Brands with Loyalty Programs Attract More British Consumer Spend

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While once almost universally confined to the hotel and airline industries, loyalty programs are now enjoying a universal ubiquity that seems to be blanketing the market. And the reason is simple. Loyalty programs work. They can increase engagement, customer retention, and even acquisition. That is, of course, when they are properly implemented and deigned to meet modern consumer expectations.

For some brands this may be a bar set quite high, but it is a necessary one to transcend if they hope to stand out from the noise created by a market now awash in loyalty programs of all kinds. But for those that can standout, however, the rewards may be worth it as loyalty programs appear to be more popular than ever, especially among UK consumers.

According to a new Collinson Group study, more than half (59%) of British consumers say they would spend more with brands who operate a loyalty program.

This was true across all age groups, but it remained particularly true for those in the Baby Boomer segment, where (74%) stated that relevant loyalty programs encouraged them to spend. Among Generation X, 58% said they would increase engagement because of a loyalty program. And further down the generational line, only 41% of millennials claimed to be influenced by such a strategy.

This study not only links loyalty programs with potentially increased customer engagement, it also proves the need to maintain a high degree of relevancy when seeking to accommodate the different expectations of various demographic segments.

Many millennials, for instance, are obviously attracted by the prospect of an innovative loyalty program. But brands can be doing more to increase allure by designing programs that are more seamlessly connected across an array of digital and mobile channels.

Additionally, personalization is also key.

“Retail continues to evolve at a rapid rate, with brands both online and offline battling for loyalty in an increasingly crowded space,” said Jason De Winne, General Manager at ICLP, a Collinson Group subsidiary. “Gone are the days when a loyalty card alone would encourage consumers to choose a particular retailer above all others – the stakes are much higher now. Effective loyalty programs need to recognize and cater to what customers value, such as being greeted by name when entering a store, personalized offers or VIP events, in order to drive brand engagement and devotion.”

Other key findings included:

• 63% of all shoppers would be encouraged to shop more frequently or spend more with a brand if they received discounts on future purchases

• 36% of consumers expect personalization on offers when they shop in-store

• 18% of consumers are likely to spend more in a retail store where they are greeted by name and made to feel like a valued customer

“Nowadays, personal, unique rewards are more important as loyalty drivers than price alone,” De Winne concluded. “To win in this competitive retail landscape, brands need to focus on creating loyalty programs that generate insight and enable retailers to entice customers back with relevant offers – encouraging them to spend and shop more frequently. From money-can’t-buy experiences to personal greetings and a strong social media presence, customers want to ensure their hard-earned cash is spent with brands that are prepared to invest in a meaningful and personal relationship.”

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