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Bloomingdale’s Invites Everyone to Become a Loyallist

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Bloomingdale’s Invites Everyone to Become a Loyallist
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Some new loyalty programs are launched with a bang, others sneak out under the radar. Bloomingdale’s just launched its new Loyallist program with barely a tremor in the force, which seems odd in light of the hyperbole they use to describe the program:

  • “Introducing Loyallist – a program like no other”
  • “Points are a shopper’s best friend”
  • “Everyone’s invited”

Thanks to Tom Ryan @RetailWire for alerting me to this new program. When I set about doing some research, I typed in “official announcement Bloomingdale’s loyallist” and “press release Bloomingdale’s loyallist program” and got nothing relevant in return. I did find this article documenting the launch and otherwise scoured the program website to learn what I could from the most trustworthy source, program terms and conditions.

To be accurate, Loyallist is a new program which replaces something called “Insider” and “Points to Rewards”. Let me tell what I like about the new Loyallist program:

  • Bloomingdale’s rewards customers regardless of how they pay for purchases. They must have read all those Colloquy articles from the early 2000’s documenting the limitations of rewards programs tied to store charge cards and realized that multi-tender is a winning formula for retailers
  • The program has tiers with variable reward funding rates, recognizing that all purchases count, while rewarding those more valuable to the retailer at a higher rate

I can also tell you that the way Bloomingdale’s packaged the program and presented it via its web site illustrates some great creative work. The first impression a visitor to the web site gets is that they have discovered something very special, a rewards program not offered by other retailers. The copy is clearly written and the call to action is strong. “You’ve landed on a goldmine, don’t miss your chance, sign up now”. Never mind that a close review of Terms and Conditions whispers “sameness”, Loyallist comes dressed to kill.

Multi-tender loyalty is indeed addressed through this new program structure, but the 50bp funding rate for purchases made in-store with anything other than designated charge or cobrand AmEx cards is pretty weak. For the Bloomingdale’s shopper with any sense of self selection, encouragement exists to earn higher rates, between 1-2% by shopping with Bloomingdale’s Loyallist Store Card, Bloomingdale’s Loyallist American Express Card, or Bloomingdale’s Reserve American Express Card.

Being a power shopper with Bloomingdale’s has its rewards as well. Shoppers who spend $3,500 in a calendar year become Reserve level members and can earn as much as those shopping with one of the AmEx cards, getting about 2% back on purchase.

Bloomingdale’s put in some good work to create the launch environment seen on the program website. Maybe they simply prefer a soft launch to a big bang, and I hope they give this program more press as time goes by. Considering the penchant for retailers to post 30-40% off sale signs in their windows and the attention daily deal sites have drawn from consumers as they offer 50% off deals, Bloomingdale’s needs to pump up the volume on this traditionally structured rewards program if it hopes to capture shopper attention.

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