Loyalty360 Reads: December 18 | United’s MileagePlus Honored, Caribou Coffee Revamps Loyalty Program, and More

Loyalty / Rewards Program
United Airlines’ MileagePlus Named Best Overall Airline Loyalty Program for 16th Year
Global Traveler readers have named United Airlines' MileagePlus program the Best Overall Frequent Flyer program for the 16th consecutive year. Global Traveler is a monthly publication with an audience of more than half a million business and luxury travelers who vote in the Global Traveler Reader Survey to determine this award. MileagePlus has earned the top spot for loyalty programs since the survey's first year in 2004. Readers also voted MileagePlus Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program for the seventh straight year. Additionally, the MileagePlus Club Card from Chase was voted Best Overall Credit Card Program and Best Credit Card Rewards Program for the eighth consecutive year. The United Explorer Card from Chase was named Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemptions as well.
Caribou Coffee boosts ROI with revamped loyalty program
Caribou Coffee boosted its loyalty program after switching to a points-based program, per an announcement from software vendor Paytronix. The coffee chain saw its incremental sales return on investment (ROI) rise 150 percent this year from 2018, while its redemptions improved 215 percent after revamping Caribou Perks during a summer promotion. Caribou also improved the efficiency of the loyalty program by lowering the amount of discounts offered by 10 percent. The company relied on Paytronix's custom likelihood-to-visit scoring tool to improve incremental visits and sales.
Donating Points And Miles To Charity Around The Holidays
If you have some extra rewards points and miles this holiday season, you could use them to do some good by donating them to charity. Giving miles is an easy way to support charities that need to travel often, while donating hotel rewards points can help provide a place to stay for the sick who need to travel to get treatment. Giving overall rewards points from more general rewards programs often can do all this and more. If you are interested in seeing how your points and miles can serve someone else, check out these options for donating them to charity. 
Boot Barn taps kiosks to deliver ‘infinite aisle’
Boot Barn, a retailer with 248 stores in 33 states, is using interactive kiosks to offer an “infinite aisle,” which gives customers the opportunity to browse more than 8,000 styles in its inventory. While the brand, which specializes in western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and kids, has seen its e-commerce business grow from approximately $4 million in sales in 2010 to more than $125 million this year, in-store sales still account for 83 percent of all sales. “Having an endless aisle of merchandise available in our stores via the kiosks allows our customers to find what they are looking for, regardless of whether it is physically available in our store or available online through our kiosks,” John Hazen, chief digital officer, told Kiosk Marketplace.
Amazon Blocks Sellers From Using FedEx Ground for Prime Shipments
Amazon is preventing its third-party sellers from using FedEx’s ground delivery for Prime shipments, citing a decline in performance heading into the last stretch of the holiday shopping season. The ban on using FedEx’s Ground and Home services will last “until the delivery performance of these ship methods improves,” according to an email Amazon sent Sunday to merchants that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Amazon has stopped using FedEx for its own deliveries in the U.S., but third-party merchants had still been able to use FedEx. Such sellers now account for more than half of the merchandise sold on Amazon’s website, including many items listed as eligible for Prime.

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