Stein Mart has announced a new loyalty program, called SMart Rewards, for its credit cardholders, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive. Customers now earn two points per every dollar spent at Stein Mart, which doubles the earn rate for the program. Elite cardholders, who spend a minimum of $500 per year, earn four points for every dollar spent.
Under the new program, cardholders receive a $10 "Stein Mart SMart Cash" reward for every 1000 points earned. Cardholders get a $10 SMart Cash gift when they enroll, 10% off their first purchase and birthday surprises, per the release. Current cardholders can earn the benefits now, with new cards arriving by mail this fall.
The credit card revamp comes alongside the company's announcement that it will piloting an "enhanced multi-tender loyalty program" in about 100 stores early in 2020. The primary focus of the pilot, the company said, will be to allow all customers to earn SMart Cash on their purchases regardless of how they pay.
With a revamped credit card and a pilot to expand its loyalty program, Stein Mart is making big plans to lure customers to become frequent shoppers. As store credit cards continue to decline in popularity, it's likely a smart move for the retailer to give customers another way to earn rewards.
"The standard of what it takes to win and keep customers in today's competitive retail environment keeps getting higher," said President MaryAnne Morin in a statement. The combination of low prices plus increased rewards attracts customers who seek value, she said.
While Stein Mart does offer e-commerce, the store experience is still key for building loyalty. Overall, in-store shopping is still popular, with 28% of consumers shopping in stores more often than last year, according to a recent survey from Blackhawk Network. The convenience of shopping in-store, respondents said, was a major motivator.
Stein Mart recently upgraded its point-of-sale system, allowing associates to complete mobile checkout transactions from Apple iPads. The company reported increased enrollment for its private label credit card after adding that capability.
Those moves plus the new credit card program add up to a stronger omnichannel presence for Stein Mart, which has landed on Retail Dive's bankruptcy watch lists in the past, including the most recent edition.