Bed Bath & Beyond+ Is Not A Loyalty Program, So Can It Generate Loyalty?

juillet 27, 2018


Beyond what?

This could be the question for Bed Bath & Beyond after announcing its Beyond+ app-based membership program. The initiative, in beta testing, gives subscribers 20% off of every purchase, as well as free standard shipping, for an annual fee of $29. Heck, that beats Amazon Prime’s $119 fee. But Beyond that, it’s yet to be determined what Beyond+ delivers for shoppers other than freedom from carrying coupons.

And what of those coupons? Will they continue? Bed Bath & Beyond declined to respond to questions about how its coupons will fit into the program and how it plans to use data collected through Beyond+. However, its quarterly report does include several references to improving customer data integration.

This makes sense. Ultimately, today’s consumer is often looking for something that says, “You really understand me and my interests.” The more data gathered on the customer, then the more personalized the engagement strategy can become. Bed Bath & Beyond will gather some shopper information through email and billing addresses as well as the Beyond+ app. Ideally, it can be integrated with its Mastercard data (meaning coupon shoppers pay with their Beyond credit card).

The Coupon Question

Bed Bath & Beyond announced Beyond+ shortly after posting a decline in same-store sales for the first quarter, attributed in part to a reduction in its coupon redemptions. Its earnings outperformed estimates, but the same coupon expenses reduced its gross margins.

Enter Beyond+, a discount that does not require the expense of mailing or printing. The key benefit of the program for members, compared with its coupons, is that the 20% discount applies to every item purchased, whereas the coupon discount applies to just one item.

Members access the discount in the “My Offers” section of the Beyond+ website or app. Nonmembers who register online to get Bed Bath & Beyond coupons receive them via email along with perks such as invitations to store events and first looks at new products. We assume those who enroll in Beyond+ get the same perks.

Beyond+ members also get the benefit of added ease, said Roman Martynenko, founder of the digital commerce agency Astound Commerce.

“A merchant’s goal should be to meet customers’ expectations of a seamless, efficient experience,” Martynenko wrote in an email. “The Beyond+ program can accomplish this by eliminating the need to carry coupons around and allowing the customer to use the savings how and when they want in whatever channel is most convenient for them.”

Beyond+ also eliminates costs for Bed Bath & Beyond, while adding a new revenue stream. However, shoppers only need to spend $150 a year to cover the $29 fee, which could translate to squeezed margins.

The Emotional Equation

Still, the perks and savings might not be enough to elevate the shopper experience to emotional loyalty — meaning shoppers would choose Bed Bath & Beyond because they love it; not just because they’ve been conditioned to expect a discount.

“These and other investments are expected to, among other things, provide a seamless and compelling customer experience across the company’s omnichannel retail platform,” it stated.

As for the data collected, those who register for Beyond+ provide a billing and email address, through which they receive offers that are always available to redeem. And there’s the app, which likely has GPS capabilities to track shopper location. When using the discounts in store, the member taps into the app, chooses the discount and shows it to the cashier.

According to the Beyond+ launch page, the 20% discount is always available, assuming of course that Bed Bath & Beyond is always available. The retailer earlier in July said it may close up to 40 locations this year. This, and the failure to actually use the program benefits, are the risks inherent in any membership program, as many gym enrollees can confirm.

Beyond that, it’s likely Bed Bath & Beyond is hoping its prepaid program, combined with the benefits of its credit card rewards program, renews shopper interest in the chain.



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loyalty program