Loyalty Limelight: Bloomingdale’s Rewards Customers Without Credit

The program: Bloomingdale’s Loyallist Program

In a nutshell: Bloomingdale’s, the luxury division of Macy’s Inc., operates 41 department and home stores, four Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores and Bloomingdale’s also operates in Dubai, its first international location. Bloomingdale’s is replacing its existing credit card-based loyalty program, Insider.

New Features: The new program, called Loyallist, distinguishes itself because it does not require members to sign up for a credit card; instead, they carry a plastic loyalty card. Members receive points for each dollar spent in the store, online or at Bloomingdale’s outlets and will be given a $25 reward card for every 5,000 points earned. These rewards will be presented in real time in the store or, for online shoppers, sent overnight via email. Rewards can be redeemed anywhere beginning the following day, toward anything except gift card purchases.

Takeaways: Bloomingdale’s new Loyallist plan continues the trend among retailers to adopt multi-tender programs and recognizes the value of capturing not only those customers who use their credit programs, but also those who may prefer to use other forms of payment. Here are some other takeaways:

* Value equation: The Loyallist program extends the value proposition by recognizing the worth of customer information and providing higher levels of service and improved communications in return.

* Engagement: Participation will be higher because customers don’t have to register a credit card!

* Tiered perks: While the program’s focus is on reward points for spending, Bloomingdale’s also is offering higher-tiered benefits for its more dedicated shoppers. Those who spend $3,500 a year, in addition to getting four points per dollar, receive free shipping, free giftwrap and invitations to exclusive events.

* Make it even easier: While Bloomingdale’s is thinking about making it easier for its shoppers, it may also want consider the wallet factor. With more and more plastic loyalty cards issued, consumers are seeking a better way to carry around all those numbers. A mobile phone app might do the trick.

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