Press commentary on the viability of loyalty programs among direct-to-consumer brands. Read the full article here.

On ThirdLove’s decision to launch a loyalty program in November 2018:

[The founder] also said that ThirdLove wanted to come up with a way to more consistently give customers access to rewards throughout the customer journey, and thought of the loyalty program as one way to do that. For example, ThirdLove, like many DTC companies, used to offer first-time customers a discount — customers who signed up for ThirdLove’s email list for the first time got a 10% off coupon. But by getting customers to sign up for a loyalty program, ThirdLove gets more information about how customers react to certain promotional and product offerings beyond just the first-time offer.

“If you kind of unpack what a loyalty program is, it’s effectively giving benefits, discounts and other things to customers,” Richie Siegel, founder of retail consultancy firm Loose Threads said. “I think one of the big shifts is these [DTC] brands have just done that in marketing.”

But, Cohen said that what ThirdLove found was that bundling discounting was more successful — like offering up to $40 off and free shipping when customers buy four bras.”

That was really the purchasing behavior we saw reflected in our customer base,” Cohen said. “A woman would buy one bra — she got a great fit, was really happy with it — and would come back and buy two or three more.”

On the viability of ThirdLove’s loyalty program:

The perks offered through ThirdLove’s loyalty program [are] similar to other new retail loyalty programs in that the brand is more interested in offering customers early or exclusive access to product, rather than only discounts. Siegel said that other offerings — free and low-cost expedited shipping — are “table stakes” for retailers today, and “is that going to move the needle? I don’t think so.”