Marks & Spencer Ireland launches digital rewards programme, Sparks
Sparks will provide a more personalised experience with instant rewards, tailored personal offers and a selection of charities to support
19 October 2021 | 0
Marks & Spencer Ireland is set to launch Sparks tomorrow (20 October), its first customer loyalty scheme in the Republic of Ireland.
In line with the retailer’s UK approach, the digital first rewards programme will offer a more personalised experience with instant rewards, tailored personal offers and a selection of charities to support, so “customers can be confident that good things happen for them and the causes they care about every time they shop with M&S”.
The new programme will see Marks & Spencer Ireland introduce instant rewards to deliver immediate and clear value for shopping.
Features of the scheme will include: a guarantee that every week one customer in every store in Ireland will be rewarded with their shopping for free, as well as smaller sparks of joy and treats gifted to them – from a tote bag to an Apothecary Candle to a packet of Percy Pigs – all available through shopping with Sparks.
To date, nearly 5 million free treats have been given away to customers in the UK with over 57,000 customers having won their shopping through the M&S surprises and delights feature of Sparks.
Understanding shopping behaviour
Under its Digital & Data Science team, M&S says it has significantly invested in its behind-the-scenes capabilities to understand customer shopping behaviours that will enable greater personalisation on offers specific to a customer’s spending history and habits.
Through the Sparks scheme, M&S will know its customers better than ever and will be offering greater personalisation and offers on customers’ M&S favourites – so the more an individual shops, the better the offers become.
Under the Sparks initiative, every time a customer shops, the retailer will make a donation to one of five chosen Irish charities, committed to sparking change together. These include: Marie Keating Foundation, A Lust for Life, Focus Ireland, Leave No Trace Ireland and Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Shoppers will be able to choose which charity they would like to support with every M&S purchase in store or online.
The programme sees M&S donate 1c on behalf of our customers to a nominated Sparks charity partner every time they shop. To date, M&S has donated £10million to UK charities through Sparks.
A digital-first loyalty scheme
The new scheme will be hosted through a new M&S App, with all features fully integrated online. The new app gives Irish customers quick and easy access to M&S products and services: including the ability to check their offers and rewards from Sparks, alongside accessing their digital card and adding to the wallet on their device, or using the barcode scanner to find out more product information or additional sizes available online.
This supports the clear acceleration of customers turning to shopping online in recent months, with M&S.com/ie welcoming a staggering 692,000 customers during the pandemic since March 2020. Equally, M&S UK has seen over 4 million new downloads of its App since March 2020.
“With a Digital First approach, the M&S Ireland Sparks programme will be simple and easy to use but will also allow us to build our relationship with customers through a more personalised experience,” said Jeremy Pee, chief digital & data officer. “Through this programme, we hope to create a sense of excitement and value through the app features. The app will generate instant rewards, and customers can be confident that good things will happen every time they shop with us, from winning their M&S shopping basket for free on the spot, to a donation to the cause that matter most to them.”
Over 1,400 colleagues have already been trialling the scheme ahead of the customer launch, testing the experience and interface. One colleague winner, Tracey Mooney, a manager from the M&S Grafton Street store, said: “It was so overwhelming and exciting to win a shop of over €800 for free when I used my new Sparks digital card in Marks & Spencer.”
Digital first approach
“Not only will Sparks’ digital first focus ensure M&S is supporting how more customers want to shop and engage with retailers, but the Sparks scheme is a critical enabler to fast forwarding M&S’ growth as a digitally and data enabled business,” the retailer added.
According to M&S, the new scheme is an example of its “priority to embed digital and data in all aspects of how M&S serves its customers”.