The UK coalition loyalty programme, Nectar, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month and, among other developments, has announced a partnership with online marketplace eBay, to allow Nectar members to earn points automatically when they shop on eBay. This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

The partnership with eBay is expected to benefit millions of consumers by combining the spending power of Nectar's 18.5 million collectors and eBay UK's 17 million unique monthly visitors, and represents a significant extension of the affiliate relationship that eBay previously had in place with Nectar eShops (through which shoppers earned points when they clicked through Nectar.com).

From now on, eBay shoppers can collect points for their successful bids and 'Buy It Now' transactions after linking their eBay account with their Nectar card, when paying via PayPal. eBay shoppers who are not currently Nectar card holders can apply for a card via the eBay website.

The partnership significantly extends the range and proportion of household items on which Nectar points can be earned. Previously points could potentially be earned on an estimated 50% of household spending (including groceries, DIY, holiday bookings, household bills and petrol) but the potential is now much greater.

According to Jan-Pieter Lips, managing director for Nectar, "This partnership will have similar reach to those we have in place with other household names such as British Gas, BP and Homebase, all of which have enabled millions of people to collect Nectar points on their daily household spending."

Alex Von Schirmeister, vice president of marketing for eBay in Europe, added: "Half of all UK online shoppers visit eBay each month, and this new partnership will allow us to reward their loyalty and keep them coming back to the site even more often. By investing in the Nectar programme, and the promotions planned for later in the year, all of our 190,000 eBay UK business sellers will benefit from a potential boost to their sales in the important Christmas trading period."

Consumers will be able to collect Nectar points directly from eBay.co.uk starting from October 2012. Interestingly, eBay UK reports that one item is purchased every second via eBay using a mobile device. To celebrate the new partnership, and to maximise revenue opportunities during the lucrative holiday season, eBay will be running a number of promotions in key categories over the Christmas shopping period.

Tenth birthday campaign
Nectar's birthday celebrations include a 'Cheers for Ten Years' advertising campaign involving TV ads on ITV1, Channel 4, FIVE and Sky, and a radio partnership with Heart FM and its regional stations, supported by sponsorship and competitions.

Supermarket partner Sainsbury's is also running a double Nectar points promotion both in-store and online between 28th and 30th September 2012, which is being publicised via additional POS materials in-store, a direct mail campaign, and a series of printed adverts in national newspapers over the three day period.

DIY partner Homebase offered triple Nectar points on all purchases on 15th and 16th September, again both in-store and online, while travel partner Expedia adopted the 'Cheers for Ten Years' branding on its website in conjunction with a triple points offer from 14th to 17th September.

Fuel retail partner BP is running an instant win 'Swipe a Prize' promotion from 11th September to 8th October, and while Expedia will be adopting, and car rental partner Hertz is offering triple Nectar points for the whole month of September.

In the programme's first ten years it has given back almost £2 billion worth of rewards to collectors, including money off shopping, travel, days out and cinema tickets. More than 18.5 million members now earn Nectar points when shopping for groceries, doing DIY, booking a holiday, paying household bills, buying petrol and even getting their car serviced (Ford owners only). Members can also earn Nectar points every time they shop online with over 500 leading online retailers via Nectar.com, as well as for their eBay purchases.