Kesko is a Finnish retail company that operates in the grocery, building, and technical trade sectors.
The company was founded in 1940 and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. It is one of the largest retail chains in the country, with over 1,500 stores and approximately 29,000 employees.
The Kesko K-plussa Loyalty Program
Kesko operates a loyalty program called K-Plussa, which was launched in 1997.
K-Plussa is the most extensive customer loyalty program in Finland, with 3.3 million active customers, and provides K-Plussa customers with benefits from nearly 3,000 outlets.
The program aims to reward customer loyalty and encourage repeat business through a range of benefits and incentives.
How does K-plussa work?
Customers can sign up for the K-Plussa program at any Kesko store or through the company’s website.
The basic principle in K-plussa is that when a person makes a purchase of €1, he/she will get 1 K-plussa point. In addition, the member can get prize points. Prize points can only be accumulated in certain K-chain places of business.
Customers using their K-Plussa cards receive benefits from K Group stores and a number of K-Plussa partners’ businesses, such as service stations, restaurants, spas and hotels.
Becoming a member of K-Plussa costs €8,40. Anyone over the age of 18 can become a member online, in-store, or through the app. Members can redeem their points for discounts on future purchases, as well as for other rewards such as travel, entertainment, and other experiences.
The strengths of Kesko’s K-plussa
- K-Plussa network – benefits are available from more than 3,000 outlets and over 40 business partners.
- Attractive benefits – K-Plussa offers significant benefits available for all customers: each month hundreds of topical K-Plussa offers, which always give customers a benefit of at least 10%, provided at the checkout. By centralising their purchases in the K-Plussa network, customers also receive a benefit of up to 5% in the form of K-Plussa points.
- Discounts – The customer can often have a product with a special price when using the Plussa card and the price is different if one doesn’t use the card. This can be seen as a factor that drives those people, who normally don´t use bonus cards, to have a Plussa card. The Plussa discount is always at least 10% of the normal price.
- Comprehensive Reward Options – K-Plussa members can redeem their points for discounts on future purchases, as well as for other rewards such as travel, entertainment, and other experiences. This provides a wide range of options for members to choose from.
- Donating Plussa points to charity – If the customer has made a decision about donating Plussa points to charity, the sheet also shows how much was donated. The donating targets change every year, but at the moment they are: Nuorisuomi (children’s sports), UNICEF, WWF 47 (protect the Baltic sea), Finland’s war veteran union ( supporting the veterans, their widows and their spouse) and Finland’s cancer union (the prevention of cancer). If the customer does not choose a specific target, the money will be shared equally by all these different targets.
The weaknesses of Kesko’s K-plussa
- Membership expiry – An interesting piece of information is that the membership ends without any specific action if the customer does not make purchases in at least the amount of €1000 in a period of two consecutive years.
Results of Kesko’s K-plussa
K Group’s (Kesko and the chain stores) retail and B2B sales in January-June 2022 totalled €7,725.8 million, representing a growth of 4.4% compared to the previous year.
During the 12-month period that ended in June 2022, the number of Finnish households belonging to the K-Plussa loyalty scheme and using the Plussa network totalled 2.4 million, with 3.3 million customers using their K-Plussa card.
Overall, the challenges associated with launching and managing a grocery loyalty program can be significant, but with careful planning and execution, a successful loyalty program will help grocery stores retain customers and increase sales.
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