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Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How To Recreate Ther Program)

rewards-case-study:-petsmart-treats-rewards-(+how-to-recreate-ther-program)
Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How To Recreate Ther Program)

Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)

PetSmart is one of the leading pet supplies brands on the market. Whether you’re looking to pamper your pup or pick up a treat for your cat, they’re a popular go-to for one-stop shopping. 

Generating $9.7B in revenue in 2023, PetSmart is clearly thriving. Part of this success can be attributed to its loyalty and rewards program—Treat Rewards

The pet industry giant recently refreshed its program. But were these changes for worse or for better? 

What’s new? PetSmart Treats’ loyalty program changes (in 2024)

PetSmart recently announced updates to its Treats rewards program that took effect on April 2, 2024. Whenever a brand reconfigures its loyalty program, there’s cause for worry amongst its most loyal customers. Will my points be worth the same value? Are you changing your rewards? Will I have to pay to remain a member? 

That’s because rewards program changes devalue the points currency more often than not, making them less enticing to loyal customers. But not PetSmart. 

The beloved pet supplies brand introduced several changes to its program that made it better. Living up to its name, these changes were smart.

1. A new name: Treats Rewards 

The first and most obvious change is the loyalty program name. Formerly just called “Treats”, PetSmart has added the word “Rewards” to the name—Treat Rewards. 

Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)
PetSmart renamed its loyalty program Treats Rewards. 

This subtle change may seem inconsequential, but it does a lot to communicate the purpose and value behind the program. While “Treats” was on brand, it may have been too on brand. When a customer visits PetSmart’s website, seeing the word “Treats” scattered across the site could easily be misinterpreted for a product page leading to actual pet treats. 

Adding “Rewards” to the loyalty program name lets customers know exactly what they can expect and instantly sparks the idea that there’s value waiting for them.    

2. Simplified cashback rates 

In the original program, customers earned 8 points per dollar spent in the original program. They could redeem 1,000 points for a $2.50 discount. This works out to a 2% return on spending, but it’s not exactly easy math to figure out in your head.

In the new program, customers earn 10 points per dollar spent and can redeem 1,000 points for a $2 discount. This works out to the same 2% cashback rate but in a much simpler way. 

By simplifying these earn and burn rates, PetSmart makes its points program easier to understand, increasing the likelihood that customers will see its value. 

3. New VIP Tiers and exclusive perks 

PetSmart also introduced a new tiered VIP program to reward its most valuable customers. With 3 tiers to work through, customers can progress from “Member” to “Bestie” to “VIPP”. 

Besties and VIPPs earn additional points per dollar spent, making it a classic case of “spend more, earn more”. With 2 or 4 extra points earned per dollar spent, top-tier customers can rack up a meaningful reward more quickly.



In addition to the tier-specific accelerated points earning, Bestie and VIPP customers can choose custom bonus points days where they earn 2x the points on their purchases. They also gain access to an annual tier recognition event, and VIPP customers receive a Holiday Gift. 

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Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)

Access to each tier is based on annual spend, with a milestone of $500 for Bestie status and $1000 for VIPP status. With such exciting VIP benefits introduced 3 months into the year, customers had one question: “Will the money I already spent this year count towards my status?” The answer is yes! 

PetSmart shows its commitment to fostering true brand loyalty once again by retroactively applying customers’ spending to their VIP status. 

4. A refreshed mobile app experience

As a brand that relies heavily on its brick-and-mortar retail locations, PetSmart needs to provide an optimized omnichannel customer experience. That is, ensuring customers can leverage the loyalty program online and in-store. That’s where a mobile app is so valuable. 

PetSmart has refreshed its mobile app, adding a 1,000-point bonus (equal to a $2 discount) for downloading the app, personalized offers, and a dedicated Treats Reward hub on mobile. This allows customers to pick up where they left off effortlessly, no matter how they shop.  

Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)
PetSmart offers 1000 bonus points for signing up for the program in-app. 

5. New ways to earn and redeem rewards

When changing your loyalty program, creating excitement is key. One way to generate buzz is by enhancing how customers earn and redeem rewards. PetSmart has done so by expanding its points program structure. 

