For H&M, global fashion retailer, inclusive and sustainable fashion is at the core of their business. With over 100 million dedicated customers, the aim of the H&M loyalty program is not only to motivate customers to come back often but also to shape their devoted buying behavior, encouraging them to do the right thing. As such, the company puts an emphasis on rewarding customers even when they are not spending money and making sure that they stick around for more exciting benefits in the long run. The results? It ranks in the top 10 best apparel loyalty programs in the US.
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Membership Page – A Fashionable Society
Customers can easily access the H&M membership page, where they can sign up for the completely free loyalty program. Members-to-be can also read about the benefits of the program, see exactly how it works, and learn how to earn points, redeem rewards and become a Plus member (the premium tier of the loyalty program).
Upon signing into their account, customers immediately see their current point balance along with the benefits they can use at the moment. They also get access to all their account information, from purchases to points history and payment settings. Moreover, members of the H&M loyalty program have the opportunity to activate the now trending buy now, pay later option, which the company offers through Klarna.
On the downside, membership is always country-specific. Though the reward experience and design are consistent across all countries, points and rewards don’t carry over from one market to another, because it is not a multi-country program. This barrs customers from opportunities such as earning points while vacationing abroad.
Enrollment – Being Trendy Starts Today
When joining H&M’s completely digital program, customers only have to submit their email address, create a password, and indicate their date of birth. Additional information, such as name or postal code, is optional and hidden cleverly under a dropdown menu. This ensures that registration doesn’t take longer than a minute, but H&M does not pass on the opportunity to harness valuable zero-party data right from the beginning.
Shoppers can also sign up for H&M’s newsletter to get offers, style updates and special invitations to sales and events. Upon joining, members receive a welcome email that includes a 10% discount — a hefty incentive to immediately make that all-important second purchase.
Program Structure – Making a Fashion Statement
The H&M loyalty program is a free, tiered program. There are two tiers based on the number of points earned from purchases made online and at H&M stores. H&M loyalty program members become Plus members once they’ve earned 500 points (equivalent to $500 worth of total purchases).
Plus members receive even better perks and offers, including free shipping and returns, unique experiences, surprise offers, and special access to limited collections. Once a customer becomes a Plus member, they retain their Plus status for the remainder of the current membership year and the following membership year.
Point Accrual – Fast Fashion, Way To Earn Points
Members receive one point for every $1 spent. Customers must download the H&M app and scan their member ID at checkout to earn points with in-store purchases. Being active is well rewarded, as members receive bonus vouchers worth $5 for every 200 points earned.
Members can also benefit from recycling. In alignment with the company’s sustainability efforts, every bag of clothes deposited in the H&M store yields a $15 coupon for members. This is a clear, easy-to-understand, and obviously attractive offer.
Points are valid for 12 months following the membership start date. At the end of the membership year, point balances are reset and a new membership year begins. H&M’s loyalty program gives customers an omnichannel experience thanks to their digital Member ID. Customers can use their digital ID to earn points both online and offline, though sometimes H&M offers single-channel discounts that can be used either online or in-store only.
Tips to try:
- Always consider point and tier expiration carefully because losing progress is an unpleasant experience for customers.
- On the other hand, point expiration can be a great way to encourage members to make use of their points more quickly.
- If your loyalty program supports sustainability, think of ways to make it more relevant for participants. For example, use push notifications to let customers know that their recycled clothes have been processed or donated to further emphasize the impact they’ve made.
- Other ways to support noble causes with a rewards program include: letting customers donate their points or unused coupons to charities, or creating double point campaigns around ethically sourced products.
Rewards – A Dashing Experience
As a business that cares about the experience its customers have, H&M places a lot of emphasis on the richness and variety of its rewards, ensuring that loyalty indeed pays out for members. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of the rewards and benefits regular members have access to:
- New members receive a welcome offer of 10% off their first purchase.
- Regular members have access to special shopping events, a birthday surprise, and a variety of members-only offers and discounts.
- There are also limited-time gift cards and product giveaways.
Naturally, the biggest aspiration for members is to receive “Plus” access by reaching the 500-point spending threshold, which unlocks additional experiential rewards. Plus rewards include free shipping and returns regardless of the order amount; unique experiences, like fashion shows or in-store events; surprise offers, and special access to limited collections in which Plus members can purchase items before they go on sale to the public.
Tips to try:
- Though coupons and special offers are powerful incentives, they aren’t good at fostering loyalty. Offering designer products or branded merch is a much more powerful long-term incentive that members can work towards.
- If your organization is part of a wider group, consider offering partner rewards from sister companies. In the case of the H&M group, this could mean that instead of offering a limited-time flash deal on H&M Home products, the company could make cross-brand offers permanent for Plus members.
- For larger networks like that of H&M’s, even an umbrella loyalty program structure is not out of the question. In practice, this would allow members to earn H&M points for purchasing products at ARKET or Weekday.
Mobile App – Seamless Shopping for Fashionistas
H&M’s mobile application lets customers shop the retailer’s extensive inventory.
Customers can discover clothing, accessories, and home furnishing products seamlessly. The app also lets customers search for nearby stores, shop look books and access bonus vouchers. It also comes in handy when a customer is at a store location and, for example, would like to know if an item is available in additional sizes and colors. When customers scan an item’s price tag, the Scan & Find feature appears.
The visual search option lets members explore what H&M has to offer by using their own photos or screenshots. It recognizes patterns, colors, styles, and gives them a list of matching or similar items in stock. Members can also activate push notifications to be the first to know when a new designer collection drops and get notified whenever H&M has special digital and physical events.
Push notifications ensure that your message reaches the intended audience, no matter where they are. They are personalized reminders that get customers into your store and are also a great way to stay in touch with members by letting them know about special offers.
Final Judgment – Dressed to the Nines
The H&M loyalty program looks to build and reward long-term relationships with customers around the world. By joining, members have access to an easy-to-understand reward system that is easy to progress in and has a rich catalog of incentives, offers and deals. Also, the brand has done a great job with their mobile app.
The company also deserves props for actively encouraging sustainable behavior through recycling — though this feature still has room for improvement. On the downside, H&M’s loyalty program isn’t truly global or multi-country. Similarly, there is untapped potential in terms of actively and meaningfully including other brands from H&M Group.
Nevertheless, the H&M loyalty program seems like a good deal, especially for customers who plan on shopping at H&M rather frequently.
And don’t forget to download our handy concept-building worksheet to put what you have learned into action in your own loyalty program!
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.