Marks & Spencer has revamped its Sparks loyalty scheme allowing seven million users to shop “for free” after the scheme was criticised for being too confusing.
The redesign comes two months ahead of its big switch to sell groceries and clothes online for the first time through Ocado.
Shoppers will now be able to get instant rewards and giveaways rather than accumulate points, previously tied to discounts for specific categories such as lingerie, beauty or niche vegetables.
The retailer has pledged that every week one customer in each store will get their shopping “for free”. It will give away “thousands of pounds” for customers to spend online and in store, plus smaller treats such as packs of Percy Pigs sweets and apothecary candles.
It will also donate to 35 charities every time customers use the loyalty card. Since 2015 M&S has donated 1p from Sparks purchases to charity raising nearly £7m.
While its physical card can still be used, M&S is going digital with an app for the scheme from next week.
Similarly, Tesco relaunched Clubcard Plus late last year. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s has also overhauled its Nectar Points scheme, as has chemist chain Boots.
Loyalty programmes have long been a favourite for returning shoppers. It also gives companies invaluable insight into their customers’ shopping habits.
M&S paid £750m in February last year for half of Ocado’s grocery business. It will replace Waitrose, which has been selling its own label items on the platform over the past two decades. Waitrose is going at it alone from August 31.
M&S, which has about 900 UK stores, has vowed "never the same again" after the pandemic and will accelerate its turnaround plan after a slump in clothing and home sales.