Archive by Author | jessevanhofwegen

Digital Transformation Project: Albert Heijn Personalized Shopping

Albert Heijn is a super market chain in the Netherlands and has the biggest market share. Albert Heijn claims that it is the pioneer in the development of the modern supermarket with innovations such as self-service payment possibilities as part of its multichannel approach. We focused our project on Albert Heijn’s customer loyalty program and its bonus card. With the ongoing development of digitalization more and more firms consider and deploy big data, so does Albert Heijn with the bonus card, as an extension to loyalty programs. What are these loyalty programs? These programs encourage customers to return to the supermarket by means of a loyalty card, the bonus card in Albert Heijn’s case. This is a major strength for Albert Heijn, as they are the only one in the industry using such a card. Research has shown that a customer loyalty program leads to an increase in annual purchasing for a substantial proportion of customers and effectively increases repeat purchases rates (Lewis, 2004).

A bonus card has the advantage to offer personalized marketing to the customers of Albert Heijn. However, if a misclassification (personalized marketing to the wrong individual) occurs, personalization could back-fire and this would have a counterproductive effect. Unfortunately this happened with the old bonus card. Albert Heijn uses the bonus card since 1998, however, they had to renew the bonus card because of the dirty and corrupt old database. They had to throw away the old database with purchase information of more than 15 years. How did this happen? The main cause is that customers were tended to swap cards (NRC Q, 2015). Which information strategy regarding to a disruptive or IT enabled service could Albert Heijn best implement in order to clean the big data set and leverage personal information collected via the Albert Heijn Bonus Card?

A solution for Albert Heijn is a mobile phone bonus card, as customers will much less swap these mobile bonus cards with each other. This will result in more personalized data, which is way more valuable for Albert Heijn, but also for the customers. They will receive now more personalized marketing, which increases customer satisfaction according to R. Goldsmith and J. Freiden (2004). The idea of our project contains a digital transformation of the current physical bonus card into an in-app digitalized bonus card.

Team 29:

  • Floris Hol 419214
  • Tim Prein 346786
  • Wouter Bakker 357176
  • Jesse van Hofwegen 375283
  • Jeroen Gelderblom 371908


Ronald E. Goldsmith Jon B. Freiden, (2004),”Have it your way: consumer attitudes toward personalized marketing”, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 22 Iss 2 pp. 228 – 239

Lewis, M. (2004). The Influence of Loyalty Programs and Short-Term Promotions on Customer Retention. Journal of Marketing Research, 41(3), pp.281-292., (2015). Waarom Albert Heijn met de Bonuskaart vijftien jaar achterloopt. [online] NRC Q. Available at: [Accessed 8 Oct. 2015].


Anonymous internet surfing with ZenMate

Have you ever heard of ZenMate? This is a German startup which offers  a browser plug-in  that allows you to ‘stay secure and private online while accessing the content you love’ according to the ZenMate website.

There are several reasons why you could use ZenMate:

  • To prevent hackers
  • To prevent snoopers
  • To prevent spying activities on your web browsing activities from the government
  • You and your personal data are always protected
  • To protect your device in a public WiFi
  • Your IP is hidden
  • And the most attractive reason for the users of ZenMate: To get access to websites that are blocking users from foreign countries.

How does ZenMate work?

After installing the plug-in in your browser, which is quite easy, ZenMate creates a sort of Virtual Private Network (VPN) between your device and ZenMate’s server network. This tunnel will prevent you from the external dangers of the internet. You can change your IP address to hide your real location, instead you select a different country to visit websites with geo-restricted content. You are pretending you are located in another country than you really are. ZenMate currently offers 10 different country locations. Germany, Romania, Hong Kong and United States are available for all ZenMate users. To get access to the over 6 countries, which are France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States West and Singapore, you have to upgrade your ZenMate to a Premium account.

On which platform does ZenMate work?

Again there is a difference between the Premium users and the users of the free ZenMate. For all users ZenMate is available on mobile devices and is running Android or iOS. ZenMate will protect internetsurfing on your browser on Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and for the Premium users there is a full desktop VPN offer to protect the use of your desktop outside your browser.

Although this looks like a very helpful tool to unblock geo-restricted sites, those are sites are not amused with startup such as ZenMate. Therefore these sites will always looking for new alternatives to block visitors from restricted locations. I think this will be a cat and mouse game and I wonder who will win.

Author: Jesse van Hofwegen (375283jh)


Keswiel, M., (2015). Geografische beperkingen op internet? Daar bouw je een businessmodel mee. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].

ZenMate – Internet Security and Privacy at its best, (2015). ZenMate – Internet Security and Privacy at its best. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].

Kleine, R. and Kleine, R. (2015). Wat zijn de nadelen van de Zenmate browser privacy plug-in?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].

Facebook causes depression

Do you ever feel depressed after scrolling down your Facebook-timeline for the fourth time in 2 minutes during an uninteresting lecture? (Not an Information Strategy lecture of course). Anyway, you are certainly not the only one with such a feeling. We all have those ‘friends’ on Facebook who are for the third time in two weeks on vacation and definitely do not have any doubts to share these lovely moments by posting all the nice pictures of these trips (including the food pictures). Or have you ever felt jealous after scrolling down on your timeline and seeing that everyone has great times with their loved ones, while you are sitting on the couch and watching some Netflix on your own with a pizza and a beer? You are again certainly not the only one with this feeling.

A majority of the Facebook users post something that looks more beautiful than it really is in reality. This can also happen unconsciously, however, do not forget that a bulky part of the posts give a false picture of the reality. On the other hand, who wants to post some boring stuff where no one is waiting for? Better make something beautiful of it and receive some more likes. Everything for the likes!

However, can Facebook really cause depressions? Not so much that, but it can certainly cause depressed or worse feelings. A new study finds not only a link between Facebook and despressive symptoms, there is also a link between Facebook and the well-established psychological phenomenon ‘Social comparison.’ This is the cause of the depressive symptoms, as you are comparing your ‘normal life’ to the extremely happy posts on your timeline. A study from University of Houston shows that people who used Facebook are tended to have more depressive symptoms.

I am not telling you to immediately delete your Facebook account, I am telling you to be aware of this phenomenon and do not take all the ‘happy’ Facebook posts too seriously. As the Dutch saying goes: ‘Neem het met een korreltje zout.’ (Take it with a grain of salt.)

Enjoy this video and think about it. Is this the truth?

Author: Jesse van Hofwegen (375283jh)


Walton,  A. G., (2015). New Study Links Facebook To Depression: But Now We Actually Understand Why. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].

Sorokanich, R. (2014). This is why you shouldn’t take people’s Facebook lives seriously. [online] Sploid. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].