First there was the obligatory second credit card everyone said I needed as an emergency backup. But it wasn't long before the card slots in my wallet began rapidly filling up. One soon held a blue Air Miles card, the one that requires years of collecting to get a one-way trip to Hamilton. From then on, the acquisition of cards continued unabated.
I recently returned home from grocery shopping with a new loyalty card. All I needed to do was go online and register the card I was given in store. When I went to register my new card, I got the message "registration is temporarily unavailable" with apologies from the company. I tried a few more times for a couple of days and got the same message. The experience led me to think about the cost of downtime to a business.
A shopper will saunter over to the kitchen appliances section, whip out their smartphone, scan the UPC symbol on a food processor, and walk out. What just happened? Their phone just looked up that processor and told the shopper where they can get it within a three-minute walk. Welcome to the terrifying new world of retail and declining brand loyalty.