Woolworths Everyday Rewards – a master move

I went into Woolies yesterday to see all the staff dressed in orange shirts and flogging the benefits of their new everyday rewards cards. Essentially these allow you to move your petrol discount off those annoying vouchers pinned to the fridge, that you never remember when you need them, into a card you carry with you.

Sounds like a great convenience for us consumers. When I got home clutching my new card I saw that you had to register your contact details, date of birth etc. to use the card. In actual fact if you check their terms and conditions you actually don’t have to register. This is really not made clear however in their form and their is much emphasis on registration.

So for Woolies what is the advantage of an optional registration system. Well the end result of registering is of coarse that they can track your spending, and target you with offers which are more relevant to you. This is obviously a master marketing move. If they see me buying cat food, for example, they know I own a cat, so could target me with advertising for cat litter, pet insurance etc. The same goes across the board for babies etc. You buy something, they can target you more precisely. 

For customers this can be viewed in a couple of different ways. Firstly it is a privacy nightmare. Do you really want Woolies to know, and potentially be able to use and even sell detailed information about you. Start getting junk mail on something related to pet insurance? Probably Woolies have sold your details to an insurance company! 

The alternative view is that they should target you with ads and offers that relate only to you. This  means that you will get less spam/junk mail that is not relevant to your lifestyle. You may even be able to make some savings based on this. 

My personal opinion….I won’t be registering. I value my privacy a bit more than a few cents or dollars here and there. I would advise you to do the same. 

Google Analytics New Code

I am just about to implement the new Google Analytics tracking code. One of the features of this is said to be cross domain tracking. This would be useful for us as I run more than 1 website with links between them, but are Google doing a doubleclick on this?

When I say that what I mean is that Doubleclick is notorious for putting a cookie on your system, then tracking you across the many sites they serve ads to. This invades the users privacy but allows them to build up a profile of who you are and what you like.

As Google has just acquired Doubleclick, are they trying the same trick? Wouldn’t allowing it’s users to track across domains, also allow Google to do the same across the many sites where analytics is installed.

I have to say I am a big fan of Analytics and am contantly amazed by the complexity and new features that are brought online, and for free. I am going to continue with the upgrade, but I am a bit worried about it!