Hibbett Sports, a sporting goods retailer founded in 1945 in Birmingham, Alabama, relaunched its loyalty program about six months ago after company officials realized they needed to redesign the program.

The voice of the customer and the voice of store associates formed the foundation of the redesign for Hibbett Sports, which operates more than 1,000 stores in 33 states.

Hibbett Sports CEO Jeffery Rosenthal noted the loyalty program’s improvement during the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Friday.

“Ongoing marketing initiatives to-date gained traffic and increased loyalty members and the strength of our site navigation and product assortment,” he said. “We are speaking to our customers more frequently than ever. The acquisitions of new customers and the reengagement of existing customers remain critical to our success. Rewards have jumped from 46 percent last year to 57 percent of total sales this year. Revenue from Rewards members increased 24 percent year-over-year, and from those customers, we had 19 percent more transactions.”

In the past 90 days, Rosenthal noted, “we have had a 25 percent increase year-over-year in the number of people joining the program versus a negative 10 percent before we re-launched the program. We have also improved our conversion rates with our Save the Sale program by helping our customers find a size from any store at any time. Our store associates have done an outstanding job helping us execute all new systems and embrace our new omnichannel capabilities.”

Rosenthal credited the team that “continues to work extremely hard to ensure that our customers have the greatest service and the capabilities of purchasing products both in-store and online. All of this would not be happening without the dedication of all associates and their expertise, knowledge, teamwork, and extended hours.”

Sarah Sharp-Wangaard, VP of Marketing at Hibbett Sports, talked to Loyalty360 in September about the redesigned loyalty program.

“We analyzed several key performance indicators that signified the program needed a refresh with enhancements and some strategy shifts to align the program with the customer,” Sharp-Wangaard said. “We were starting to see a loss of engagement as one-time buyers started to rise and reward redemption rates decreased. The redesign process brought a range new benefits to the customer and also an elevated tier with additional benefits to our best customers.”

Engagement is the main goal of the program.

“We needed to educate our customers on the value of the new program, not only for rewards but also for the range of additional benefits the program offers,” Sharp-Wangaard added. “It’s paramount for customers to understand the new program and its value for it to be successful. We definitely see that customers are always evolving and their expectations are always changing. For loyalty, it means a constant adaptation and we always need to keep a pulse on what our customers are experiencing not only in our stores but in competitors. The redesign of our program was one way we could adapt to our customer and provide a better experience. We are still early in the relaunch, but early indicators are all very positive. We have seen redemption rates increase exponentially. We have also launched our e-commerce platform which has been a great impact, not only for the business but for the Hibbett Rewards Program.”

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