ikea family card

Why the IKEA Family Card is pretty much useless

July 25, 2014
10,533 Views

ikea family card

IKEA Family Card: I’m not a fan

Know what really grinds my gears? The fact that every big box retailer under the sun wants to exchange your information for a few discounts here and there. It’s an age-old practice, but one that retailers are getting pretty aggressive about. “Download our app!” “Sign up for this discount card!” “Give us your email and first born, and you’ll get a free cookie!” “Download our other app!”

One of my least favorite of the bunch is the IKEA Family Card. Put aside the fact that it sounds like it excludes unmarried people without kids, it is a simple card that the brand is pimping pretty hard. We do an embarrassingly high amount of shopping at IKEA – it’s fun for us and the kids. The maze is a blast, and we love the inexpensive doodads you didn’t know you needed, the minimalist shelving, it’s all a win.

But the kiosks that sucker you in with promises of discounts and an instant orange card suck.

Read also: Coupon marketing methods that best boost business

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The problem with this card and many other big box cards is that it asks for all of your information (phone number, address, email, DNA sequences, and so forth), and the carrot is a discount. Sure, this particular card gives you a 90 day price guarantee, but of the last 10 trips I’ve taken, not once as the discount applied to anything I was actually buying.



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Not once.

What should retailers be doing?

Tell you what, retailers. If you want to give me a useless card, that’s fine, but don’t ask me for so much information in exchange for 20 cents off of a random cup I’ll never buy, just ask me for an email address (that I’ll never check). If you want to give me a useful card that offers a discount up front (like Target’s amazing Red Card), I’m happy to give you all of my information (hell, I’ll throw in one of my cats).

The problem is that as a society, we’ve given up on guarding our personal information and because we filter out so much noise and blacklist emails from retailers we were forced to give our identity to, the quest for the retailer to connect with the consumer has been rendered pointless.

Offer something useful if you want my information or leave me alone. Enough with the dangling carrot that doesn’t impact my shopping experience.

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Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and sister news outlet, The Real Daily, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a pension for the irreverent.

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