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Macy’s, American Eagle, DSW Incentivize Shoppers With New Loyalty Programs

Keeping shoppers happy is at the top of every retail CEO’s to do list. It’s the reason they’re overhauling stores, personalizing marketing messages and increasingly, revamping their loyalty programs.

Macy’s, DSW and American Eagle Outfitters are all taking a second look at how they reward shoppers, with an emphasis on driving loyalty through perks and experiences.

In addition to overhauling its stores, the DSW chain will also introduce a new and improved loyalty program next year, which will “go beyond points, and tie back to our mission of inspiring self-expression,” according to COO Michele Love. Among the benefits the company is considering are shoe rental services, shoe repair and a charitable tie-in.

The new DSW loyalty scheme will break its 25 million strong database into tiers, rewarding the most engaged consumers.

Building engagement is also a key goal for American Eagle, which transitioned its 16 million rewards members to AEO Connected, the company’s new loyalty program. Not only does it reward the best customers, it also encourages them to spend more in American Eagle and Aerie’s key product categories. Among the benefits are access to concerts and special events, plus AEO Connected members receive additional perks for purchases on jeans and bras.

“The new platform provides flexibility to evolve with the changing needs of our customers and supports upgraded features such as greater personalization, enabling us to provide a truly special customer experience,” Kyle Andrew, American Eagle Outfitters chief marketing officer.

[Read more about why retailers are focused on loyalty now: Retailers Find That Loyalty Programs Make Dollars and Sense]

Next week, Macy’s will debut its new Star Rewards program, a tiered system that doles out benefits to customers based on how much they spend using the store’s credit card each year.

Shoppers who spend at least $1,200 a year at Macy’s will receive platinum colored credit card, the ability to select one day in which they receive 25 percent off all purchases with free shipping, and 5 percent cash back on every purchase.

At the gold level, which includes those who spend between $500 and $1,199 a year, customers receive the same 25 percent off perk with free shipping. For silver shoppers, or those who spend up to $499, the 25 percent off day isn’t combined with free shipping.

The company plans to roll out more incentives next year, including access to exclusive experiences.

“Loyalty is a foundational element of our North Star Strategy, and stronger relationships increase the lifetime value of our customers,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s, Inc. chief executive officer. “We are providing what matters most to her–an enhanced experience both in store and online, edited and elevated products, compelling value and an excellent loyalty offering.”

Macy’s has said the new program, which has been in the works for almost a year, is designed to motivate a change in customer behavior.

Currently 38 percent of the department store’s customers shop there just three times a year and spend about $246. At the next level are the 13 percent who visit nine times a year and spend $574. At the top of the customer pyramid are the 9 percent of shoppers who shop the retailer 18 times a year and spend $2,010. Those customers comprise 46 percent of the store’s sales.

The goal is to get more people to that top tier.

While the perks each of these retailers is offering are beneficial for shoppers, the beefed up programs will also make it easier for the stores to amass more customer data, a valuable asset if used effectively.

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