Beyond the Boardroom: Macy’s Re-invented Star Rewards Customer Loyalty Program

In this month’s episode of Beyond the Boardroom, we travelled with Jeff Gennette to the Macy’s Credit and Customer Services center in Mason, OH, where we got to hear about the great work these teams are doing to support our North Star Strategy while servicing more than 70 million customer inquiries annually. The episode focused on one key initiative that these teams have had a critical role in over the past year -- our re-invented Macy’s Star Rewards customer loyalty program.

The collaboration and agility required from different teams across the company and across the country to launch the new loyalty program is a phenomenal story. As you heard in the video, the launch was a massive, coordinated effort from Associates across various functions, who worked together to challenge the status quo and find a way to meet the needs of the customer. The Beyond the Boardroom episode gave a look at a few of these teams, and now Coast to Coast is shining a spotlight on another side of the story – the amazing work done by our product development and technology teams.

More than 200 product managers, designers, copywriters, user experience architects, developers, and quality assurance engineers worked together from coast to coast over six months to release the strategic reimagining of our Macy’s Star Rewards loyalty program.

“The spirit of the team that designed, developed, and built the technology that powered the relaunch shone through day in and day out,” said Alison Pyle, director, Product Management, Marketing Domain at Macy’s. “Driven by our own loyalty, dedication, and love of the Macy’s brand, we all hoped the experience we created would touch our customers in the same way. It was a shining example of embracing the North Star Strategy and working to create a loyalty program that operates seamlessly across all channels. The new Star Rewards page that customers can access on desktop, tablet, mobile web, and mobile app informs and empowers the customer to understand their new benefits and take control of their rewards by real-time tracking of their point and tier status, as they strive for a higher tier and the best benefits Macy’s has to offer.”

Learn more about our tech teams’ involvement in the critical strategic initiative in this interview with Siva Yenamareddy, Director, Digital Technology, Marketing Domain, Macy’s Technology.

Tell us about the work philosophy from the technology side in launching the new Star Rewards Loyalty Program?

I couldn’t be more proud of our teams and how quickly we worked. We had a tight timeframe to deliver a huge product. The work ethic philosophy was never, ‘let’s do this later,’ it was, ‘let’s do this now!’ Factors constantly changed throughout the process and we took that on as a challenge. We had to be agile and innovative with problem-solving. I’ve been with Macy’s for more than eight years, and this project involved some of the best examples of teamwork I’ve ever seen.

How did the technology teams put into practice our North Star Strategy and moving with agility and speed on this project?

From the technology side, we approached the project with a general rule – instead of complicating, we simplified. We simplified the design. We simplified the implementation and testing process. We put a lot of thought process into the design early on and that allowed us to move with agility and speed. Implementing a strong planning process early on saved us from wasting time later on bugs or other obstacles. We came up with a design where we could quickly fix any issues and introduced new in-house technology frameworks.

What was the role the customer played in the work of the technology teams on this project?

Everyone had the same goal in mind: how do we make our best customers happy? Continually putting the customer at the center of our thought process was crucial. Everything was tied back to the customer experience. Our testing teams wanted to make sure that we captured every combination of what our customer could experience or want. They didn’t leave any stone unturned. We wanted to fix any potential issue before it could even approach the customer. We wanted the customer experience to be seamless. How could the customer move forward and use features such as free shipping and earning points as seamlessly as possible? What if I’m the customer and I want this feature? The level of detail with which we examined the customer perspective was incredible. It was thinking 10 steps ahead all the time.

What was the lead up to the official launch like for the technology teams?

The night before the deadline of Oct. 2, everyone was in the office and so excited about delivering this product for the company. We worked tirelessly through the entire night leading up to launch. It was a dream for everyone to be involved in such an important initiative for the company.

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