DSW’s rewards program includes ‘emotional experiences’
DSW Inc., the off-price shoe chain, launched its first tiered rewards program, packed with “compelling benefits and emotional experiences” to make it seem like it’s less about saving money.
“This program will go beyond the point for transaction model,” said Roger Rawlins, CEO, on DSW’s fourth-quarter conference call.
The DSW VIP program consists of three tiers: Club (free to join), Gold ($200 annual spend) and Elite ($500 annual spend).
A core element of the program remains the typical “the more you buy, the more points” incentive of most programs. Club and Gold get one point for every $1.00 spent. Elite get two points for every $1.00 spent. Members get a $5 reward for every 100 points they accumulate, basically equaling to a five percent discount on purchases.
However, there are a number of aspects that take the program beyond the points-for-purchase formula:
- In-store shoe donations: Members from all three tiers can earn 50 points for donating a shoe. The shoes benefit Soles4Souls, which distributes shoes to those in need throughout the world.
- Birthday gift: Club and Gold members get a $5.00 gift card on their birthday and Elite, a $10 card.
- Birthday gifting: Gold and Elite members can give two $5 birthday rewards to friends.
- Points events: Gold and Elite members get two 2X points days each year, meaning double-points on every purchase for the entire day. Elite members also get one 3x point day each year.
- Shipping: Club and Gold members earn free ground shipping and elite free two-day shipping. Free shipping to all customers is offered for purchases over $35.
- Returns: Free returns are offered to Gold members with 60 days and Elite within 365 days.
- Early Access: Gold and Elite members are the “first to know about special promotions, events, announcements, and free (yes, FREE) stuff.”
- Manicures/shoe repairs: A new store design rolled out last year includes services such as shoe repair and nail salon. The services are expected to be linked to rewards as they’re rolled out to additional locations with a two-way benefit. For instance, members getting their nails done may get a shoes discount.
- Survey Reveals DSW’s New VIP Rewards Program Caters To Women’s Deepest Shoe Shopping Desires – DSW/PR Newswire
- DSW VIP – DSW
- DSW VIP – YouTube
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Has DSW succeeded in designing a rewards program that is less transactional? What unique aspects of the program seems most beneficial? Are there any other non-transactional behaviors DSW can tap?