H&M is highly popular for their on-trend, affordable range of clothing across all categories. I only recently learned of their loyalty program, however, after being disappointed by so many fashion loyalty programs in Australia, my expectations were already low.
The H&M membership program is a hybrid of member benefits and points with the addition of some tiering elements. Members will earn 1 point for every $1 spent and will be immediately welcomed with a 10% off reward to use on their next visit.
Not the best start
The sign-up process was simple and easy, allowing members to register with just an email. There was also a clever attempt to gain additional personal data by implying they would offer an undisclosed number of points in return. I complied, but initially felt lied to considering I had not seen my points until I re-visited my account a week later. Not receiving points immediately without any communications will likely trigger cognitive dissonance in many registering members.
Members will gain access to an array of generic benefits including early access, birthday bonus’, free returns and more. Members who earn one hundred points will be able to redeem their points for a $3 voucher on their next visit. Members who manage to accumulate an additional five hundred points will become a PLUS member, gaining access to additional benefits such as free standard shipping, access to limited collections and some surprise offers.
As loyalty consultants, we have seen an increased uptake in brand partnerships and third party offers as a way to provide additional value to their members. H&M is one such brand, hosting a variety of different competitions that members can opt into for a chance to win valuable and relevant prizes. Members can apply to win a year’s worth of H&M clothing as well as third party offers, such as an annual Spotify Premium subscription. The competitions are easy to enter, requiring few personal details as well as an answer to a personal question e.g., ‘What’s your feel-good song and why?’
Another great element is the Conscious program. Members can earn Conscious points (separate to general points earn) by purchasing sustainable items from H&M’s Conscious range, identifiable in-store via the green label.
Members can also earn bonus Conscious points for bringing their own reusable bag or by recycling their old garments at H&M stores, where they will automatically receive a digital 15% off voucher.
The Conscious points are an innovative, on-trend start to what could potentially become a highly engaging loyalty program. The choice to keep it separated from the main points program is confusing to navigate and appears restrictive, considering the overall points earning avenues seem limited.
The $3 voucher for accumulating one hundred points, although achievable, is very low in value. Without having more accessible and flexible ways to earn points, I do not see how members would purposefully go through the hassle of accumulating points.
H&M appear to offer various programs elements, but this is difficult to clarify due to clumps of text and vague program education. H&M should work to communicate clearer program structure, specifically on how members can take certain steps to earn points AND bonus points. Lack of clarity can discourage sign up as well as create higher chances of cognitive dissonance in members who do sign up and misunderstand program offerings.
It is a start, however, to really capture consumer loyalty, H&M will need to work on creating better value offerings and explore more ways to connect with their customers beyond check-out.