PetSmart has added value to its in-store services in the new program, with members earning 10 points for every dollar spent at the Grooming Salon, PetsHotel, Doggie Day Camp, and Training. Customers can also instantly earn top-tier VIPP status when they purchase a Salon Ultimate Savings Package. 

Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)
PetSmart introduced more ways to earn, including for in-store services.

Treats Rewards members now get experiential rewards like early access to sales and new products. There are also a variety of new event-based marketing campaigns like the “Redeem and Repeat” event that supplemented the program’s re-launch. Besties and VIPP customers can redeem their points and earn them back during a specific period.

PetSmart Treats Rewards program highlights

If you can’t tell already, PetSmart’s changes to its Treats Rewards program have us wagging our tails. The iconic brand for pet lovers adopts many loyalty and rewards program best practices, including: 

  • A points program to incentivize repeat purchases. 
  • A VIP program with accelerated earning for higher tiers. 
  • A dedicated loyalty landing page and high program visibility on the website.
  • A connected omnichannel loyalty experience that works in-store and online.   
  • A great loyalty program re-launch campaign. 

PetSmart Treats Rewards program drawbacks

While the Treats Rewards program started off on the right paw, it is not without its faults. Flawless programs are few and far between, and even the most seasoned loyalty programs have drawbacks: 

  • No referral program to sustainably acquire customers. 
  • Poor use of social proof and user-generated content like social media posts and reviews. 
  • Only offering one reward type—fixed discounts. 

How to copy (and improve) PetSmart’s loyalty program with Smile.io 

If PetSmart’s recent updates to its Treats Rewards program have inspired you, you’re in luck! With Smile.io, creating a loyalty program that’s just as great (if not better) than PetSmart’s is possible—and easy. 

1. Easily launch points, VIP, and referral programs 

With Smile.io, you can launch a points program in minutes with no coding required. Increase repeat purchases by rewarding points for anything and everything—account creation, purchases, social follows and shares, birthdays, and anything else that fits! You can then allow customers to redeem their points for various rewards like discounts, free products, free shipping, or gift cards. 

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Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)

Once you’ve configured your points program, you should consider adding a VIP program to reward your top customers with better rewards and exclusive perks. With a Smile.io VIP program available on our Growth and Plus plans, you can offer automatic entry rewards like free products, discounts, or accelerated earning when customers achieve a new tier. Customize your VIP program to suit your brand’s needs with perks like early access, invites to exclusive events, or contest entries. The possibilities with a VIP program are truly endless.    

PetSmart checks two out of three boxes with a points program and a new VIP program, but it’s missing out on the benefits of a referral program. Referral programs allow brands to mobilize existing customers as marketers by incentivizing both parties. A recommendation from a peer is always more trustworthy, making referrals a great acquisition tool that converts. 

Once you’ve established a base of loyal customers with points and a VIP program, a referral program is the natural next step. Make sharing your brand a win-win by offering customers points, discounts, or free shipping when they refer friends. With Smile.io, you can keep referrals top of mind with easy-to-share custom referral links, post-purchase sharing reminders, and seamless syncs to your email marketing tools.   

2. Embed loyalty content throughout your site

PetSmart does a fantastic job of making its loyalty program easy to find and simple to join. With a dedicated loyalty explainer page, content on the homepage, and a link to join the program in its main navigation, customers can’t miss the program. 

Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)
PetSmart includes many calls to action to join its rewards program on the homepage. 

With Smile.io, you can make your loyalty program just as obvious and visible. Opt for a floating launcher and panel that appears on every page of your website for easy access, or create an SEO-friendly loyalty landing page that you link to in your main website menu. Or better yet, do both! 

A loyalty landing page gives customers a hub to join, learn more, and engage with your loyalty program. You can include the URL in your email marketing communications and social media marketing to promote the program further. 

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With Smile.io App Blocks, you can add loyalty program information where it counts, like your individual product pages, customer account pages, thank you pages, and more. 

Whereas PetSmart buries its points information in a drop-down box in small font on its product pages, Smile.io allows you to display dynamic points information prominently while still blending with your store theme. This lets customers know how many points they’ll earn by purchasing that specific product. This obvious value increases conversion rates and average order value. 

Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)
Points info on product pages on PetSmart vs. a site using Smile.io. 

