I was very excited to hear that Target is ready to roll out its loyalty program nationwide https://circle.target.com/ after a trial in select U.S. markets. This is one of the largest retailers in the U.S. whose sales are still heading in the right direction while so many others in retail – bricks & mortar especially – are struggling and far too many are shuttering their doors every year.
While test results in trial markets were favorable – over two million consumers enrolled in the program accounting for 14 million transactions in the first 18 months – the real proof will be in how the organization is able to not only retain diehard Target shoppers, but attract non-Target-loyalists.
The summary of the program:
- Members earn 1% back and can cash this out on future purchases
- REDcard holders will continue to earn 5% back
- Members will receive personalized deals such as $5 discounts on birthdays and early access to sales
- Members can vote on community charity initiatives
The 5% back for REDcard holders is a strong value exchange and the other elements round out the program economics. It’s unclear if there will be other elements to the program but here are a few other considerations for Target to evolve it to be even more well-rounded:
- Issue Points for Digital Engagement: While issuing points for purchases needs to constitute 95% of the points economy in a loyalty program, there is so much additional value to get customers to interact with the brand on social media (IG, FB, TW, YT), not to mention surveying them through the app to learn more about them beyond the purchase data Target gets directly at POS.
- In Store / In App Targeting: Geofencing and other ways to engage customers through the app while walking around a store has also come a long way and there are so many opportunities to intercept them on their shopping trips to make recommendations, encouraging them to make purchases based on their previous purchase behaviors (or lack thereof).
- Include Starbucks On Premise Purchases: Another simple but effective way to extend the reach of Target Circle is to include Starbucks, which has a shop on location at many Target stores. Providing Target Circle points to members who also purchase coffee and goodies at these Starbucks locations is a great added benefit that not only strengthens the bond with customers, but also with a strong partner. For several years, Starbucks has leveraged Snipp to allow their rewards members to earn stars for purchases outside of their locations, such as Walmart, grocery and … you guessed it … Target! Target could easily do the reciprocal leveraging SnippCheck, our award-winning transaction validation system that hundreds of brands and millions of shoppers use to submit their purchases to earn rewards and points in loyalty programs. Allow Target shoppers to snap a photo of their Starbucks receipt; Snipp validates that it was a purchase made at a location inside a Target store; and voila! … shoppers earn more Target Circle points!
I want Target to win. I want retailers to win. I hope that we see some progressive elements to Target Circle given the fierce competition in the retail landscape and the evolution of innovative technologies that are permeating the consumer world today.
VP of Sales and Business Development, Snipp Interactive