Experiential retail has carried the industry into the realm of merchandise-free shops. Brands are now replacing what would be selling space with activities and services, from clothing alterations to offering tech support. Retailers are now looking for ways and means to offer white-glove service to their customers. A true white-glove delivery is about the customer feeling that the level of service she receives exceeds expectations.
Leading programs typically use accelerated point accumulation and more experiential offerings to further forge deeper connections with the brand. This typically includes preferential access to merchandise, events and special or enhanced services. Let us look at two leading brands (department store and a clothing retailer), who have revamped their loyalty program to reach a larger customer base.
This department store chain is among the first merchants to experiment on replacing inventory with activity. Their new loyalty program called Nordy Club, focuses on personalization. The program will have four published levels based on annual spending (Member- $0-$499, Insider- $500+, Influencer- $2000+ and Ambassador- $5000+).
Nordstorm loyalty tiers
Points claimed basis customer choice.
Nordstrom has found that customers who are members of the loyalty program tend to make purchases more often than those who are not. The Nordstrom Local concept in Los Angeles invites customers to gather and socialize over glasses of wine or beer, get a manicure and meet with personal stylists. There are also luxurious dressing rooms shoppers can use to try on outfits they ordered online. Nordstrom Local shoppers no longer need to go to the full-line store. They can pick up what they ordered online, have it altered or returned hassle free.
Nordstrom has realised that the value created from these returning loyal customers is worth offering them the rewards. As a result, the company is placing a significant emphasis on its loyalty program. A step in this direction is revamping its older loyalty program to ‘The Nordy Club’.
New loyalty program offerings-
- Omnichannel- Nordstrom has been seen leading the edge of digital commerce and executing a well-integrated “omnichannel” experience. They are giving emphasis to offering something for everyone no matter where customer interacts with their brand.
- Convenience– Members can pay however they want, this opens the benefits to young shoppers, who don’t want to apply for a Nordstrom credit card.
- Mobile- For many customers their mobile is their constant companion and they use it for their shopping journey. The new Nordy Club app will be the focal point of how members will engage with the brand.The app will feature an integrated dashboard allowing customers to easily interact with the loyalty program- access to their status, points always balance etc. They will be able to view which notes are available to redeem on the spot and schedule their Personal Double Points Days.
- Personalisation- Every customer is different and does not want to be treated like another. Making the communication more relevant and unique is critical, to sustain interest in a rewards program. With the ‘Nordy Portrait’ a unique user profile, customers can customize their style profiles, view their accumulated points, calculate how much they need to spend to reach the next level and more. Each tier of the loyalty program will also grant access to personalized experiences, such as the option to have Nordstrom’s in-home stylists make a house call.
- Memorable- For any program to be successful and stand out, it’s important to create a memorable experience for customers. Customers will have access to new product launches, be “First to Shop” the company’s special price clearance event. Nordstrom aims to deliver experiential benefits that focus on relevance.
- More earnings- The new program offers a faster earn rate than the previous. Nordstrom credit card members will earn three points per dollar for purchases at their outlet, a 50 percent increase in the earn rate, and members paying in cash or a non-Nordstrom card will receive one point for every dollar spent.
Nordstrom is not doing something out of the box, but it is moving from a transactional loyalty program to one that focuses on personalisation, access and service. Giving customer a chance to feel special!
Another brand that has recently revamped its loyalty program, is Victoria’s Secret, PINK Nation. They have redesigned the mobile app, offering a more innovative and intimate brand experience to millions of active members. The brand engages its members through promotions, special offers like giveaways and sweepstakes. Pink Nation aims to connect with girls and be a part of their mobile word through innovative and fun ways.
New loyalty program offerings-
- Mobile experience-The redesigned app has new features and functions, exclusive member-only offers and benefits, in-app games, engaging content and access to exclusive events.The app also offers college girls an opportunity to connect with their campus reps through PINK’s brand ambassador program.
- Exclusivity& experience-New members will receive an exclusive offer of their choice at the time of downloading the app, new offers each month. Other exclusive benefits include, opportunities to shop new styles first and invitations to members-only events like parties, shopping trips etc.Members will also have access to ultra-exclusive events with Pinkmodels, celebrities, and influencers.
- Easy interface-The new PINK Nation user experience features a new layout and more intuitive navigation. The new ‘explore’ tab gives users access to trending items at PINK including new products, shopping offers and promotions to be added to their cart.
- Online and offline-They are understanding customers buying patterns both online and offline to create a strongly engaged community of members.
- Innovative- The fun and games tab, featuring PINK’s very own match 3 game is created exclusively for PINK Nation members. Also Included will be a tab called ‘Campus’ that serves as a hub of college life including job searches. The app merges colorful, playful visuals with live elements, where a new challenge is presented every week at a specific date and time. A PINK merchandise gift card will be presented to the top 10 winners each week. This section will also feature polls and quizzes, stickers and wallpaper for users to represent PINK Nation.
Brands are now focusing on creating programs that are more rewarding and easier to sign up for. The increasing value from repeat customers, has made them step up their loyalty efforts to stay ahead.
The above brands have recognized the importance of change and customer experience. To stay ahead in the competitive race, brands are realizing the massive potential in loyalty rewards programs to help them make the big leap.