High street loyalty apps: what works & what doesn’t

By Sarrah Ahmed

With a wealth of apps on the market, brands are consistently vying for creativity and loyalty online. what better way to create engagement and customer retention than a loyalty app?

As a regular user and avid ambassador of loyalty apps, I have attempted to highlight the differences between some loyalty apps - ranging from great design through to strong functionality.

The House of Fraser iPhone app

Recently relaunched with a slicker and savvier design, the House of Fraser app really is the new way to shop. With the ability to shop online, track rewards and scan barcodes to check for your size or extra colour, this app really does make your shopping experience smoother and slicker.

  • Great design - easy to navigate and understand
  • Points tracker is highly engaging - track how many points you need until your next reward with a clear CTA to get shopping
  • Able to personalise your profile and store sizes including ‘his sizes’ and ‘little sizes’


Who doesn't love a ‘cheeky Nando’s'? The app has gone through many updates since it first launched, replacing the traditional paper card we all had in our wallets at one point or another. Although the app doesn't have all the niceties some other brands do, their actual reward system is one to shout out about! For simply spending £7 at Nando’s, you earn a chilli on the ‘chilli wheel’. Considering most customers will spend more than £7, it can be argued that as a customer, you are being rewarded with an average 25% return.

  • Calorie counter - for those healthy people, you can count your calories. Not me…
  • Chilli’s = chicken. True to brand message and consistent throughout online/offline journey
  • No exclusive rewards/messages

Nandos app


As a recognisable brand here in the UK [and everywhere else], the Starbucks loyalty app has been designed for two purposes: capture customer information and make your life easier. Using the app is very, very simple. You can even make payments via the app, thus, increasing customer interaction with the app.

  • Simple design - the simplicity makes it hugely popular. It isn't trying to wow you with design, instead, focusses on functionality
  • Able to top up your loyalty card and pay for a coffee via the app
  • Quirky gift section - top up a friends app with a unique message & design

myStarbucks App

The Pretzel Pass

I can’t really write a blog about loyalty apps without mentioning the one we developed for Auntie Anne’s UK; the pretzel pass. The app was built to replace the old stamp card system and to offer a way for Auntie Anne’s to start collecting useful customer data. This data is then used by our digital marketing team to send targeted email marketing campaigns.

  • Simple design- the design is simple yet it still fits perfectly with the company's website.
  • Engaging- the pretzel progress bar allows users to keep track of their points and have something to work towards.
  • Social media- is integrated with social media, so shows the user most recent posts.

What make a successful loyalty app

Ultimately, a loyalty app will only be successful based on the reward structure in place. Without a strong reward strategy, the app becomes redundant. Once the mechanics have been agreed, the fun starts - design and content!

Have I missed any points or do would you like to share your own app review with us?


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