To round out the customer experience, with Shopify Plus’ Checkout extensibility, you can embed Smile.io loyalty program information into your checkout page just like PetSmart does. Customers can redeem eligible rewards with a few clicks when they’re about to check out. This will increase your redemption rate, a telltale sign of a healthy rewards program.

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Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)

3. Integrate with Shopify POS to reward in-store purchases

PetSmart (and most pet brands in general) is known for its in-store retail location. As a pet-friendly store, it’s not uncommon to see shoppers walking the aisles with their furry friends. For this reason, PetSmart emphasizes the duality of its loyalty program experience—online and in-store. 

If you have a physical retail location powered by Shopify POS, you can replicate this omnichannel experience. Smile.io offers native support for Shopify POS on all paid plans. Reward customers for in-store and online purchases and let them redeem rewards wherever they make their next purchase. 

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Increase retention and boost customer engagement with an easy to use loyalty program built for growing businesses!
Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)

4. Leverage third-party integrations to promote your loyalty program

As with any new campaign or business change, informing and promoting it to your existing customers is essential. PetSmart did this through social media posts, email communications, and on-site messaging. 

Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)
PetSmart emailed current rewards program members to inform them of the changes. 

If you’re launching a new loyalty program or re-launching an existing one, email is the perfect channel to promote it. With a wide range of third-party integrations, you can connect Smile.io with the other ecommerce tools you use to sync customer loyalty data. For example, leveraging the Smile.io and Klaviyo integration enables you to create Klaviyo segments and flows to send branded emails for various loyalty events, such as when a customer earns points, reaches a new VIP tier, and more. 

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Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)

 One skincare brand leveraged the Klaviyo and Smile.io integration to announce its new loyalty program and VIP tiers. By serving dynamic content to each customer about their individual points balance, VIP tier, and available rewards, they drove £25,000+ in loyalty-generated value in the first week.

5. Incentivize social proof with points

If there’s one area PetSmart’s Treats Rewards program that majorly misses the mark, it is social sharing. Incentivizing social proof, such as user-generated social media content or reviews, is a great loyalty program strategy. Not only are most customers active on social media, but “pet parents,” in particular, love to share their love for their pets online.

Product reviews and social media engagement are the most powerful forms of social proof for anyone exploring a brand for the first time. 

With Smile.io, you can reward your customers for:

  • Leaving a review (with extra points for photo or visual rewards). 
  • Following on Instagram, X, or TikTok
  • Liking your page on Facebook. 
  • Sharing your brand on Facebook or X. 

Social proof is one of the most important ways to show customers the value of your brand. Whether through social media posts, product reviews, or customer testimonials, combining it with rewards is rocket fuel for driving growth and strengthening a brand community. 

6. Diversify your rewards to appeal to all customers

PetSmart has introduced new ways for customers to earn points, but the actual rewards have remained more or less the same. That being fixed discount rewards of $2, $10, $20, or $50. The only exception is a free Birthday or Gotcha Day gift for only the top 2 VIP-tier customers. 

With a brand as large as PetSmart, you attract a diverse range of customers who are motivated by different incentives. Even your type of pet will affect how attractive this program is to you. It’s best practice to offer a range of rewards to motivate every type of customer you want to retain. 

With Smile.io, you can offer any or a combination of the following reward types:

  • Discounts (fixed or percentage-based) to drive repeat purchases and average order value.
  • Free products to offer samples or clear inventory.
  • Free shipping to delight customers.
  • Gift cards so customers can share or combine their rewards.  

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Rewards Case Study: PetSmart Treats Rewards (+How to Recreate ther Program)

Treats Rewards’s makeover was very smart

While PetSmart’s new loyalty program has room for a bit of grooming, the changes enhance its customer experience. With new VIP tiers, more ways to earn points, and an improved omnichannel loyalty experience, PetSmart leveled up its program to adhere to loyalty best practices. 

Don’t reinvent the wheel—recreate some of PetSmart’s loyalty and rewards magic with a Smile.io loyalty program. Choose from top loyalty program features to keep your customers coming back repeatedly. 

Create a rewards program like PetSmart’s
Launch with Smile.io for a world-class loyalty program.

This article originally appeared on Smile.io and is available here for further discovery.
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