AutoZone Rewards Program Review: A Loyalty Program on a Roll

AutoZone Rewards makes sure customers and their vehicles are in good hands. Here’s how the auto parts retailer’s loyalty program rolls.

The cover image for Antavo’s article reviewing the AutoZone Rewards Program

AutoZone has been committed to providing the best parts, prices and customer service since the beginning. The auto parts and services retailer is the go-to place for drivers who need a replacement, accessory or repairs. On top of that, the company wanted to provide its customers with a fast and easy way to get the most out of their purchases. So when creating their AutoZone Rewards Program, the aim was to make life easier not only for  true gearheads but for the average customer as well.

Membership Page – Let’s Get Rolling

Customers face no difficulties when it comes to finding AutoZone Rewards Program. They can sign up for the loyalty program immediately from the main page of the company’s website. The signup process is quite straightforward: on the membership page, customers immediately come across the enrollment button. They can check their membership status after signing in, see the different reward benefits the program has in store for them, and find out how to earn rewards. They can also see that there is a mobile app that helps them keep up with their rewards while they are on the road. They can also see how many more credits they need to earn until they receive rewards and read through frequently asked questions as well.

Once members log in to their account, they can view their profile, saved vehicles, and order history. Within the “My Vehicles” menu, customers can easily add cars to their account by entering a few details about them. AutoZone also provides members with suggested maintenance tasks, recall information and service history tracking. Members can even ask customer service their questions by phone or online.

Members can sign up for the loyalty program immediately upon accessing the AutoZone’s main page.
AutoZone displays current special deals on their main page every week, so customers don’t miss out on anything.

Enrollment – No Putting The Breaks On

Customers can join the AutoZone Rewards program by completing the application process at participating AutoZone locations or through the company’s website. When customers sign up for AutoZone’s loyalty program on the website, they are presented with two options besides signing in: “Join now” or “I signed up in-store”. Both of these options direct the member-to-be to the same landing page. Although customers might have signed up in-store earlier they still need to create an online account with their reward ID.

After signing up, customers receive a welcome email in their inbox and their digital membership card, which can be used when making all purchases. In order to ensure that members can easily track their vehicle’s service history and any warranties associated with their purchases, membership is non-transferable. But several memberships can be activated within a family.

AutoZone’s welcome email lets members know how they can earn credits right away.
The welcome email lets members know how they can start earning rewards right away.

Program Structure – Driving Customers Loyal 

The AutoZone Rewards program was established with loyal customers in mind. It is a free, transaction-based loyalty program that helps customers get more for buying the things they need. Within the traditional earn & burn loyalty program, members receive a credit every time they spend $20 or more. When they earn five credits within 12 months,  they receive an AutoZone Reward worth $20, which they can spend online, on the app, or in stores.customers receive a $20 reward when they spend $20 or more five times within 12 months at an AutoZone store or online. It’s that simple. Members also receive access to special offers such as additional savings, exclusive promos, and quick checkout. 

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In an earn & burn loyalty program, customers can acquire points that can be exchanged for rewards, through purchases. The simplicity of the program allows customers to get a hang of the system fast and start earning points.

AutoZone Rewards provide several different ways for customers to help them stay in the loop. The company sends emails and printed mailouts, packed with valuable information about the program and personalized offers.

All information regarding the member’s status is transparent and easy to understand.
All information regarding the member’s status is transparent and easy to understand.

Point Accrual – Loyalty Down the Road

The central benefit of AutoZone Rewards is that customers earn a credit when they spend $20 or more on a qualifying in-store or online purchase. All they need is their AutoZone Rewards ID, phone number, or digital card if shopping in-store. Members who shop on or through the app can either sign in to their account or enter their Rewards ID at checkout. Customers must provide their membership card or ID at the time of purchase in order to receive credits. From time to time AutoZone provides bonus credits in connection with certain transactions and/or promotions.

Customers can see the benefits and credits earned on the membership site immediately.
Members can redeem AutoZone Rewards in-store by looking up their membership ID, providing their phone number or scanning their digital card.

