Daily Insights

New Name, New DSW

By: Sarah Shi | Apr 03, 2019

On the heels of low earnings, DSW did what we all might want to do after bad news: get a makeover. The retailer rolled out a new name, Designer Brands Inc. (don’t worry, there’s still a three-letter abbreviation: DBI), and announced plans to leverage digital to drive sales, specifically through site personalization and a revamped loyalty program.

DSW kicked off that program last year with a site launch and a highly effective targeted email campaign that was opened by 31% of recipients, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores. The program now represents 90% of the brand’s customer base.

This May, the retailer plans to integrate new features into the VIP program, including a personalized “You Pick” benefit, mobile wallet, and next-day shipping (only valid once). New members will also be able to enroll in the program via SMS. The program encourages more spend per transaction and increases retention, DSW president Bill Jordan stated.

It’s smart for the retailer to focus on loyalty emails, which account for 10% of emails sent by department stores in Gartner L2’s study. Emails notifying shoppers that they earned a reward receive the highest average open rate; unsurprisingly, these account for the largest share of loyalty emails.

DSW’s rollout of additional VIP program benefits will certainly increase opportunities for members to earn rewards. However, it remains imperative for the retailer to hone in on more ways to drive engagement through digital channels.

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