Kohl's Continued Digital Innovation Drives Loyalty


Kohl's Corp. has found loyalty to be "the most important differentiator for us in the marketplace," said CEO Kevin Mansell, and this loyalty is being driven by technology.

"With the ability to use new technology enablers to personalize our offers and therefore grow usage and adoption over time, we believe loyalty has the potential to be a driver of visits and transaction size in a significant way over a long period of time," said Mansell.

For the holidays, Kohl's drove hard on its loyalty programs, including Kohl's Cash and Yes2You rewards program, by making changes in execution to heighten and strengthen the effectiveness of the programs.

With the ease of use that Kohl's app and its digital wallet has proven to be effective with customers, Kohl's said it's seeing customers using mobile more to pre-shop.

"People continue to shop and explore and search more online increasingly, obviously, more with their smartphone than anything else," said Mansell. "I would say we are seeing, increasingly, a trend towards customers using that information to transact in our stores, which I think would be a really good thing for us, because as you know, one of our key initiatives is to amplify the importance of our store base, and we have a substantial store base."

Kohl's is working toward proving a best-in-class experience that starts with the enablers on customers' devices, in particular their mobile phone device, to make the experience of buying and picking up in store really easy.

Kohl’s launched Kohl’s Pay last year, a convenient mobile payment option which integrates the Kohl’s Charge private label credit card into the popular Kohl’s mobile app. Kohl’s Pay allows the more than 25 million active card holders across the country to pay for their in-store purchases with their Kohl’s Charge card directly from their mobile device. Kohl’s Pay also brings customers the added convenience of seamlessly applying their Kohl’s offers, Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You Rewards with a single transaction right from the mobile device at checkout.

The omnichanel retailer also added smaller 35,000 square-foot stores.
"You know that we've put a stake in the ground, that brick and mortar is really important as an omnichannel retailer, both to have a place in the customer's mind, but also as a point of distribution," said Mansell.

In 2014 Kohl’s introduced its Greatness Agenda and established a new objective for the retailer: to become the most engaging retailer in America. It's been moving toward this ever since and utilizing innovative technology has been no small part of how Kohl's engages the customer.

To learn more, Kohl’s Chief Technology Officer Ratnakar Lavu will share his experience on driving technology to evolve a traditional department store into a leading omnichannel retailer during the "How Technology Fuels Kohl’s Omnichannel Innovations” session at NRF 2017. The session will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2:30–3:00 am in Hall D, Special Events Hall, Level 1.

Lavu, whose role covers CTO and CIO responsibilities, will discuss the collaboration between teams at Kohl’s headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wis. and Kohl’s Digital Center in Silicon Valley. He will speak to recent customer-driven initiatives including Kohl’s mobile app and digital wallet, Kohl’s Pay, and the importance of continued digital innovation. In this session, discover what retail technology leaders are watching in 2017, including cloud solutions, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the connected in-store experience.

For more information on the 2017 Big Show check out RIS News’ preview guide here.

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