Home Depot’s integration of its Pro Xtra loyalty program with its mobile app may provide greater convenience to home-improvement professionals and foster stronger brand loyalty for when they decide which retailer to buy from. The app not only provides members with greater transparency into the loyalty program, but also lets them avoid the inconvenience of carrying clunky membership cards and key fobs that wear out or are easily damaged.
By offering occasional bonus rewards and letting members see their accumulated points in the app, Home Depot has added gamified features to urge repeat store visits and purchases as members track their advancement to the next reward level. Gamification strategies have become more popular in app-based loyalty programs in the past few years. CVS Pharmacy, El Pollo Loco, Mastercard, 7-Eleven, Starbucks, Taco Bell, White Castle, Wendy’s and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are among the brands that have recently gamified parts of their loyalty programs to drive longer-term usage.
Home Depot’s mobile-first approach for its loyalty program is another sign of how the retailer has embraced the latest technologies in its efforts to engage customers. Forrester Research last year ranked Home Depot No. 1 in a study of retailers’ mobile apps, praising the home improvement chain for providing a solid user experience. The researcher said the app’s features, including a virtual customer service agent to help shoppers navigate stores with visual item mapping data and real-time information about inventories, were especially useful. Home Depot last year experienced one of the biggest single days of app downloads after showcasing its features in a holiday campaign.
While many retailers have suffered from steep declines in sales during the pandemic, Home Depot has experienced strong growth among people who are either stocking their pantries with necessities or doing projects to improve their living spaces while spending more time at home. The company reported net sales growth of 23% to $38 billion in Q2 from a year earlier, while U.S. comparable sales surged by 25%. Home Depot said that more than 60% of its online orders were fulfilled at stores, indicating that a “bricks and clicks” strategy was popular with customers.
This article originally appeared in MobileMarketer.