Wholesaler expands rewards programs
November 21, 2014

Wholesale retailers have a unique advantage over most other retail stores in terms of customer retention. Since many require that customers carry a membership card that comes with an annual fee, these stores are already guaranteed some level of return customers. It also has the additional benefit of earning revenue off membership fees to offset the lower costs of certain goods. At the same time, customer retention means more than bringing back customers: It also means encouraging them to purchase more. As one wholesale retailer is demonstrating, payment integration with rewards programs has the benefit of increasing sales even further.

Rewards with credit
BJ's Wholesale Club, a wholesaler largely based on the East Coast, announced its first private-label credit cards, the My BJ's Perks MasterCard line. The two cards are available to qualifying members of BJ's other loyalty programs, in particular the BJ's Inner Circle, BJ's Business and BJ's Perks Rewards Clubs. For the basic Perks Plus card, there is an annual fee of $50, but it comes with the benefit of earning up to 3 percent back on all purchases at a BJ's. Meanwhile, the Perks Elite card offers the benefits of up to 5 percent back on all purchases with an annual rate of $100.

There are other benefits on top of this system. The main feature that stands out in comparison to other private label cards is the fact that customers who have rewards on the card can redeem them in $20 increments on demand. The club claims that these cards are the first of their kind to use this feature among wholesalers.

Along with on-demand redemption, the credit cards offer up to $50 in bonus rewards with the first purchase, along with taking $25 off the annual membership renewal fee. In addition, cardholders can get 10 cents per gallon off gas at BJ's stations, 2 percent rebates at restaurants and other gas stations as well as 1 percent rebates for just using the card outside of the wholesaler.

Previously, the only rewards program that BJ's offered was its Perks program, which offered only 2 percent back on all purchases at the wholesaler. The program cost double the regular annual membership fee. While it remains definitely useful for those who prefer not to get another credit card, the new cards offer a variety of benefits that are helpful to consumers.

In addition, the company is receiving help from a payment analytics agency to better shape the program based on the needs of the customer through payments integration, according to PYMNTS. Combining a credit card and loyalty program with data analytics will help BJ's improve customer engagement and sales.

Nexus: G-WEBCD6