Welcome to the weekly roundup: a culmination of news, ideas and learnings from the SessionM world.

Quote of the week:

“There’s a real emphasis now at J.Crew on personalized engagement versus just site-wide promotion”. - Adam Brotman. President and Chief Experience Officer at J.Crew.

Why ‘Below the Line’ loyalty matters

Many loyalty and rewards programs revolve around a list of published benefits. However, according to SessionM VP of Client Strategy Paul Costello, this strategy rarely increases revenue. Take Subway for instance, the sandwich shop shelved their “punch card” approach when it failed to deliver any incremental lift in customer behavior. What can companies do instead to improve their loyalty program strategy? Rather than focusing on published benefits, make sure to implement below the line tactics such as personalized product recommendations, tailored offers, rewarding purchase challenges, etc. Learn more in our new blog post.

Starbucks is still the gold standard in loyalty

Starbucks was the early leader among restaurants and coffee shops for mobile ordering and loyalty options, while competitors appear to be catching up, Starbucks certainly remains the golden standard. According to GeekWire Starbucks added 6 million “digitally-registered customers” since March.  The increased membership fueled a 40% increase in U.S. sales (Marketing Dive). Spend per member also increased, which affirms their blend of published and unpublished benefits is leading consumers to spend more and more often.

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CDPs are hot right now

At least seven Customer Data Platforms have now struck deals with investors since April, including SessionM! The number of CDPs has also doubled from 2017 to 2018. eMarketer dives into how GDPR curiosity has been a contributing factor to the rise in popularity of CDPs in this article.

J.Crew launches a loyalty program

J.Crew has felt the impact of one-size-fits-all offers harshly in their bottom line. Through years of positive reinforcement, customers of the brand are trained to wait for the next 40% off sale, no matter if they’re loyal or casual customers. As we’ve noted before, discounting to people willing and accustomed to paying full-price is unwise. It's margin eroding. J.Crew is taking the correct steps to right the ship. With an improved personalization strategy and an emphasis on motivating high value customer behaviors it’s much more likely they’ll be able to turn performance around. This article from Fortune takes a closer look at their new loyalty program, and their strategy moving forward.

The California Consumer Privacy Act is a work in progress

According to SessionM General Counsel and VP of Global Privacy Andy Dale, "Right now, many of the provisions and definitions conflict with one another. The law becomes effective in 2020, so expect amendments between now and implementation -- but the core tenets and rights are likely to remain.” Learn more in this article from CSO.  

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