Friday, March 27, 2009

Loyalty programs-if you're going to shop, then make sure you're rewarded for it.

This week, I found $10 in my mailbox.

Okay, not exactly--but close. I'd earned another reward certificate from DSW Shoes, good for $10 off any purchase, no minimum purchase required. I shop their sales--which are good--and try to shop only on double- or triple-point days. It doesn't take long to rack up the 1,500 points needed for a reward certificate; you get 10 points for every dollar spent, and if you're getting double or triple points, the points add up in no time.

In addition to the reward certificates, I routinely get email offers for discounts or free shipping, and postcards in the mail for percentages or dollar discounts (the best was a $20 off a $50 minimum purchase back in November). Needless to say, I'm going to do most of my shoe shopping at DSW with payoffs like that. The price range is broad--budget lines as well as designer lines--and their clearance racks are always good for a bargain find or two.

There's no cost to sign up--you get those deals in exchange for your address and the data they keep on your shopping habits (which helps them market what moves, what their customers want--so this helps you in the long run, too).

More and more retailers, both online and in real life, are offering loyalty programs like this. It allows them to build valuable demographic data to improve their marketing and sales, and builds a regular--loyal--customer base. Most of the loyalty programs are free, and you should sign up for every one of them you can find. Even if it takes you a long time to accumulate rewards, you'll still get valuable offers and discounts along the way, which all add up to saving you money. A few loyalty programs have a small fee, and I'll write more about those in a few days. Some of them are worth it, some aren't. But with the free programs, it's a total win for you. You may have a few more wallet cards or key fobs to carry around with you, but that's a small inconvenience when you consider the money those programs will save you.

1 comment:

  1. True! I also shop a lot on stores with loyalty programs. Shopping is more fun especially when you're using your points. I just love getting discounts!