M&S is launching its new SPARKS loyalty programme across the UK next week, following a successful trial over the summer.
And in a change from other loyalty schemes, customers will be rewarded for spending and doing things such as reviewing products online and recycling old clothes.
The SPARKS scheme formally launches on October 22, and allows users to collect points, known as ‘sparks’, in the following ways:
- 10 sparks for every purchase;
- 10 sparks for every £1 spent;
- 25 sparks for posting a product review, or 50 sparks when they Shwop (when you bring in an old item of clothing which is then donated to Oxfam).
Other SPARKS benefits
There are other benefits included in the SPARKS scheme too.
For example, as soon as members join the scheme, they will be sent a welcome offer, such as a 10% discount in a certain department.
A “tailor-made selection of offers” is then sent out every fortnight for members to choose from, according to M&S. And as you earn more sparks, you can unlock up to four offer slots at one time.
When you hit 3,000 sparks, members can unlock ‘priority access’, meaning you get a preview of new season ranges. When you hit 7,000 sparks, you can shop the M&S.com sale 24 hours in advance of the general public.
If you manage to build up 14,000 sparks you then unlock special invitation-only events and masterclasses, from food tasting to exclusive shopping evenings. And then at 17,000 sparks you are entered into draws for “money can’t buy experiences”, such as a trip to an M&S South African vineyard.
What’s more, every single time you shop at M&S, a penny will be donated to the charity of your choice, which you select at registration.
Finally, between October 22 and November 4, M&S is running the ’14 days of SPARKS’ promotion, where every day all registered members will be entered into a free prize draw for an “extra special SPARKS experience”.
How do I join SPARKS?
Though the scheme doesn’t launch until next week, you can collect a SPARKS card from your local M&S store.
Invitations to join will also be sent to selected M&S Bank customers, M&S.com users and shareholders from today.
Managing your sparks
You can access your SPARKS hub and see how many sparks you have built up on the Marks & Spencer website or via the free M&S app.
What about the M&S credit card?
Somewhat confusingly, M&S already had a loyalty points scheme of sorts through its credit card.
When you shop with the M&S credit card, you earn M&S points. You get one point for every £1 spent in M&S and one point for every £2 spent elsewhere.
One hundred points are worth £1 in M&S vouchers, which are sent out four times a year. And when you open the card you get a bonus voucher for 500 points, worth £5.
M&S has not yet confirmed whether this scheme will be merged with SPARKS or whether it will persist with two separate points-based loyalty schemes.