Lids is an established sports retailer with over 1000 locations across US, specialising in (no surprise) selling athletic headware, jerseys, t-shirts, hats and more from official major leagues & brands.
It all started back in 2017 in a bid to replace a stagnant earn and burn style LIDS Club rewards loyalty program. The largest licensed sports retailer in North America was looking for a more engaging rewards system with better communication channels.
As Jeff Pearson, senior VP of e-commerce and marketing mentioned
, the idea of transitioning from a pure-discount system to creating lasting relationships with customers arose as the communication options of the old system were no longer sufficient. As the old loyalty program was regularly used only by a limited group of customers, the company had no other choice than to come up with something more sophisticated.
Enter the new Access Pass, designed to help with 3 key areas:
- Better inform customers about their point balances
- Allow Lids to share interesting content with customers (via the mobile app)
- Promote its own social media channels to support even more brand engagement
In March 2017, Access Pass was introduced as a two-tier program, with free Access Pass and paid Access Pass Premium ($5 per year). Both tiers included a points-collecting mechanism: with the free tier a customer earns 5 points per dollar spent, the premium members get 10 points per dollar spent. Birthday gifts, notifications about limited edition releases and special offers were added to the mix.
In addition, the Access Pass Premium added instant discounts on every purchase, both in-store and online, and special deals such as "Buy one, get one half-price" on selected in-store items. Paid membership also gave its customers a chance to participate in sweepstakes to win extra rewards or even exclusive experiences at popular sporting events.
Though the official numbers weren't made public, the new model outperformed the old one almost immediately - within the first ten months of its existence, it gained more registrations than the previous program in its lifetime.