Last month, Kohl’s began piloting Kohl’s Rewards, a new rewards platform that unifies its existing loyalty programs, Kohl’s Charge, Yes2You Rewards and Kohl’s Cash coupons, all based in Kohl’s Cash.

The impetus for the new program, now testing in eight markets, is to deliver a simpler, more convenient experience and drive greater value for customers, the retailer says.  For customers enrolled in the program, Kohl’s Rewards promises the ability to earn 5% Kohl’s Cash every day, on every purchase – a value that doubles if customers use their Kohl’s Charge. Combined traditional sale events and new tools for customers to track rewards, Kohl’s is hoping the new program will help the brand build deeper relationships with customers and grow its customer base.

Greg Revelle, CMO at Kohl’s, recently sat down with Loyalty360 to discuss the ideas behind Kohl’s Rewards.

“There’s a couple. We’ve had several rewards assets. We’ve had our Kohl’s Charge program, which is enormously successful for us. About 60 percent of our sales comes from the program, which is very high in the retail sector. We have Kohl’s Cash, which originally started as a bounce back program, but is now a huge asset to the brand. The third is the Yes2You Rewards Program, which we created as a non-tender driven rewards program, particularly for onboarding new customers and helping them into the brand. When you put them all together, they each have important parts to them.

What we’ve found, as we’ve talked to customers, is that those three together can be complex. It is a lot to explain to new customers coming into the brand. We started from the tenant of simplifying it in a way that our existing customers would love and make it easier to get value from Kohl’s. Even more importantly, making it easier for us to attract new customers and bring them up the loyalty ladder with us and deepen those relationships more quickly than we’ve done in the past.”

The simplification process for the brand can be broken down into three parts, according to Revelle.

“The way we’ve approach the new platform is through simplification. We will eliminate our Yes2You Program, which was a points based program. The second thing we are doing is adding value both for non-charge holders and our Kohl’s Charge cardholders. For the first time, we are going to invite our non-charge customers into additional sales events that have been in the past exclusive to charge holders. The last part is to enrich the rewards themselves. We believe with a 10 percent Kohl’s Cash back on our credit card purchase, we will have an industry leading rewards program, certainly in retail, and as we look across the space we think anywhere.”

For Revelle and the Kohl’s team, customer loyalty is a company-wide benchmark that allows them to determine their brand performance.

“We want to be a very engaging retailer. Our purpose is to empower families to lead fulfilled lives, and we look at customer loyalty as a benchmark for how well we are doing that. Our loyalty metrics are outstanding. Once customers come into the Kohl’s brand, they tend to stay with the brand. It is very much so weaved into the fabric of who we are.”

Uniquely, Kohl’s new program is more so about their own customers than competitive advantage.

“We don’t look at this from a competitive standpoint. We look at our existing customer base and we aspire to be their destination for apparel, footwear, and home. With this program we are creating a strong pool for our customers to spend more of their retail dollars with us. At the end of the day, we want to give customers greater reasons to shop with Kohl’s. We think this program will help us do that.”

Kohl’s intends to roll out some iteration of the Kohl’s Rewards program nationwide in 2019.

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