Woolworths set up an eGift card program called “Kindness Cards” in six days as a way to identify and triage vulnerable customers for online shopping when coronavirus lockdowns hit Australia back in March.
The project, which was run by digital arm WooliesX, saw at least 22,000 cards issued to vulnerable customers via over 30 charity, government and corporate agencies.
Woolworths launched ‘Priority Assistance’ back in late March as a way to ensure vulnerable customers - such as the elderly, those with disabilities or those self-isolating - could order groceries online and have them home delivered.
Most of the 350,000-plus customers that used the service registered online and sent “supporting documentation about their circumstances”, which was then reviewed within 48 hours.
However, it has now emerged that Woolworths was able to approve the most vulnerable customers much faster through the issuing of specific eGift cards.
The eGift cards were used both as a validation method to identify and triage vulnerable customers accurately online, and as a payment mechanism.
“There is a $0 value, used as an identifier on Woolworths Online only; or $80 value, which is both an identifier and a gift card,” states one of the few online descriptions of the program.
“Both types allow [Woolworths] to identify and validate those eligible for priority access, and enable online access for those people who do not have a credit or debit card to use online.”
The eGift cards were issued directly to charities and government organisations via Woolworths’ SAP Hybris e-commerce platform.
To use the card, customers registered for the Priority Assistance service using a form powered by SAP customer data cloud.
Once approved, they could then place orders and receive contactless delivery via Australia Post - at a time when delivery windows were limited and regular online shoppers were unable to place orders.
The program was also extended to enable Australians to donate Kindness Cards to charities.
A Woolworths spokesperson was contacted for additional comment on the SAP-specific aspects of the program.