Despite the highs and lows of loyalty programmes in the last decade, the majority of consumers still want retailers to offer reward schemes, research revealed today. The 2017 Holiday Retail Outlook Report by Conversant, Epsilon and LoyaltyOne shows almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of consumers are more likely to shop at a specific retailer if it offers a loyalty scheme – but it needs to be personal.
‘Following the Christmas rush, retailers want to hold onto those new customers they enticed in over the Christmas period as well as making sure their existing customers keep coming back,’ explains Elliott Clayton, vice president of media UK, Conversant.
‘Returning customers are highly likely to spend more on their next visit, with retailers seeing a 20 per cent lift in basket size, compared to new customers. Every customer interaction is a chance to solidify that loyalty. It’s about finding the right means to create one-to-one conversations and build up a relationship over time – and loyalty programmes are a tried-and-tested way of achieving that.’
However, whilst the majority of consumers (88 per cent) do want to earn rewards for making purchases, simply offering a loyalty scheme is not enough. More than one in ten (14 per cent) consumers want to be able to use these rewards for experiences, rather than discounts, offers or buying new items.
Similarly, nearly one third (32 per cent) of consumers want to receive special services through their loyalty programme and almost one in ten (8 per cent) want to be recognised as having a ‘higher status’ if they are part of a loyalty scheme.
Clayton concludes, ‘Loyalty programmes are a great way to connect with customers on a deeper level, but brands need to get it right. Consumers want simplicity and meaningful rewards – but also prestige and special treatment for being part of a loyalty scheme.
‘There is still a significant opportunity for loyalty schemes to build long-lasting relationships with customers, but it’s vital that marketers think about what really motivates their audience – something as simple as a free coffee can be a powerful motivator, but it isn’t always the holy grail.’