Building a Guest-Led Loyalty Experience

Building a Guest-Led Loyalty Experience


Building a Guest-Led Loyalty Experience


Building a Guest-Led Loyalty Experience


Building a Guest-Led Loyalty Experience

The challenge

Build-A-Bear is a multi-generational global brand focused on its mission to “add a little more heart to life” appealing to a wide array of consumer groups who enjoy the personal expression in making their own “furry friends” to celebrate and commemorate life moments. Nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar experience locations operated through a variety of formats provide guests of all ages a hands-on, entertaining experience, which often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection.

The company offers multiple e-commerce/digital purchasing experiences on, including its online “Bear-Builder” configurator, the animated “Bear Builder 3D Workshop” and its age-gated adult-focused “Bear Cave”. In addition, the brand recently announced its first steps into Web3 with an NFT offering as part of the 25th-anniversary celebration and into the metaverse with developing a digital game for a leading platform, Build-A_Bear Tycoon on Roblox. Build-A-Bear’s success in the digital space has been recognized, having been named to lists that include America’s Best Online Shops, America’s Fastest Growing Online Shops, and America's Best Trending Online Shops, all awarded by Newsweek and Statista.

Build-A-Bear has significantly expanded its e-commerce demand compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 with initiatives to accelerate its comprehensive digital transformation.

Jenn Kretchmar, Build-A-Bear Workshop Chief Digital and Merchandising Officer commented, "A key to our success has been creating engaging online experiences while building core omni-channel digital capabilities with expanded technologies and a new customer loyalty platform."

Implementing a new Loyalty platform was an essential step for Build-A-Bear to enable the development of new rewards, promotions, and marketing experiences.

  • +20M

    loyalty records converted to the new system

  • #1

    largest retail implementation for Salesforce Loyalty Management

The approach

Build-A-Bear selected Salesforce Loyalty Management as the tool to enable the customer loyalty program and partnered with Merkle to implement the platform. Using a phased approach, Merkle set up the Salesforce Loyalty Module to process transactions, calculate points, and deliver rewards daily. As a result, Build-A-Bear Guests can now see their points across multiple consumer touchpoints, redeem rewards earlier, and access a new online account experience.

“The successful Salesforce Loyalty management implementation gives Build-A-Bear a foundation to innovate and expand the loyalty program, delivering better Guest experiences.”

Ed Poppe, VP of CRM and Loyalty

Merkle developed across Build-A-Bear’s ecosystem to implement Salesforce Loyalty Management:

  • Commerce Cloud
  • Marketing Cloud
  • Service Cloud
  • Data Warehouse
Kids headed to school

The Outcome

Build-A-Bear was among the first five retailers to implement Loyalty Management and was the largest retail implementation to date. This is just the start of Build-A-Bear's loyalty expansion. With the platform life, Build-A-Bear and Merkle will work closely to continue delivering improved guest experiences.

Build-A-Bear’s successful implementation of Salesforce Loyalty Management resulted in:

  • Over 20 million loyalty records converted to the new system
  • Automated promo and reward processes and a reduction in manual work