Retail world today is as competitive as ever and consumers can really reap benefits when sellers fight for their business. Loyalty programs are nothing new, but they remain one of the strongest incentives for return customers. Virtually every business and service offers some type of loyalty perks to help us stick with them for a long run.
Today, when so much shopping is done online, loyalty programs seek to build emotional, lasting connections with their consumers. And it turns out this effort is paying off. Customers like to come back to places that offer them feels in addition to just cold products.
Here is a list of 18 retailers than are good at keeping shoppers coming back for more with their well-established loyalty programs:
The retailer offers ExtraCare Card, which rewards customers with ExtraBucks for loyalty. They also get extra deals that non-members don’t get.
REDcard is a necessity if you love Target (and who doesn’t?). You will get 5% off every purchase, free shipping, and extra 30 days for returns. The card has no annual fee.
Barnes & Noble ($25 per year)
The book retailer is not experiencing the best of times lately, in part thanks to Amazon, but if you can spend $25 up front, you will get some good deals. You will enjoy 40% off hardcover bestsellers, 10% off everything else, and free shipping. Free shipping alone will justify your $25 fee. Also, Barnes & Noble invite you, and your kid to kids' club. Your will enjoy 30% off list price on any one kids' book or toy for your children, $5 reward for every $100 you spend on kids' stuff online and in stores.
The Nordy Club members get 1 point for $1 spent in Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom credit card holders get triple the points. The program also offers exclusive workshops, access to shopping before anybody else, and convenient curbside pickup.
Bed Bath & Beyond ($29 per year)
This is one of the best loyalty programs on the market. Members get 20% off all orders and free shipping. Non-members just get 20% off one item once a month.
Yes, the retailer went bankrupt and is closing stores by hundreds, but it still maintains its rewards program. Shop Your Way offers many benefits:
- Exclusive coupons and savings
- 10 points for every $1
- Surprise points
- For $39 per year you earn 20 points for every $1 and get free 2-day shipping
Office Depot (free)
If you spend over $500, you will become a VIP member of OfficeMax Rewards Program and will get 5% back on ink, toner, paper, printing, and shipping. Free shipping is also included for all VIPs.
Amazon Rewards Visa Card holders have to be approved for it, but it is well worth it. Members get $30 gift card for signing up and then 3% back for Amazon purchases, 2% for drugstores, gas stations, and restaurants, and 1% back for everything else.
This lifetime membership guarantees returns without receipts, 10% back on purchases, members-only special deals, REI classes, events, Garage sales, and participation in REI Adventures.
The coffee shop offers Bonus Stars events every day on the app, which has 2 stars for every $1 spent. You can use those stars towards your purchases later. You can also find free refills and various perks on the app.
The program is called Beauty Insider and offers 1 point for $1 spent. This eventually transfers to free purchases of everything beauty related. Program participants also gain access to beauty classes, seasonal promotions, and various beauty product sets. Sephora is currently launching 3 credit cards, which will help get more perks for loyal customers.
The Loyalist Program is one of the least complicated on the market – you get points for money spent. Shoes and beauty supplies get double points; Bloomingdale’s credit card purchases get triple points. After certain spending threshold you can become “top of the list” customer and get even more points and free shipping.
Michael Kors (free)
The designer’s loyalty program includes surprise gifts, exclusive events, extra services, and free shipping. The gifts for loyalty are exclusive, such as accessories and handbags, nothing from clearance bins.
Tarte Cosmetics (free)
Tarte doesn’t only give points for shopping, but also for social engagement and word of mouth advertising. This is the prime example of how to build emotional connections and keep the brand on consumers’ minds. The biggest spenders get triple points, expedited shipping, and exclusive offers.
Members of Marriot program get discounted rates, free mobile check-ins, upgrades, and more. All loyal customers get free Wi-Fi at all locations, always.
This is the most expensive loyalty program, as is expected from an expensive clothing brand. The program is quite new and innovative. Members get a free pair of pants or shorts, special access to classes and sales events, and free shipping. Free pair of pants almost covers the price of the membership, so it’s worth becoming a member even if it’s not free.
Yes2You Rewards program members get 1 point for $1 and birthday gifts. On the first day of every month members get $5 per every 100 points. The retailer hosts special events from time to time for extra points. You have 30 days to redeem your rewards once you get them.
Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards program is free, awards 1 point for $1 spent (2 points per $1 with Ulta credit card). Some products carry 5 points per $1. Members get free birthday gifts. Big spenders become Platinum ($450 spending) and Diamond ($1,200 spending) members and receive even more perks.