Kohl’s and Sephora among six retailers rethinking loyalty

Retailers are revamping programs to meet new customer demands

In a world where masks and social distancing have become the norm, it’s not only important for retailers to communicate clearly with consumers and gain their trust and loyalty — it’s necessary for survival.

Retailers are adapting digital channels and loyalty programs to meet new customer demands and offer a seamless, omnichannel shopping experience. Here’s how six retailers are revamping and adjusting their loyalty programs to make shoppers’ lives easier.

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The new Kohl’s Rewards program, replacing former loyalty program Yes2You Rewards, makes it easier for customers to earn rewards. Instead of earning points on purchases that are converted into rewards, members now earn 5 percent Kohl’s Cash daily on every purchase. Customers also get personalized deals and perks like a birthday gift. The change is intended to make it easier for shoppers to understand what exactly they’re earning and how to redeem it.

Michael’s has added more incentives to its rewards program, enabling customers to earn rewards through certain items they buy, bonus offers and seasonal promotions. Members can manage rewards online and through the Michaels app, where they can see bonus deals, weekly specials and how many incentives they’ve accrued. The goal is to create long-term engagement with members while strengthening relationships with the maker community.

Madewell expanded its Insider loyalty program to include points for every dollar customers spend. Members also receive a $10 reward for every 250 points earned and can access free shipping, personalization, limited-edition products and special events and earn twice as many points on products tied to charities.

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Walmart+, Walmart’s paid loyalty program, provides benefits including unlimited home deliveries, fuel discounts and a scan-and-go shopping feature in Walmart stores for an annual member fee. The company says Walmart+ is designed to be a “life hack” for customers, offering a comprehensive set of benefits at a low price.

Sephora upgraded its Beauty Insider loyalty program with new features including Beauty Insider Cash, which allows members to exchange loyalty points for money off purchases. The program offers free shipping, members-only events, experiential rewards like meet-and-greets and facials, early access to certain product launches, an expansion of birthday gift offerings and more rewards in the “Rewards Bazaar,” including using points to donate to charities like the National Black Justice Coalition​ and Project Glimmer.

Buffalo Wild Wings consolidated its digital ecommerce experience with its digital loyalty platform. The programs used to exist in separate apps and websites. Now, they’re combined into one brand experience, creating a new benefit for customers by allowing them to attach loyalty points to ecommerce transactions.

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