For The GameStop Loyalty Program, Insight And Service Is The Reward

It's not about points and perks, says Mike Mauler, EVP/president of GameStop International.

Loyalty programs have given new meaning to retailers applying the environmental slogan, “Think Globally, Act Locally” when it comes to marketing to customers, said Mike Mauler, EVP and president of GameStop International, in a presentation at this week’s NRF17 Big Show.

“One of the things we’re focused on is thinking globally and acting locally,” Mauler told attendees during his Sunday morning keynote address. “That’s such a cliché from the 1990s, when consultants would tell every business that’s what they had to do. There weren’t any real specifics on what that meant.”

Thanks to Big Data and the personalized marketing powered by those analytics, the ideas of that slogan has become more concrete for retailers like GameStop, which operates 7,000 stores across North America, Europe, and Australia, and has attracted 50 million loyalty members across 13 countries.

“Thanks to customer analytics, we can actually understand and develop the specifics around thinking globally and acting locally as a retailer,” he said.

Among the ways analytics has informed its loyalty program is to look beyond offering a direct value exchange in the form of discounts.

“The more places the customer interacts with us on, the more revenue per customer we see and the more engagement we realize,” Mauler said. “The true power of our loyalty program is not the points or perks. We don’t find that consumers come into a GameStop to get points.”

In fact, outside of the U.S., GameStop points have no value — something that seems a bit counterintuitive, Mauler noted. But in Europe and Australia, the only thing that you can use the points for is to go up another level — the acknowledgement and added attention from the retailer is reward enough. Nevertheless, in the U.S., members can use your points to buy Domino’s Pizza or download a new game.

“We use loyalty to enhance our knowledge of what the customer wants,” Mauler said. “We send out updates and promotions. We can send out emails letting customers know, ‘Hey, Christmas is coming, you can trade in points worth $110 that they can then buy games for your friends.’

“At the same time, we spend a lot of time surveying our customers on how we can perform better,” he added.

Mauler offered some stats to back up how well the loyalty program has performed: member engagement is 72 percent — “and we’re working on driving that even higher,” he said — while the brand’s net promoter score, which measures customer satisfaction, was 83 percent for store visitors.

Lastly, GameStop’s email open rate is 35 percent, which compared to its earliest measurements from five years ago, was 15 percent.

“We see higher engagement as a result of the loyalty program is the same, if not better, outside the U.S.,” Mauler said. “Our efforts prove that you don’t necessarily have to spend millions of dollars on points liability to buy your customers loyalty.”


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David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.