eBay samples the sweet Nectar of loyalty

eBay’s first foray into loyalty marketing will commence next month when it begins offering Nectar points to customers in the U.K. The popular British loyalty program, operated by Aimia and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, awards points to customers of such companies as BP, Ford, Hertz, Sainsbury, and iTunes. Nectar members can redeem them for discounts on travel, merchandise, and dining.

The online auction house previously had an arrangement with Nectar that awarded members points if they clicked on to eBay through nectar.com. But beginning in October, Nectar cardholders will earn points for all purchases they make on eBay. The site averages 17 million unique visitors a month in the U.K., where Nectar counts more than 18 million members.

“Half of all U.K. online shoppers visit eBay each month and this…will keep them coming back to the site even more often,” eBay’s European VP of marketing, Alex Von Schirmeister, said in a press release. “All of our 190,000 U.K. sellers will benefit from a potential boost to their sales in the Christmas trading period.”

For Nectar, the deal opens up access to more categories of merchandise. The loyalty brand estimates that it currently touches only 50% of household spend with incentives offered largely on home goods, travel, groceries and gasoline.

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