Marks & Spencer is launching a membership scheme which will aim to reward loyal customers with personalised rewards.

The loyalty scheme, called Sparks, will launch on 22 October and will go "beyond generic discounts to reward members with personalised, lifestyle enhancing benefits".

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director at M&S, said: "Customers tell us they want to ‘be part of something special’ and that’s exactly why Sparks is a club. As a member you are more than a customer and you’ll get the most from M&S – with tailor-made offers, priority access and invites to exclusive events. It’s a two way relationship; members tell us what they enjoy, select their own tailored offers and are rewarded for sharing their views."

Spark members will be asked to download the free M&S app which will allow them to manage their membership, check points and access special offers.

The Sparks hub can also be accessed through an online portal on the M&S website and customers will be able to collect Sparks points online and in stores.

The retailer, which has been recently suffering due to poor clothing sales, will hope its new loyalty scheme will draw in additional interest from customers.

Digital upgrades

The retailer said the launch of Sparks was made possible by its recent digital infrastructure transformation, after moving away from Amazon in 2014 to create its own customer web platform using in-house development capabilities.

M&S said it has taken a "fresh look" at loyalty after a three month trial where it recruited over 100,000 members to test the new scheme.

Benefits

Customers will be encouraged to share their personal details to ensure their benefits remain relevant to them.

Shoppers will receive 10 points for every purchase and an additional 10 points for every £1 spent. If customers wish to review products they will receive 25 points and they will receive 50 points when they use the retailer's unwanted clothes Schwop scheme.  

Customers will be able to receive benefits including early access to sales, previews of new season ranges, as well as masterclass events such as food tastings.

Additionally, every time a customer shops with M&S, the retailer said it will donate a penny to the member’s chosen charity.

Bousquet-Chavanne added: "Over 131 years, customers have built a unique sense of trust and ownership in the brand and a members club is the natural evolution. And now is the right time for M&S, thanks to our infrastructure investment and the breadth and depth of our product offer, we can deliver a club that sees us collaborate with our members to build a better M&S together."