has revealed plans to segment its 18 million Clubcard
customers into separate groups when they log onto the company's website.
The segmentation will be based on their previous spending patterns, with a key test being whether the customer has previously bought a large number of Tesco Finest-branded items – the supermarket chain’s premium range of foods.
The move is said to be an attempt to offer shoppers more promotions specific to their needs, with affluence and age being key variables.
Depending on how affluent customers are, or whether they have young children, they will be offered a different range of offers and discounts or different results when they search for certain foods.
Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke is investing £1bn in an bid to boost flagging sales in the UK, and has said that one of his key weapons is the company's Clubcard, which holds an enormous amount of data on customers.
In a speech to the Consumer Goods Forum in Istanbul, Clarke said Clubcard was critical to Tesco’s plans.
“Data about food is more insightful than any other kind of data: you are what you eat,” Clarke said.
"But now we’re turning Clubcard digital, correlating the data we have about what food people buy with sources of data – social networking data, mobile phone data, payment methods – so we can get to know our customers better still, and use that understanding to deliver an even more personalised offer.”
Clarke said Tesco was making changes to its UK website to highlight promotions of relevant to the customer who is browsing the site.
“Using Clubcard data, we would show, for example, offers of our Everyday Value range to price-sensitive customers and offers of our Finest range to more upmarket customers.”
This personalisation of the offer may will be controversial with some Tesco customers, who complained earlier this year when the company said it would tailor some stores according to the affluence of the surrounding area – offering more Tesco Value food, for instance, in an area of deprivation.
A spokesman said the company was not stereotyping customers: "All we are saying, for example, is it makes sense to promote Everyday Value products to people likely to be price-sensitive".