Digital Rewards

Whole Foods is offering a rewards program that rewards consumers with one reward point for every US Dollar spent. This is not a unique rewards program feature, what makes the program truly unique is like, Starbucks rewards program, the program will have a digital user experience that would make Whole Foods cater to a digital audience outside the in-store environment and engage audiences with digital offers and campaigns.

Though the exact influence of Digital on Grocery sales is not known, Nielsen estimates that 60 percent of total retail sales in 2017 will be digitally influenced or sold.

Whole Foods has diverse engagement program with the Digital audience that spawns from offering cooking classes to Wine and tasting sessions and other value added content such as recipes that makes customers loyal to the Whole Foods brand.

Whole Foods has earlier launched “Values Matter” campaign to position the brand as Socially Responsible.


Designing a rewards program for your Grocery or retail brand could benefit from the key insights for Digitally Engaged Audience:

Instant gratification

According to research by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau), the majority (57 percent) of people who receive targeted and relevant rewards via mobile in the form of discounts and special offers will redeem them on the spot.

Predictive Behavior Targeting

One of the ways to engage audiences is based on predictive modelling where rewards program anticipate the needs of the users and offer programs based on user actions.  Supermarkets that are aware of the typical grocery purchases could create customized packages offering a value savings deal or a free gift voucher or additional reward points.

Mapping Choice

With the choice that is available, the audience find it difficult to zero in on the right product as the market is crowded with different brands, prices and offers that make it difficult for the consumer to make the right choice. Therefore a digitally powered loyalty program can help the audience research and decide on the right product.

Retail Touch-points are increasingly Digital

Nielsen research recently analyzed 11 key marketing touch points and found that eight are digital; the other three are print. Today, half of U.S. consumers use between four and seven touch points. The country’s newest group of consumers, Millennials, however, use between eight and 11 touch points. The incremental touch-points are digital.

For any retailer increased touch-points often means greater loyalty and equity as the shoppers who engage with more touch points are more loyal.


Starbucks has successfully integrated the rewards program with the app which contributes to 16 percent of all Starbucks transactions.