Keeping Customers Engaged and Invested through Exclusive Membership

Loyalty Programs
August 26, 2021
Sporting Goods & Outdoor

Key Takeaways

REI co-op is an outdoor gear and clothing brand. REI combined their co-op membership to offer lifetime rewards and exclusive opportunities for a $20 fee. Each aspect of the co-op membership works in a circular manner to bring business and traffic back to REI. Organically pushing the program through homepage takeovers and social media channels, the REI co-op membership incentivizes visitors by offering:

  • Member Exclusive Merch: REI partnered with fellow brands they supply such as Klean Kanteen and Buff to create branded merchandise that only members will have access to.
  • Used Gear Trade-In Program: REI offers a trade-in program to members which enables them to give back older goods in return for gift cards.
  • Member Community Forum: REI built a member forum on Khoros, a community management software to keep members in the loop and in touch with each other.
  • Bike & Ski Repair Services: Members can get 10% off their bike or ski services at any REI location.
  • Camping Gear Rentals: For members who may not have all the gear they need for future trips, REI members are able to take up to 33% off all camping gear rentals hosted by REI.
  • REI Adventures: Members get special pricing on all REI Adventures across the country.
  • Classes & Events: REI offers local and virtual classes and events to connect other members and teach them something new to bring into their outdoor experiences.

REI co-op is an American outdoor gear and clothing brand with 21M average monthly website visits. 52% of REI’s web traffic comes from desktop while 48% comes from mobile visitors.

REI Co-Op - Web Traffic

As a co-op, REI offers visitors the option to opt-into the program with a lifetime membership. REI built an evergreen promotion for members to buy a $20 lifetime membership, spend $50 on the site and get $20 back for future purchases.

REI Co-Op - Evergreen Promotion

The REI membership page receives an average of 96K monthly web visits. From February 2021 to July 2021, the page saw an +49% increase in web traffic.

REI Membership Page

Traditionally, co-op structures focus on members having accessibility, dividends and decision making power into company goals. REI is leveraging their member experience by providing seven additional ways to engage and interact with the business.

REI Co-Op Membership Benefits

Membership Loyalty Program:

1. Member Exclusive Merch

REI partnered with fellow brands they supply such as Klean Kanteen and Buff to create branded merchandise that only members will have access to. This enables co-op members to feel more integrated in their community knowing that only a select group of people have access to purchase these products.

REI - Member Exclusive Merch

2. Used Gear Trade-In Program

REI offers a trade-in program to members which enables them to give back older goods in return for gift cards that can be used for REI purchases. REI is able to demonstrate their commitment to their products and sustainability while securing future purchases with small vouchers given out to members along the way.

REI Co-Op - Used Gear Trade-In Program

3. Member Community Forum 

REI built a member forum on Khoros, a community management software to keep members in the loop and in touch with each other. As of July 2021, the forum generates 92K monthly website visits with 27K members and 34K public conversations. Non-members can access the forum as well however only co-op members have access to a specific channel for just them, creating an element of exclusivity.

REI Co-Op - Member Community Forum

4. Bike & Ski Repair Services

REI stores offer in-person services such as bike and ski maintenance. When signing up to be a member, visitors can get 10% off their services at any REI location. Members can easily move around the country knowing that their discount will apply whenever they may need bike & ski services from REI.

REI Co-Op - Bike & Ski Repair Services

5. Camping Gear Rentals

For members who may not have all the gear they need for future trips, they are able to take up to 33% off all camping gear rentals hosted by REI. This provides a unique discount that can be beneficial to members who aren’t sure if they want to commit to a specific form of an outdoor activity.

REI Co-Op - Camping Gear Rentals

6. REI Adventures

Members get special pricing on all REI Adventures across the country. For members who are motivated by discount pricing, it may increase their need or motivation to rent and buy gear for trips from REI. Offering discounted pricing and guided adventures makes different types of travel more accessible to a wider range of people and stays true to REI’s outdoor values.

REI Adventures

7. Classes & Events

REI offers local and virtual classes and events to connect other members and teach them something new to bring into their outdoor experiences. Members can build a deeper connection with each other and learn new skills that may deepen their investment into the outdoor world. Classes include anything from bike riding to backcountry navigation.

REI Co-Op - Classes & Events

REI promotes their co-op rewards and benefits through their organic channels such as Instagram by creating story highlights that demonstrate the perks and engage followers.

REI Co-Op - Rewards & Benefits


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