Harvey Nichols, the fourth biggest luxury goods retailer in the UK by retail sales value, has launched a state-of-the-art loyalty app that will reward customers for every pound they spend in its stores, its online platforms or in any of the brand’s upmarket bars and restaurants (including the famous OXO Tower on London’s South Bank).
Rewards will range from Champagne dinners to Botox and luxury massages. “We want to give our customers more than just pennies for points”, says Shadi Halliwell, Group Marketing and Creative Director at Harvey Nichols. The rewards are more luxurious than most loyalty schemes on the market, but the rationale behind the strategy is the same. It is about driving up sales.
Loyalty programmes and luxury goods are not obvious bedfellows, but there are a number of reasons why this type of scheme could soon become the norm. Firstly, money saving and deal culture has gripped UK retailing for some years. Luxury retailers have kept their distance for fear of diminishing their cachet, but this has not stopped a torrent of heavy discounting across the industry. Secondly, apps are at the forefront of retail digital innovation and are identified as key to attracting “internet junky” millennials. Thirdly, the UK’s luxury retail market has never been more competitive, so coming up with clever ways to attract customers is a key battleground.