In the UK, Best Western hotels has announced the launch of a new internet shopping-based rewards programme called 'Shop for Rewards', aimed at building greater engagement among its loyal guests and generating an additional revenue stream for the hotel group.
The new programme, created by Collinson Latitude, is an add on to the existing Best Western Rewards frequent guest programme, and allows UK-based members to earn additional loyalty points at hundreds of online stores, including Marks & Spencer, Boots and Waterstones.
Members earn points for every transaction made with each participating online merchant, and points can later be redeemed for free room nights at over 4,000 hotels around the world, to pay for hotel amenities via the Best Western Travel Card, or to buy theatre vouchers, shopping vouchers, experience days, car rentals or to make charity donations.
The Shop for Rewards e-shopping portal uses Collinson Latitude's proprietary online reward platform, RewardAll, and provides a seamless connection between programme members, Best Western GB, and participating online merchants.
According to Tim Wade, head of marketing for Best Western GB, "This offers our guests even more value, and provides a point of difference for our guests. We believe that offering additional value builds long-standing loyalty and provides another reason to stay at Best Western hotels."
The number of points that members can expect to earn for each 1 spent with participating online retailers varies according to the merchant. For example, Borders offers 20 points per 1, while John Lewis offers 3 points per 1, and Marks & Spencer (M&S) offers 7 points per 1.
Redemption options are varied, starting at 5,000 points for vouchers for High Street stores including Curry's, Marks & Spencer, Austin Reed, PC World, and Debenhams, among others. Vouchers are available in the following denominations:
- 5,000 Best Western Rewards points = 10;
- 10,000 Best Western Rewards points = 20;
- 25,000 Best Western Rewards points = 50.
At the top end of the programme's redemption options, there are a number of experiential 'day out' rewards with point prices up to 100,000 points.
There will be various points-earning promotions and special deals throughout the year, with the offers being changed every month. For example, at the time of the programme's launch, any member taking out an RAC Membership through the portal earns over 4,500 points (almost enough for a 10 reward voucher).
According to Wade, apart from providing Best Western with an ancillary revenue stream, the new programme also aims to make members more loyal to Best Western by giving them another way of earning points, which can then be redeemed against hotel stays. It also seeks to increase member engagement by encouraging members to earn points for their everyday online shopping. The increase in points earned is expected to drive more redemptions, which will contribute positively to both customer engagement and loyalty.