Eastmed Pharmacy (my local chemist - not one of the big guys).

A free $5 voucher. No strings attached. 1 month expiry.

Deployed via the Goody card.

Surprisingly I didn't receive a thing from Unichem or Life Pharmacy and I spend a bomb there.


$50 voucher against a hotel stay. Valid for 7 days.


$10 off voucher. 1 month expiry date.

Last year was $20 so clearly I've not been spending enough with them.

That's fair.

Ziera Shoes.

$20 off voucher. 1 month expiry date.

Might not touch the sides of a purchase from them but a decent gesture.

Not to be ungrateful but could do a little better


Not even a special to buy myself something?

And I need new knickers as my puppy has been chewing on mine.

Farro Fresh.

A free small drink. Valid for 1 month from my birthday (how tight is that - at least a month would be reasonable).

Gone MIA

Clearly I've not been spending enough or simply don't matter anymore. These are the retailers who acknowledged me last year but have failed to make an appearance on my big day;

- Lorna Jane - last year was 20% off full-priced items.

- Fly Buys - not a peep from them.

- Adidas - nope. Last year 20% off, but to be fair I might have unsubscribed from them.

- Qantas Frequent Flyer - last year, triple Qantas points on all Qantas flights. My dedication to Air New Zealand has punished me.

- AA Smart Fuel - last year 10c off when you spend $40 or more - an oversight this year?

Is data all it's cracked up to be?

Well on this occasion I'd say no. I share data all the time and I shop a lot which means there are many retailers who could and should connect with me.

Each day I receive an average of 25 "offer" emails (I have a special folder they go into) and this is over an array of retailers who vary from weekly to monthly email cycles.

Have loyalty schemes lost their appeal?

The offers I intend to use are all part of a loyalty rewards scheme:

- Country Road - Bronze status.

- Cotton On Group - Perks rewards.

- Eastmed Pharmacy (my local) - Goody card.

Loyalty programmes can work because they provide tangible reward and recognition to customers for their participation with the retailer. Essentially shoppers are shopping, shopping more often and/or spending more with the retailer thereby consolidating their behaviour to get a benefit. Quid pro quo.

This also should mean for the shopper that they are treated better for being an exclusive member of the retailer's tribe. VIP events, special launches, exclusive benefits - opportunities that represent value to the shopper... like organising their birthday (hum hum).

Interestingly I have received a few invitations in the last week to VIP in-store events, but something related to my birthday would have made me feel more special.

I must say I am a little disappointed. Gone are the days of having something exciting from a retailer to say "thank you for being a part of our tribe". It's the one thing my husband agrees on as I spend so much money - he thinks I should be getting more retail love back.

Thank you to those retailers that made an effort to say "Happy Birthday". Your efforts and consistency are actually very, very appreciated.

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