STORES Magazine - June 2011 - (Page 84)

NUTS AND BOLTS / LOYALTY PROGRAMS Programming Innovation HSN uses loyalty marketing to remove the boundaries in retail BY FIONA SOLTES O nce a mere shopping channel, HSN now considers itself a “premier interactive lifestyle network and retail destination” with an innovative new private label credit card program for its “best” customers. Customer appreciation events, sweepstakes, coupons, reward certificates and flexible financing benefits await shoppers, tempting the eye — and the pocketbook — with fashion, accessories, beauty products, kitchen goods, electronics, décor, crafts and more. All that brings in nearly $3 billion in annual sales for the multi-channel retailer based in St. Petersburg, Fla. — with 34 percent now coming through The credit card program, developed with the help of loyalty marketing services firm Alliance Data, “dovetails so well” with HSN’s mission of delivering “joy, excitement and new discoveries for our customers,” says executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development Bill Brand. “It’s all about personalization and access,” he says. Inside a customer’s portal, “she may find free shipping and handling offers, information on events … even a special financing offer. These special opportunities keep her very engaged in our world.” And that world, says Alliance Data chief client officer Melisa Miller, is full of surprises — including just how “best” an HSN best customer is. “She is very focused, very connected with the hosts and hostesses and almost spiritual in her shopping behavior,” Miller says. “She moves very quickly. And HSN has done a phenomenal job of making her 84 STORES / JUNE 2011 feel very special. We had to build programs and ideas to complement that.” Kick-starting the company HSN, formerly known as the Home Shopping Network, has been overhauled under the leadership of CEO Mindy Grossman. “We’ve brought in great brands and improved the The exclusive VIP Access site was neither publicly announced nor advertised; it was simply allowed to be another discovery for loyal shoppers — as well as a carrot for those aspiring to be. quality of everything we offer and every single experience,” Brand says. That includes the addition of big-name stars and lifestyle programming that might, for example, allow a customer to watch chef Emeril Lagasse create a brunch even if she doesn’t purchase any of his cookware or gadgetry. “We know that our customer loves watching the ‘Today’ show or the Food Network with her family on the weekends,” Brand says. “So the question became, how do we make our content complement that? This allowed us to really kick-start the company and drive the growth.” Even during the recession, HSN discovered that its customers — 10 to 15 percent of whom fit into that “best” category — still loved to shop; they just had to be “a little bit more discerning about purchases.” “And we like to say there’s never any bad news on HSN,” Brand says. “We WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - June 2011

Stores - June 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
CEO Compensation
Customer Service
Business Strategy
What We’ve Learned
Loss Prevention Supplier Directory
Customer Rewards
Business Management
Social Media
Planning Solutions
Loyalty Programs
Business Intelligence
Store Operations
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - June 2011