GameStop Explains Why It Changed the PowerUp Rewards Program Benefits

GameStop’s newly updated PowerUp Rewards program gives Pro-level members a new benefit to use each month in the form of a $5 coupon good on pretty much everything in the store. This monthly coupon – along with a $5 certificate for signing up for or renewing a subscription – is replacing the existing 10% discount on pre-owned products. GameStop tested this change in certain areas last year and has now opted to update the Pro tier of the program overall following what it said were positive results.

Like any change to a longstanding part of a program, Pro-level subscribers will likely be wondering why the discount benefit is being swapped out for the monthly coupon. ComicBook.com spoke to Frank Hamlin, the executive vice president and chief customer officer for GameStop, to learn more about the key change in this PowerUp Rewards program update. Hamlin said the new benefit is “universally appealing” since it can be used on a variety of products instead of just pre-owned items.

“So, as we've gotten into new categories, namely the largest being collectibles, we're very much embracing digital as a form of payment in gaming,” Hamlin said. "Digital is a top-selling item in our stores. The customer that prefers that, we want to be able to cater to that customer.”

Hamlin continued to say the company wanted to broaden their outreach to encompass more “customer roles.” He said GameStop has seen more people enrolling in the program and more frequent returns from customers looking to use the perk each month.

There are some restrictions to the coupons though. They can’t be used on pre-orders, they can’t be used to purchase a gift card, and they expire at the end of each month. When asked to elaborate on why the coupons have a monthly expiration date, Hamlin said the goal was to create a “sense of urgency” so GameStop customers would be more invested in the stores’ offerings month-by-month.

When asked if the change was made perhaps because people aren’t buying pre-owned products as much anymore, Hamlin said that wasn’t necessarily the case. He referenced GameStop’s other categories of products like collectibles and PC accessories and said those who prefer the pre-owned products can still use the coupon on those.

Hamlin said multiple PowerUp Rewards incentives for Pro members were tested but did not elaborate on those alternate perks when asked what was tested. He said there are no immediate plans to further update the PowerUp Rewards system but added that GameStop would continue to evaluate its loyalty program as the gaming industry evolves.

0comments

“Well, we live in a world of competition where there is permanence in change,” Hamlin said. “So, we're constantly evaluating, constantly improving. I don't want to speculate on timing of that, but these changes aren't on a cadence of every three months. It does take time to move these things through, and as the consumer changes in how they consume video gaming ... The entire marketplace, as you know, is undergoing significant change as it moves into streaming services, digital ecosystems, multiplayer environments, et cetera. And we're keeping our ear very much to that ground, and making sure we're keeping pace with that change.”

The new PowerUp Rewards program will be available for either $14.99 or $19.99 depending on whether subscribers want a digital or physical edition of Game Informer.

Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.