Harrah's revamps website and takes loyalty programme online

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 24, 2001

Harrah's revamps website and takes loyalty programme online
US-based casino operator, Harrah's Entertainment, has completed a relaunch of its consumer Web site (www.harrahs.com), adding several customized features for members of its Total Rewards player loyalty programme. The addition of the online component - E-Total Rewards - makes Total Rewards the first player loyalty programme to offer customers comprehensive account information about their benefits and comps in real time via the Internet.

Total Rewards, tiered at Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels, tracks customers' play and offers them incentives to consolidate their gaming activities at the company's 21 Harrah's, Rio and Showboat casinos across the United States. Total Rewards is a successful loyalty programme; in 2000, it helped generate an increase of more than $165 million in revenues from its Platinum and Diamond members. Since the first phase of E-Total Rewards was soft-launched in late June, traffic to the Harrah's Web site has increased 39 percent.

Enhanced features Currently, E-Total Rewards operates similarly to airline Web sites for frequent flyers, but includes enhanced customer components. Harrah's Total Rewards members can edit their personal profile; gain real-time access to their tiered score total; determine the number of reward credits needed to attain a higher level of membership with premium benefits; view casino offers and comps sorted by casino property and offer type; and link to available partner privileges, including savings on Hertz car rentals and the opportunity to earn cash purchases on a Harrah's MBNA Visa card.

Harrah's teamed up with business and technology consultant Sapient to integrate the Total Rewards programme into its customer relationship management infrastructure.

Online reservations In addition to the Total Rewards components at the new www.harrahs.com, the Web site offers several new features for casino players. Customers can now check for availability and make secure online reservations at any Harrah's casino hotel with a credit card, as well as view or change an existing reservation. By clicking on a photo of their favourite casino, players also can explore last-minute "hot deals" and scan for rates available on any date in the year. Included is a special section for casino packages at Harrah's Nevada casinos through America West Vacations' hotel and air packages. According to Rich Mirman, Harrah's Senior Vice President of Marketing, "Through our online reservations centre, we've made it easy for players to determine the range of offers at all our casinos. We want our customers to know that there are great deals available in Las Vegas, New Orleans and other Harrah's casino destinations."

Giveaway trips For customer ease, reservations are pre-populated with data from the Total Rewards profile, including credit card information. The site uses VeriSign to secure all credit card transactions. Players can use the revamped Web site to view various brand-wide casino promotions, including a sweepstakes giveaway for trips to Las Vegas and Los Angeles and other prizes in conjunction with Harrah's exclusive launch of the new The Price is Right(TM) video slot machines. Event calendars listing upcoming concerts, shows and appearances are also available for all Harrah's casino properties.

The Web site also offers a selection of "play for fun" casino games - complete with casino sound effects and dealer voices. The non-wager games include blackjack, Caribbean poker, baccarat, pai gow poker, craps, roulette, sic bo, slots and video poker. Because Total Rewards members must be 21 years of age, the "play for fun" site is restricted to adults only.

No game Meanwhile, Harrah's has announced that it and its Harrah's Operating Company Inc. subsidiary have filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District Court in Nevada to bar Station Casinos Inc. and its subsidiaries from infringing on patents that protect Harrah's Total Rewards loyalty programme. Harrah's was awarded U.S. patents for technological innovations that underlie Total Rewards, a key component of the company's growth strategy. The lawsuit alleges that Station's "Boarding Pass" rewards programme provides benefits at five Stations properties in Las Vegas, all in violation of the patent protections granted to Harrah's by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office. The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting Station from continuing to infringe on Harrah's patents, as well as additional remedies.

In April, Harrah's filed a lawsuit alleging that the Stratosphere hotel-casino was operating a promotion that infringes on a Harrah's patent covering a customer-tracking system that rewards guests for their slot play.

Founded more than 60 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. holds a combined database of more than 23 million players and focuses on building loyalty and value with its target customers.

More information about Sapient can be found at www.sapient.com

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