New Loyalty Program Modifications Hit, Giving Stores New Edge

July 14, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Good news for Office Depot and J.C. Penney customers recently hit as both firms announced some changes to current loyalty programs that should result in more savings and an improved customer experience.

First, J.C. Penney stepped up its program by adding a new feature that allowed loyalty points to roll over from one month to the next, giving users more choice about when loyalty points are used. Penney upgraded its app to bring this into place, and was at last report done largely in a bid to match the terms of Kohl’s operating program.

Essentially, as Penney vice president of loyalty and customer relationship management Sherina Smith noted, “Customers didn’t like having a limit on how many $10 rewards they [could] earn, or that points expired. That’s not a way to drive loyalty.” That line would probably spark derision if it weren’t true, and if Penney wasn’t doing something about it.

Meanwhile, Office Depot got similar upgrades, putting in what amounted to a card-free rewards program that’s built directly into the Office Depot mobile app. Customers now earn a flat two percent on every purchase, and rewards can be used in any Office Depot or OfficeMax location, including online stores. There’s even a new “members only” program that opens up personalized offers, and those who post online product reviews can get that same $2 rewards credit.

Since loyalty programs are often a major component of mobile payment systems—the one tracks the other and makes it easier to access the produce—it’s worth checking these points out. In this case, both rewards programs came with augmented apps, and go a long way toward showing us all what it takes to succeed these days. People want rewards for shopping routinely with certain businesses, and Office Depot and J.C. Penney—both stores that have had a lot of trouble keeping brick-and-mortar business up and running of late—are demonstrating that the rewards program can be a great way to bolster sales.

Done right, the loyalty program is a great way to keep current customers and even pull in new ones with the promise of rewards. Office Depot and J.C. Penney are clearly working hard to stay on the “done right” side of that equation.