Southwest Airlines launches retail rewards program
Southwest Airlines launched a shopping initiative that enables loyalty program members to earn points by making purchases with more than 700 retailers, said Katie McDonald, communications manager at Southwest Airlines. The “Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping” program was built in collaboration with marketing technology company Cartera Commerce.
To view current offers, members must log in to the “Rapid Rewards Shopping” microsite using their Rapid Rewards account numbers. Consumers are able to shop and earn points by clicking on a retailer's site from the “Rapid Rewards Shopping” site and making a purchase. Points will be deposited into the members' Rapid Rewards accounts within six to eight weeks of a purchase.
“People are already shopping online and they're getting deals from their local retailers,” said McDonald. “Now they're getting rewards [that can be redeemed] for their flights.”
To promote the program's launch, purchases made on Nov. 28 with retailers Home Depot, Macy's, Sears and Barnes & Noble will generate double rewards points.
The Cartera Commerce-built microsite features integrated search, price comparison tools, seasonal promotions and personalized recommendations.
“This program is great way to introduce non-traditional partnerships,” said Lizz Zuniga, associate manager of partnership marketing at Southwest Airlines. “We've been focused on traditional travel categories, such as hotels and car rental companies. Consumers also want to earn points for everyday living.”
Southwest revamped its twenty-four-year-old loyalty program in March. The upgrade included the removal of blackout dates and seat restrictions for reward redemptions.