Kohl's revamps rewards program with a mobile and digital emphasis
Kohl's, in an effort to simplify its rewards program and increase participation among members, is launching a new initiative that trades points for cash and combines elements of its credit card, sales events and Yes2You Rewards.
The program, simply called Kohl's Rewards, was tested in eight markets and roughly 100 stores in late May, said Greg Revelle, chief marketing officer at Kohl's.
All Kohl's Yes2You members and Kohl's Charge holders in those markets will automatically be enrolled in the new program.
"Our hope is that the new Kohl's Rewards program will allow us to do three things: connect with new customers in a different way, deepen the relationship with customers and simplify Kohl's value proposition," Revelle said.
Key among the new program's features is it only rewards Kohl's Cash — no more points. Members will earn 5 percent in Kohl's Cash for every purchase they make, or 10 percent on every purchase if they use the Kohl's Charge. Additionally, members will receive $10 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent during special "Cash Bonus” events.
Other features of the program include:
- Kohl's Cash will be tracked with a single barcode in store, online and on the Kohl's app.
- Kohl's will alert members when it is time to redeem, as redemption windows will vary.
- Members will have access to exclusive events featuring 30 percent, 20 percent or 15 percent off.
- Elite members (charge customers who spend $600 or more in a calendar year) will receive free standard shipping when using their Kohl's Charge and receive early access to Black Friday deals.
Revelle took some time to tell me what the program means to Kohl's shoppers. Excerpts follow.
Pearson: If I am a Kohl's Yes2You member, how will my membership experience change?
Revelle: We're making customers' loyalty experience simpler and richer. We're doing away with Yes2You points and giving customers more of what they have told us they love — Kohl's Cash, which is unique to the Kohl's brand. Every member will have the opportunity to earn more Kohl's Cash every day and save more often. Additionally, we are introducing new tools, including mobile, digital, email and even personal reminders from associates at checkout, to ensure they never miss an opportunity to redeem the Kohl's Cash they've earned.
Pearson: What triggered the change?
Revelle: We have an incredibly loyal customer base who know us for our three existing rewards programs — Kohl's Charge, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of our tender; Yes2You Rewards, with 30 million active members; and our Kohl's Cash benefit, which is used by millions of customers each year. But we know maximizing all of the value offerings can be complex, so we saw an opportunity to unify all three rewards programs into a single, easy-to-use rewards platform.
Pearson: What have your shoppers told you they want in a program?
Revelle: Customers have told us they want Kohl's to simplify their experience with our loyalty program, enhance the benefits they receive, and track their rewards for them. And of course they have told us they want more Kohl's Cash.
Pearson: Shoppers do expect more simplicity. Will Kohl's Rewards require members to hold a membership card, or pay with the Kohl's credit card?
Revelle: No, customers just need an email address, phone number and ZIP code to join the Kohl's Rewards pilot. If you don't have a Kohl's Charge card, you'll still earn 5 percent Kohl's Cash on every purchase, $10 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent during our Kohl's Cash Bonus events, plus 30 percent, 20% or 15 percent off during exclusive savings events throughout the year.
Pearson: In what eight markets is Kohl's Rewards going to be tested?
Revelle: Phoenix, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Buffalo and Rochester, New York; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Pearson: When will the program roll out nationally?
Revelle: We intend to roll out some version of the new program to all our stores nationwide in 2019.
Pearson: What becomes of the Kohl's points members are holding?
Revelle: Yes2You Rewards members' current points will convert to Kohl's Cash with the launch of Kohl's Rewards in the eight pilot markets. Any Yes2You Reward certificates issued by May 1 will still be valid according to the dates on the certificate.
Pearson: How will member data be used?
Revelle: We will leverage Kohl's Rewards pilot member data to provide them an easier and more personal loyalty experience. For example, we'll track Kohl's Cash for members and remind them when they have Kohl's Cash available to use in-store and online. We'll also be delivering personalized recognition and exclusive benefits for our members based on their status level in Kohl's Rewards.
Pearson: If I am not a rewards member, will I still have access to Kohl's Cash events?
Revelle: Yes, all Kohl's customers will be able to earn Kohl's Cash during our Kohl's Cash Bonus Events ($10 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent).
Bryan Pearson Bryan Pearson is President and CEO of LoyaltyOne Inc. and the author of the best-selling book The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy. www