Spotlight: analyzing Nordstrom’s approach to customer loyalty

Nordstrom is a chain of department stores, based in America. Their stores sell everything from clothing, accessories, cosmetics and handbags. There are even a few select stores who stock wedding items and home furnishing sections.

Their online loyalty program can be used in store too. As well as online, where you’re able to buy from Nordstrom itself, Nordstromrack and finally, their private online sale site: HauteLook.

Here we will talk about:

  • How the program works
  • What you get for being a member
  • What we like about it
  • How could they improve?


How the program worksscreen-shot-2017-02-12-at-12-13-30

When it comes to their loyalty program, Nordstrom likes to keep things simple. Whenever you shop online or in-store at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack or HauteLook, you’re eligible to earn points.

Their motto for their loyalty program is simple: Shop. Get rewarded. Repeat.


What you get for being a member

For every 2,000 points you earn as a customer, Nordstrom will give you a $20 Nordstrom Note to spend.
Nordstrom Rewards members earn one point per dollar spent with cash, check or a non-Nordstrom credit or debit card.

Nordstrom cardholders earn two points per dollar on their Nordstrom credit or debit card purchases. This provides a strong incentive for customers to consider getting either the Nordstrom credit or debit card as double points are on offer.screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-12-13-58

Nordstrom operates a tiered loyalty program that highlights the benefits of becoming a Nordstrom cardholder.

Whilst normal members can benefit from earning one point per dollar spent, and invitations to bonus point events, cardholders have access to a whole range of benefits, based on total amount spent.

Level 1 customers have the ability to earn two points per dollar spent, invitations to bonus points events, anniversary sale early access, 1 day of personal triple points, and up to $100 notes alterations benefits.

In order to qualify for level 1, customers must own the Nordstrom card and spent between $1 and $1999 dollars per year.

At the other end of the spectrum, level 4, where you can expect a whole host of benefits. As well as all the benefits of the other three levels, level 4 customers can also expect to receive VIP invites to in-store events, and extraordinary experiences,

For this, however, you’d have to own a Nordstrom card, and spend above $10,000.

What we like about it

We like that Nordstrom offers a tiered system meaning there isn’t one strict way to redeem your rewards. It also incentivises spending more as customers are clear on what they could gain if they were to move up to the next level.

How could they improve?

Currently, despite shipping worldwide, the loyalty program is only available for those in the US and Canada.

This means there are potential customers who are purchasing items from their store, but aren’t able to make use of the loyalty program like everyone else.


  1. Loyalty programs work well with department store who have a wide range of items to sell.
  2. It’s important, if you have multiple different categories items can be bought from, that you differentiate your loyalty program by offering certain customers benefits with the potential to have a wider selection of benefits if they complete certain actions, or move to the next level in the tiered system.



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