Waterstones has today unveiled a new, “more generous” loyalty card, the Waterstones Plus, which has been developed in-house by the chain’s booksellers.
The new scheme will roll the previous Waterstones Loyalty Card and its Stamp and Save paper into one and offer customers a more generous proposition: every 10 stamps will earn a £10 credit, referred to as their ‘Plus Balance’, while a half stamp is earned after the first £5, and a full stamp for every £10 spent.
For the first time buyers will be able to earn and redeem their stamps online and students have their own scheme, a Plus Card, which gives them an additional 5% discount in Waterstones shops, cafes and online. There is no minimum redemption of the Plus Balance and it is always safe, even if a card is lost.
The Waterstones Plus is “very much a project of experienced booksellers”, the company said, and will also provide readers with recommendations and offers curated by staff, along with exclusive editions, signed copies, priority access to events and other benefits.
It is the card’s influence in recommending titles which managing director James Daunt sees as one of its most important benefits.
“The Plus Card rewards generously but I hope will be most appreciated by our customers for the insight and excitement of what we bring to their notice. Waterstones is a bookseller that thrives on the excellence of its booksellers and we very much look forward to developing the Plus Card to showcase this expertise,” he said.
The original Waterstones Loyalty Card was launched in 2007 and over 1 million customers are members.
Peter Whitehead, Waterstones Plus co-ordinator, told The Bookseller the new offer was more “elegant”, modern and now worked for both its online and store customers.
“Waterstones Plus is the front end of a much bigger piece of work we have been doing for the last 18 months in terms of how we speak to our customers and how we recommend books to customers," he said. "The people who have curated it are all booksellers, we have all worked in store and we have used our expertise to create something our customers will like, which will recommend the books that they will want to read.”
In April, Elliot Advisors' private equity arm bought a majority stake in Waterstones, but Whitehead said work on Waterstones Plus pre-dated the new owners.