- Finish Line has launched an upgraded loyalty app free to download on iOS and Android devices, according to a press release. The app features a product feed meant to inspire customers, customized product recommendations, information on upcoming product releases and in-app shopping and checkout. It also doles out status updates, rewards and access to “Finish Line Live” streaming video events for members of Finish Line’s Winner’s Circle loyalty program.
- An earlier iteration of Finish Line’s loyalty app will automatically be updated with the latest features. App users can join the athletic retailer’s loyalty program within the app and existing loyalty members sign in with their Winner’s Circle account. They input personal preferences into the app that can be changed at any time. Finish Line uses in-store beacon and geo-fencing technology to promote digital offers and in-store activations based on those preferences.
- Finish Line’s Winners Circle loyalty program has more than 10 million members nationwide. There are 950 Finish Line branded locations across the U.S., mostly at malls and inside Macy’s department stores.
The American retail industry is suffering blow after blow in what is turning out to be one of the biggest years ever for store closures. Finish Line hasn't escaped the industry's travails. Last month, the athletic retailer reported its Q4 net sales sank 0.4% to $557.5 million, sending its stock tumbling. To buttress its tottering business, Finish Line shuttered 24 underperforming stores in its fiscal year 2017, bringing the number of closures to 78 during the last 24 months.
Against the backdrop of ailing stores and the onslaught of e-commerce, retailers have tried to enter customers’ mobile phones with apps to connect with them both outside and inside stores. Retail apps, though, have rarely been successful. A survey by inMarket showed a measly 8% of smartphone owners use retailers’ apps. Linking loyalty programs and frequent offers to retailer apps help make a compelling case for downloads and continued use, increasing the success rates of the apps.
“Timeliness and relevancy are critical factors,” said Danielle Quatrochi, senior vice president of digital customer experience and innovation at Finish Line. “Our latest iteration of the Winner’s Circle app gives us a unique competitive edge via the introduction of several app features not currently offered within the retail industry — complete with a truly frictionless shopping experience right in the palm of your hand.”
Retailers are looking to apps not just to drive digital sales, but to collect data on their customers and prod shoppers to visit stores. Finish Line mentioned its app will alert shoppers to in-store opportunities. The retailer will leverage beacon technology to do so, although the effectiveness of beacons is debatable.