The news: Barnes & Noble is overhauling its membership program by expanding the perks it offers premium members and launching a free, lower-tier option.
The bookseller has been on an upward trajectory as of late thanks to its renewed focus on selling books rather than “gift-y and impulse-buy non-book product mix,” as well as the company allowing individual stores to function more like local shops, per Fast Company. Barnes & Noble aims to bolster that momentum by revamping the membership program to increase purchase frequency and gather data from a broader swath of customers.
A proven playbook: The new Barnes & Noble program replaces a previous $25-per-year offering that included free shipping and discounts for in-store purchases but not online orders.
Rewards programs drive results: Inflation has made consumers more cost-conscious, which is why 50% of US consumers say loyalty programs are more important than ever, per LendingTree’s June 2022 survey.
Analyst take: “This loyalty program revamp is a smart move that can help build on Barnes & Noble's newfound momentum,” said Sky Canaves, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “The value of the benefits in the paid membership tier will allow it to pay for itself, which will appeal to current loyalty members, while the free tier can serve as a gateway that will drive customer loyalty through improved personalization.”
Go further: Read our Retail Loyalty Programs report.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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