Buying bags and loyalty
7 July 2023
Susan Walsh

Personal experience piece

Recently, I needed to purchase a new laptop bag. Off I went on foot in search during my lunch break. Myer didn’t have any that were suitable for my needs, and then I remembered Strand Bags (Strand+) was near my location.

A long time ago, in a time where I actually used to frequent shopping malls, I joined the Strand Bags rewards program when I bought a wallet. Fast forward a lot of years… I still have that red card in my drawer, and I had also happened to scan it into my Stocard App. If you have never heard of Stocard before, it is an app where you can save and store all your loyalty cards in one handy place! With twin boys filling my handbag with bottles, food, and wipes – this app helped me remove the pile of loyalty cards I had stashed.

After perusing the shoulder bags, I needed to venture to the laptop backpacks. I really wanted a bag that was fully sealed so nothing would get wet in the rain.

Down I went into the basement-like area where all the luggage was kept. And there it was… a beautiful Samsonite backpack for my laptop. Enough room for my other items too. In the queue to pay, I looked around for signage about a loyalty program and found a small sign behind the counter.

The Strand+ loyalty program

The program is very simple with four key components:

  • Member exclusive sale preview events
  • 10% off birthday reward
  • Earn $5 for every $50 you spend (provided in a voucher twice a year)
  • Exclusive promos for members

Back to the queue

In the queue, I was behind a lady purchasing a large piece of luggage. One of the sales assistants – clearly new and not very confident – awkwardly asked if he could assist and if she wanted to join the program and save $20. Joining was free, and he could do it on the spot for her. I was surprised to hear her say no. We had been waiting in the queue for a long time due to a very agitated customer needing an item fixed and refusing to leave the counter. But who doesn’t want to save?

Finally, my turn, and I wanted that discount! They asked that magical question, “Do you have a rewards card?” They found my old dusty number, and the transaction went swimmingly.

Opportunities for improvement

There are some key areas that Strand+ could focus on to improve their loyalty program:

Signage: Own and promote your loyalty program. Provide stores with appropriate signage in windows, shelves, counters, etc. It can become a warm conversation starter when your customer approaches to pay.

Team training: Ensure your team feels comfortable talking about the program and its benefits. Provide opportunities for role play and continue to build confidence.

Communication: Ensure relevant emails, SMS, etc., are being sent to members. It is important that the communication is relevant, ideally through personalisation.

Clean and usable data: It is important to understand data requirements and how long to keep information. In my example, I hadn’t shopped for over 4 years. I would highly recommend looking at the base, creating cohorts, and having a system in place to destroy personal detail records after a certain time period.


For me, this program is simple to understand and use. It could benefit from more personalisation and understanding the needs of the members. It isn’t overly exciting. Personally, I would recommend a deep dive into voucher usage and if it is delivering the quality return a great loyalty program can provide.

<a href="" target="_self">Susan Walsh</a>

Susan Walsh

Susan is a Loyalty Director at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Susan has previously worked in product, marketing and business roles at Optus and Virgin Mobile, Catch Connect Mobile, Coles Mobile, Proactiv Skincare and ABC Shops. Susan applies her skills across all aspects of the business, including implementation and operations, loyalty program design, member engagement and digital marketing.

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