Vodafone Italia has launched a new online promotion that offers new fixed and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) subscribers a shopping vouchers worth up to EUR 100 (US $106.51). Under the promo, customers signing up to a fiber, ADSL or FWA plan by 22 February will receive the free voucher. The shopping vouchers must be redeemed on the Epipoli website by 30 April and can be used at several of Italy’s main supermarket chains.
Promotional offers of vouchers for signing up for a service are nothing new in the telecom marketplace – particularly for home broadband plans, which have relatively low churn once customers commit. However, the typical iteration of this type of promotion is to either link the deal with a particularly “buzzy” digital brand or service (e.g., free Netflix for two years) or, with physical luxury or comfort items (e.g., an Apple watch or a high-end clothing brand). In general, these promotions are structured around tying the offer in with a major consumer trend to increase its exposure and/or incentivizing the user with a special treat which they would enjoy but would be unlikely to purchase for themselves.
Traditionally, a supermarket gift card would fall into neither of these two categories. Groceries are staples which rarely change and must be purchased continuously. In addition, they are rarely on the receiving end of the same share of press coverage as the latest streaming service or device offering.
The Vodafone Italia supermarket voucher is an indicator of how much inflation has impacted these traditional expectations. It is likely that the operator believes that grocery costs are top of mind for its customers and that they will view and additional EUR 100 as a brief respite from the economic pressure that has become commonplace in their lives, and even as an opportunity to purchase an unexpected delicacy. With the global economic outlook still uncertain, it is likely that other providers will start structuring more of their promotions and incentives around basic necessities rather than luxury goods.