As the country slowly emerges from the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers are following suit.
Significant changes in consumer behavior impacted retailers everywhere in 2020, and they want to earn back customer loyalty. In fact, 90% of retailers say expanding their respective loyalty programs is a priority in 2021, according to our 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study.
Many retailers enhanced their loyalty programs during the second quarter and launched new ones. It appears that the country is opening back up and retailers are becoming more proactive.
From a loyalty perspective, in the second quarter we saw:
- Best Buy launch a test premium loyalty program.
- CVS expand members benefits in its free loyalty program.
- Popeyes launch its first-ever loyalty program.
- Hyatt Hotels partner with Bilt Rewards to enhance the World of Hyatt loyalty program.
Best Buy Launched its Own Premium Loyalty Program Called Best Buy Beta
Premium loyalty is a hot topic in 2021. Consider that 95% of retailers are considering launching a premium program this year.
Best Buy launched a premium loyalty program called Best Buy Beta. Program members receive:
- Unlimited tech support from the Geek Squad.
- Round-the-clock concierge service.
- Exclusive member prices on merchandise.
- Free installation of many appliances and products.
- Fast, free shipping on all purchases and no minimum-order restrictions.
The benefits offered in Best Buy Beta are enticing and sure to attract new members. The program will cost $199.99 per year or $179.99 per year for customers who have the retailer’s credit card.
CVS Enhanced its Free Loyalty Program and Added More Flexibility for Members
Members of a loyalty program like to see when brands make adjustments that result in less waiting and more flexibility.
That’s exactly what CVS did when it revamped its ExtraCare rewards loyalty program.
The program will now offer 2% back in ExtraBucks rewards shortly following each transaction, instead of having them paid out on a quarterly basis. Members had told company officials they wanted more flexibility in how they access and use their rewards.
The ExtraBucks rewards that ExtraCare members accrue on most purchases will appear in the CVS app, on the CVS website, and on electronic and hardcopy receipts shortly after any purchase beginning in July.
CVS also has a premium loyalty program called CarePass.
Popeyes Launched First-ever Loyalty Program
This nearly 50-year-old company launched its first-ever loyalty program called Popeyes Rewards.
Popeyes Rewards offers members exclusive access to deals, celebrations, swag, and the chance to earn and redeem points from menu purchases.
Members earn points with each transaction.
Popeyes CMO Bruno Cardinali said: “We have been humbled to see our fans express their loyalty for our Popeyes CMO brand time and time again. Our goal has been to create a perfect loyalty program that matches and rewards their unparalleled enthusiasm.”
Hyatt Partnered with Bilt Rewards to Create a Unique Loyalty Program
Hyatt Hotels and Kairos, a portfolio of brands that builds and invests in solutions across healthcare, housing, and financial services, announced a new strategic collaboration between World of Hyatt, Hyatt’s award-winning guest loyalty program, and Bilt Rewards, the first-of-its-kind rewards program for renters to earn points on rent.
Through this relationship, nearly 109 million renters across the U.S. have access to Bilt Rewards to earn points on monthly rent payments, which they will be able to transfer at a 1:1 ratio to travel and reward partners, with World of Hyatt as the exclusive hotel transfer partner at launch.
Bilt Rewards members who are World of Hyatt members will be able to convert their Bilt points to World of Hyatt points and redeem them at more than 1,000 participating Hyatt hotels and resorts worldwide across 19 brands.
Friendly’s Launched a Loyalty Program Just in Time for Start of Summer
Friendly’s Restaurants plans to give out more than one million free sundaes this summer as part of the launch of its new Friendly’s Sweet Rewards Club.
Customers that join the loyalty program will scoop up free ice cream treats, starting with a free medium sundae just for registering either by downloading the Friendly’s mobile app or visiting here.
Craig Erlich, CEO of Friendly’s Restaurants, added: “This is just the beginning. We will be surprising our customers with exclusive offers throughout the year, giving them even more reasons to visit.”
Customers that join the Friendly’s Sweet Rewards Club will receive:
- A free medium sundae just for joining.
- A $5 reward for every 75 Sweet Rewards points earned.
- A free medium sundae during the member’s birthday month.
- Free delivery on Tuesdays when an online order is placed thru the Friendly’s mobile app or online.
- A free medium sundae reward after five medium or larger sundaes have been purchased.
Revealing Stats in the 2021 Prime Day Survey
Amazon staged another successful Prime Day event in June as overall sales set yet another record. But there is a deeper story behind Prime Day and its massive sales each year.
We surveyed primary Amazon Prime account holders leading up to Prime Day 2021 to understand their thoughts and behavior. Here are key takeaways from our survey:
26% of Prime Members joined Amazon Prime for Prime Day.
While 26% might not sound overly impressive, consider that is about $464 million in revenue from membership fees alone.
Less than 2% of Prime members said Prime Day is the main reason they plan to renew their membership.
This doesn’t mean Prime Day isn’t important to members. Just that it’s not their motivation behind renewing their Prime memberships.
The key takeaway here is that, while many people join Prime for Prime Day, Prime Day isn’t the reason they renew their memberships. It’s the other enticing benefits that Prime offers that keeps them coming back year after year.
Nearly 80% of Prime Members said the fast, free shipping benefit is the main reason they plan to renew their membership.
This is, by far, the key statistic (and reason) Prime members renew their memberships.
This data is right in line with our 2021 Premium Loyalty Data Study, which found that 64% percent of consumers said free shipping is a perk that would motivate them to join a premium loyalty program.
You can read thoughts from our CEO, Tom Caporaso, about Prime Day in this article in AiThority.
Retailers are Finding How Impactful Loyalty Programs Can Be
As we get deeper into 2021, with a high percentage of U.S. residents vaccinated, retailers are becoming more proactive with their plans to make customer loyalty a key strategy this year and beyond.
We saw several nice customer loyalty moves in the second quarter and those are likely to keep pace in the second half of 2021.
Those loyalty moves include more premium loyalty programs, adding to/enhancing loyalty programs, and some retailers launching first-ever programs, showing how valuable they are.
Like 2020 was a reactive year for you and your customers, this year is showing positive signs of proactive measures that could make loyalty programs a key differentiating factor.