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Since our previous blog piece where DataLab congratulated the winners of the Loyalty Magazine Awards 2018, we wanted to highlight some of the category winners that stood out for us. These first two entries are from the category of “Best Customer Experience” and a single winner for both categories of “Best Loyalty Program of the Year – Non-Food Retail” and “Regional Loyalty Champions of the Year – West Europe”. Read on to find out what we like about their customer loyalty programs.

Category: Best Customer Experience
Winner: Marks & Spencer / InMoment– Leveraging Customer Stories

Marks & Spencer´s customer experience program has gone through a complete overhaul since Steve Rowe took over as Chief Executive Officer in April 2016, to ensure that the customer is placed at the heart of every strategic decision the retailer takes. This includes a focus on the way it connects with and listens to its customers.

What we like about the program:  its ability to utilize data from customer feedback and its capacity to capture the nuances of individual operating cultures.

Over 300,000 pieces of customer feedback were received during M&S´s Voice of Customer (VoC) program in the first year alone. A web-based survey on customers’ receipts features both structured and open-ended stimuli for customers to respond and responses are incentivized in the form of prize draws and bounce-back discounts. Survey results give the retailer invaluable data to assist it in uncovering trends, differentiators, and opportunities for improvement. The program´s ability to adapt to the international nature of M&S´s business is also impressive. Localized survey questions are translated into 20 relevant languages and the data received is fed back to the individual markets, creating a strong sense of data ownership that motivates a desire for further growth.


Category: Best Loyalty Program of the Year – Non-Food Retail and Regional Loyalty Champions of the Year – West Europe
Winner: Pets at Home / GI Insight and Havas Helia – VIP Club – More segmented, more personalized, more loyalty

Pets at Home is an extremely successful pet supply retailer in the United Kingdom. Its VIP Club program was launched in 2012. Using customer insights and combining it with multi-channel behavior, the VIP Club program has helped to drive customer loyalty, to improve marketing efforts and to enhance cross shopping across channels and services. To date, nearly 60% of all pet owners in the UK are part of this program. Membership benefits include highly tailored offers for owners and their pets as well as news and tips for pet owners, made possible through customer insights. The YoY figures show a 20% increase in membership, with 6 million registered members and 6% active.

What we like about the program: its ability to create a relevant and personalized proposition for pet owners

Not only does the retailer address its VIP members, it also address their pets. Their personalized postal mailings include both the owner´s and the pet´s names in the text. This personal touch creates more intimate brand-customer relationships and enhances real customer loyalty.

Pets at Home also recognizes its customers’ love for animals and facilitates it through its VIP Club. Whenever a customer swipes the VIP card, they collect virtual credits called Lifelines which are translated into cash donations for an animal charity of their choice. This form of pet-centric and charity-centric communication makes the brand highly relatable to customers and creates a sense of social responsibility that contributes to a higher customer retention rate.


We will be highlighting the rest of the entries in the next blog pieces.