Rewards – The Driving Force of Loyalty

Besides the $20 reward, AutoZone’s membership program benefits include useful features that make members’ lives easier. Members can save their vehicles, track their service history and access thousands of repair guides for free. They also receive exclusive deals and customized offers. Members can redeem rewards at AutoZone retail stores by using their member card during a transaction. 

One of the reasons customers join a loyalty program is because they’re fun. Using a combination of humor and “real people” AutoZone did a great job building a community-based narrative around their loyalty program.

AutoZone Rewards members receive the same benefits no matter how much they spend. The company doesn’t segment their customer base and have no separate tiers for more frequent buyers. Also AutoZone’s loyalty program has two different expiration dates that members have to keep in mind related to their credits. Not only do credits expire one year from the date of issuance, AutoZone Rewards also expire in three months. This can result in frustration.

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Creating a tier-based program encourages members to spend and engage more to move up and receive more benefits. It can also keep customers interested over a longer period of time. Reaching a higher tier level feels like an achievement.

Mobile App – Get AutoZone on the Road

The AutoZone app makes taking care of vehicles and ordering the right parts and accessories easier. Customers can get the necessary parts fast with same-day store pick up or home delivery. They can also track their AutoZone Rewards balance and get information about their local store. Coupon codes and rewards can be easily linked to purchases within the app.

The AutoZone App makes taking care of vehicles and ordering the right parts and accessories easier.
By downloading the AutoZone app customers can easily access their AutoZone Rewards ID and balance.

Shop Referral Program – Put the Pedal to the Metal

With over 5 million customers, the company welcomes shoppers with varying levels of repair expertise. Many of those customers are in need of help. That’s why AutoZone created a referral program, besides their rewards program,  where they send their walk-in and online customers to participating qualified professionals. While providing customers with expert help they are also driving traffic to other workshop owners and contributing to the growth of their business.

The company could expand upon this idea and create a referral loyalty program. By encouraging members to refer the brand to family and friends by offering enticing benefits, a referral program would reduce the cost of acquiring new customers, and increase customer retention as well. Another area to augment their program would be with a recycling program. If the company rewarded its members for bringing back used and recyclable products, they would be incentivizing sustainable choices, creating an opportunity to increase store traffic & brand loyalty, and strengthening the emotional bond between brand and customer.

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Spice up your referral program by providing exciting rewards or extra discounts when members recommend your products to their friends. Or offer them points for writing reviews. Incentivize customer actions with your loyalty program and customers will do the advertising work for you.

Final Judgement

Although AutoZone has done a fantastic job of building a name for itself, they still have some work to do on their loyalty program. The value of the company’s loyalty program lies in being simple and easy to use. AutoZone Rewards is highly visible on their website, encouraging customers to click and find out more about participating. It seems to be truly helping customers in finding what they need and rewarding them when they spend. The “My Account” section of the rewards program is transparent and informative. Customers can easily acquire information about their available balance, the credits they’ve already earned, and how many credits they need for their next $20 reward.

One disadvantage of the loyalty program is the not-so-seamless signup process for in-store customers and the two types expiration dates that members have to remember. In addition, offering more than one type of reward or differentiating customers based on the amount they spend, using tiers, could make the program more appealing. Experiential rewards are another great way to engage customers outside the buying cycle and not only reward them for purchase. Finally, implementing gamified elements like surveys or quizzes are another way to make loyalty programs more fun and to give brands more information about customers’ personalities, preferences and interests.

Pros and cons of AutoZone’s rewards program

Need assistance in deciding which loyalty program is the best for your organization? Our experts are more than happy to discuss the possibilities. Feel free to include us in your RFP or contact us directly. 

Meanwhile, to get inspiration for your company’s own loyalty program, download our concept worksheet, which will help you explore the most important elements of loyalty programs and give you loads of handy ideas.

Headshot of Barbara Kekes-Szabo Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo

Barbara Kekes-Szabo

Barbara is a Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo and a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional - CLMP. She is also a writing expert with several years of experience in marketing and also in the information technology industry. In her free time she likes traveling the world, reading crime stories, and doing crossword puzzles.

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