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NY&Co eyes store card integration for in-app loyalty, payments play

Following a recent update to its mobile Web site, specialty apparel retailer New York & Company has set its sights on integrating its private label rewards card into a revamped mobile application to better meet the needs of how customers are shopping.

The retailer, which operates more than 500 stores, has a loyal customer base that is already driving a significant portion of sales via the brand’s rewards card. With plans to launch an updated app next year already on the table, the retailer has narrowed in on integrating the card and the rewards experience as a key objective.

“Strategically for us, the app is very important,” said Milton Pappas, senior vice president and chief digital officer at New York & Company. “Apps have become increasingly more important than a few years ago, and that is going to continue because it is a much better shopping experience.

“We know that customers have a lot less patience on mobile than they used to,” he said. “Our goal is to really create a great shopping app and not only about shopping, but loyalty.

“The private label card is already such a key and important part of the business – to add that hook will augment the app.”

Return visit
The New York & Company’s core customer consists of women between 25-and-45-years old who are very digitally oriented.

As a result, the retailer reports that its mobile Web site has evolved into an important driver of traffic sales. New York & Company upgraded the site several weeks ago, in time for the holiday shopping season, with a refreshed design.

Next up, the retailer aims to launch an updated app in the first quarter of 2016.

The retailer’s new mobile site

New York & Company has offered a private label rewards card for a number of years through a partnership with Alliance Data Systems. The card provides users with a $10 reward when they spend $200 on the card, free shipping and exclusive perks as well as early access to sales.

The goal is to build this experience into the new app so that it enhances the shopping experience and encourage repeat use of an app designed to make it easy for users to check their balance and rewards.

Mobile payments
Users will also be able to pay in-store with the app if they have a New York & Company card and receive push notifications.

The retailer expects these and other new features will help drive conversions on the app.

“I think that that brands that have a good mobile experience from a loyalty, shopping standpoint are really going to win in this space,” Mr. Pappas said.

“Most brands, when they launch an app, they struggle to find the loyalty hook,” he said. “The big advantage we have already is we have a consumer that shops mobile, using it in our stores, and she has our private label credit card.

“That is a very powerful position to engage with our app.”

Loyalty plugin
New York & Company is taking advantage of Alliance Data Systems’ new MyLoyalty App platform for the initiative. The platform is customized for each brand, offering the ability to take advantage of geofencing and mall-based beacons for location-based messaging. Retailers can also collect, retain and leverage shopping data.

MyLoyalty app recently launched with brands Marathon and Trek. Toyota and West Elm are expected to launch soon.

New York & Company will integrate the MyLoyalty App plugin into its branded app.

“It is a connected experience for the customer,” said Sheryl McKenzie, vice president of product and capabilities for Alliance Data’s card services business. “If I am in an app by NY&Co, I am able to walk into a store and have great clarity on what I have in terms of rewards and what is my credit limit.

“I also have a view into past purchases,” she said. “In store, I can communication with NY&Co and have access to offers.

“As the customer, I feel connected because the brand understands me. I can go to one place for all that I need.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York