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March 2014

Multi-tender Retail Program

The Goal

In early 2012, Bloomingdale’s, a chain of 50 up-scale department and outlet stores, knew it was time for a loyalty makeover. Its existing program, Insider, only recognized shoppers who used one form of payment – the branded credit card – and members had to spend at least $1,000 to start earning rewards. As a result, Insider engaged less than 10% of all Bloomingdale’s customers.

Bloomingdale’s wanted to expand that engagement figure while also providing extra incentives to those who use its American Express co-branded credit card or Bloomingdale’s store card. Bloomingdale’s also wanted to increase the capture rate of customer data and purchase information, maintain the store credit card business and increase acquisition rates.

The Initiative

With its Loyallists rewards initiative, launched in February 2012, Bloomingdale’s introduced one of the industry’s few currency-neutral programs, meaning customers can accumulate points regardless of how they pay – even with cash. Those who use a Bloomingdale’s branded card, however, receive greater rewards – three to four points for every dollar charged instead of one. Further, Loyallist members who pay with a Bloomingdale’s American Express Card receive an additional host of benefits, including the ability to earn points on non-Bloomingdale’s purchases.

Among the benefits for all Loyallist members are double points for cosmetics and fragrances and “Power Points” for specific products purchases in limited-time offers. “Top of the List” members – those who spend at least $3,500 per year – receive special perks like triple points shopping days and free gift-wrapping.

In addition to these hard benefits, Bloomingdale’s offers aspirational perks, tailoring the most exclusive rewards to its highest purchasers. These can range from early access to certain designs to preferred seating at Broadway shows to behind-the-scenes visits with fashion designers.

The Results

When Bloomingdale’s launched Loyallist, it did so with some tailored goals in mind, and all were met. Among them:

  • Increased capture rate: Greater amounts of customer data has been collected and used strategically, allowing the retailer to monitor customer transactions and tailor marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Maintain credit card business: Despite broadening the program to all shoppers, the enhanced incentives for using the Bloomingdale’s card kept results stable.
  • Increase acquisition rate: Participation in the Loyallists program has grown and led to increased visits and higher spending among members.

“We’re capturing 100% of the information. We are able to understand a great deal more about what our customers are doing in our store, which makes our marketing efforts much more relevant,” said Frank Berman, Bloomingdale’s executive vice president of marketing,