Enhancing the Pet Parent Experience Through Personalized Engagement
As a leading pet supplier retailer in the US, this client prides itself on its strong connection to the communities in which it operates, and it has also won outstanding retailer awards in the past. In addition to selling the most popular pet products, it also offers dog grooming and wellness check services, curbside pickup, a pet pharmacy, and delivery in most locations.
The client operated two separate loyalty programs in tandem and, while both were popular, the setup confused both customers and employees alike. Combining both into one program and improving upon its offerings would enhance the customer experience. The client turned to Concentrix Catalyst, with our storied experience in the retail sector and loyalty program best practices, to help bring this vision to fruition.
One goal of the program refresh was to help alleviate the cost burden of owning a pet for the customer. Proprietary research told us that customers want discounts, but it’s not the only thing. We also considered what else a brand can do for members that is meaningful and helpful and delivers value in their day-to-day lives. These benefits make members feel like they’re a part of something bigger, and this sense of belonging is what members seek out when joining a loyalty program.
Catalyst loyalty experts began the engagement with detailed customer and competitive research to understand the gaps and opportunities. Catalyst conducted one-on-one stakeholder interviews and hosted interactive workshops with the client’s executives to identify the goals and objectives of the program. Throughout the engagement, the team leveraged loyalty best practices to ensure the program design adhered to industry standards. As a unique program requirement, the client wanted to include vendor and franchise partners as key stakeholders in the program’s design. Throughout the process, the Catalyst team collaborated with these partners to design a program that would benefit vendor partners and franchises equally.
The new program design, a points-based program, came about through primary customer research. It was designed to ladder up to the client’s long-term strategic business goals, which were inclusive of its franchise expansion plans, and reflective of its strong vendor relationship strategy.
Personalization was another key component to the program redesign, and one that resonated with vendors and franchise owners alike. Instead of sending blast offers, now they could send targeted offers to specific pet owners with unique characteristics. In addition, members would receive personalized content on their member dashboard—a key component of the program’s digital experience. Articles and videos specific to a pet parent’s pet type give members meaningful information and make them feel like they’re seen and appreciated. And, it helps them be a better pet parent—while helping to build trust and an emotional connection to the brand in a way that a $5 coupon cannot.
The client experienced significant staff turnover during the engagement, but Catalyst team members owned the project from start to finish and ensured an on time and on budget launch.
Despite the hurdles, the loyalty program launched nationwide on time in all the client’s franchised stores and online.
New program benefits included:
- 5 points for every $1 spent, which can be redeemed for rewards on future purchases
- The ability to accrue bonus points by taking polls and surveys
- Free products from select brands with qualifying purchases
- A gift on each pet’s birthday
- Early and exclusive access to events and giveaways
- The ability to donate points to support animal shelters or charities
- Personalized content on the program’s membership dashboard
The charitable donation benefit, especially when it comes to animals, is a major plus. Many retail brands offer a benefit like this, yet few execute it in as meaningful a way as this client. In addition to scoring highly in initial customer research, it was something the client was doing in small doses already, so expanding it added to the ease of implementation and garners more credit back to the brand. Collectively, these benefits deliver a spectrum of value to members—monetary, charitable, personalized, and fun, which are holistically about the experience we try to drive for the loyalty program. We don’t want it to just hit one note of coupon, coupon, coupon. The experience should deliver several different types of value to the customer.