June 6, 2011, 4:28 PM

Soap.com rewards customer loyalty with instant product discounts

My 5 Faves awards 10% off on products in five categories.

Lead Photo

Soap.com is rolling out a customer loyalty program with a new twist.

Instead of launching a traditional customer loyalty program that lets shoppers gather points that they later redeem for cash, free and discounted products, or other incentives, Soap.com on Sunday launched “My 5 Faves” as a way to reward customers with instant product discounts.

The program, which Soap.com, an e-commerce site that along with Diapers.com, No. 72 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is operated by Quidsi Inc., lets return shoppers pick their five favorite products and then take 10% off each item.

“Traditional loyalty programs can be cumbersome to create and operate because it’s all based on creating a system of issuing and redeeming points,” says Soap.com director of marketing Teju Prabhakar. “We wanted to be different with this launch so we decided to think outside the box.”

Customer feedback from Soap.com’s customer base of mainly busy young moms with little time showed that most shoppers wanted a program that awarded an instant incentive, says Prabhakar. “They wanted discounts on the items they bought the most on a recurring basis,” says Prabhakar.

Soap.com, which Quidsi launched last summer as an e-commerce site that sells personal care and related products, asks customer to fill out a registration form or update their current account information with the five products in five different categories for which they’d like to receive the 10% discount.

Returning shoppers can use the discounts immediately. First-time shoppers have to wait to use My 5 Faves on their second Soap.com shopping excursion, says Prabhakar. “The program is built around who is shopping our site and what products they value the most,” says Prabhakar.

Returning Soap.com customers can use the My 5 Faves loyalty program each time they shop, but they can only change their product selections every 90 days. A shopper’s product selections are saved in her account until June 2012.

As an added reward, Soap.com shoppers also can use other coupons and incentives on top of the My 5 Faves discount.

Soap.com, which this year expects to increase its online inventory from 25,000 to about 75,000 SKUs, expects the loyalty program to appeal to shoppers who regularly reorder certain household and personal care products, says Prabhakar. “If we are giving instant rewards on the items they already are buying from us on an ongoing basis, they may choose to expand their shopping list and begin using more products from other categories,” he says.

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