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Loyalty Programs in the News

Strategies to Increase Customer Loyalty

Loyalty programs are garnering more and more buzz these days as brands seek to connect with customers and cement their long-term adoration. Here’s a look at how a few brands are leveraging that loyalty experience going forward.

Love at First Swipe

Saks Fifth Avenue Refreshes SaksFirst

Saks starts out 2013 by making several significant enhancements to its SaksFirst loyalty program, broadening its reach and offering more benefits than ever before, including:

  • All Saks cardholders will be granted automatic, free membership in SaksFirst, with no minimum spending requirement.
  • All Saks cardholders will earn points toward a SaksFirst Gift Card with their very first purchase.
  • SaksFirst will be expanded to include purchases made at the Company’s Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH outlet stores.
  • All Saks cardholders will now receive free shipping from Saks stores, saks.com and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores.
  • Saks cardholders will be granted access to even more special events and private benefits.

SaksFirst has long rewarded its best customers with more points and higher value gift cards than other retailers. Now, by enhancing its offerings and expanding its reach to a much broader base of customers, SaksFirst has become one of the most rewarding loyalty programs in the entire world of luxury retail. To celebrate and kick off the launch of the enhanced SaksFirst program, Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York City flagship store will offer “5 Days of Firsts,” January 28 through February 1. Each day, customers will be treated to a series of unique in-store experiences and offerings, including free gift cards, same-day delivery, and bonus points.

The new program boasts a new look featuring a refreshed logo and artwork from renowned fashion illustrator Mats Gustafson, and the tagline “Love at First Swipe.” Expect to see the new campaign in catalogs, newspapers, and magazines.

Overstock.com Adds New Rewards Options

Overstock.com Adds New Rewards Options

Overstock.com is launching Club O Dining Rewards, a new free rewards enhancement for the members of its Club O Rewards loyalty program. Members can now automatically receive reward dollars in their Club O account equal to 5 percent of their total dining bill when they visit participating Club O Dining Rewards restaurants and pay their bill using any credit or debit card they have registered with their Dining Rewards account. These Club O Dollars can be used toward already discounted products on the Overstock.com website such as furniture, rugs, bedding, electronics, jewelry, and others. To add Dining Rewards to their Club O account, members can log on to www.overstock.com/clubodining and click on Get Started in the quick 3-step enrollment. Dining options vary from high-end dining establishments to fast food restaurants, bars, clubs and home delivery.

Marriott Rewards

Marriott Ranks Tops, Keeps an Eye on Program Refinement

Marriott Rewards has once again taken the top spot in Business Traveler magazine’s annual “Best In Business Travel” Awards. The awards are determined by readers, who vote for their favorite products and services in 64 categories spanning the business travel industry. Ed French, senior vice president Marriott Rewards told Business Traveler magazine that the award “validates the changes over the past several years that we’ve made to the program to improve the travel experience for our members, such as Cash + Points and Elite Rollover Nights.” He added, “In the coming year, our members can look forward to even more changes to recognize and reward their loyalty to Marriott, including lower thresholds for lifetime elite status.”

Marriott Rewards has no blackout dates* and members can earn and redeem points at more than 3,600 Marriott International hotels around the world. In addition to hotels and frequent flyer miles, members can also redeem points for merchandise, cruises, car rentals and more.

How will you refine your loyalty program this year? Add new rewards, broaden your base or redefine its structure? The answer is unique for every brand. Let the experts at Customer Insight Group help you find what the right answer is for you.

Sallie Burnett
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