Covid-19: M&S digitalises loyalty scheme as part of transformation plan

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced it is digitalising its Sparks loyalty scheme, in which members have the opportunity to receive rewards for frequently shopping with the retailer, such as fast-track access to the latest products and trends.

From 9 July, the relaunched scheme will be hosted through an updated M&S app, fully integrating all its features online. New members can download their Sparks card via the app straight to their phone or stored to their M&S online account. This will enable customers to start shopping immediately with the chance of an instant reward.

The change reflects the shift to online shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 365,000 existing customers have shopped online at M&S for the first time in the crisis, with over 700,000 new downloads of the retailer’s app since March.

M&S said the move is part of its plans to develop its digital capabilities due to the changing consumer landscape, outlined in its ‘Never the Same Again’ programme in May. It added that the relaunched Sparks loyalty scheme “is an example of the business’ priority to embed digital and data in all aspects of how M&S serves its customers”.

The grocer has also revamped the way the Sparks scheme works following feedback from 250,000 members. This is to ensure offers are more tailored to individual customers as well as remove elements that were found to be confusing, such as points and sale access tiers.

Jeremy Pee, chief digital & data officer at M&S commented: “Sparks is a vital part of how we communicate with over seven million of our most engaged M&S shoppers, and we have designed this relaunch around them. With a digital-first approach, it’s simpler and easier to use but also builds our relationship with customers through a more personalised experience.”

In May, M&S gave an update into the development of its eCommerce business, and confirmed switchover and synergy plans to integrate online supermarket Ocado into its food business are on track for 1 September.