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What Consumers Think of Loyalty & Reward Programs, Part 2

With the quickly evolving landscape of loyalty marketing, we’ve released our annual Loyalty Barometer Report to keep you current on the state of loyalty by diving into key themes and trends. This two-part blog series outlines our findings.

In Part One, we discussed the evolution of the loyalty landscape, what customers expect, and the preferred way to earn and redeem. Here, we’ll get into consumer motivation and preferences.

Personalization and Recognition:

Today’s landscape has shifted to a strong focus on data security and privacy. Consumers are less comfortable sharing data, even when they know it’s being used to make their rewards experience more relevant. Because of this, brands need to be careful to only ask for the data that they really need to create a more meaningful program.

Additionally, purchase confirmation should be as simple as possible. Nearly half of respondents prefer to have their purchases automatically validated; however, scanning a code or UPC via a mobile app came in second and taking a picture of a receipt or code came in third.

How should purchases be confirmed in order to earn rewards?

Takeaway: Modern consumers expect a seamless rewards experience, but they are willing to take additional action if there’s a compelling reason to do so.

Emotional Loyalty Drivers

Emotional loyalty is integral to loyalty initiatives, but a universal measurement of emotional loyalty is still a tough ask. To get more insight, we asked participants to identify the most important ways a brand can interact with them and found out surprises can build strong connections on an individual level. As a matter of fact,

Consumers want to be recognized and appreciated, so surprising your customers with a special offer or gift gives you the opportunity to build strong connections on an individual level.

Fifty percent of consumers say making the shopping process more convenient ranked second and that helping them solve a problem or answer a question came in third. In today’s world, consumers are time-starved and place a high value on brands that make their day-to-day easier, so brands should build in benefits or features that help consumers and simplify their choices as an opportunity to positively impact long-term loyalty.

Emerging Technology Influences Loyalty

Consumers expect to interact with loyalty programs the same way that they would interact with the brand itself, and 67% of consumers want to access their loyalty program information via a mobile app.

How would you like to access your loyalty program info?

Takeaway: This desire for mobile access relates back to convenience. Consumers consider loyalty programs a part of the brand, not a separate entity. To give consumers what they want, look to integrate loyalty program components into the existing brand identity and experience.

Emerging technologies will shortly become integral marketing channels: US smart speaker adoption grew to 24% in 2018 and continues to rise. In addition, 40% of households own more than one smart speaker. Data shows that smart speaker usage (like mobile devices in the past) will steadily increase in the coming years, marking a brand new channel to leverage for loyalty offerings. Brands that integrate this technology now will be ahead of the curve as the segment grows.

The loyalty landscape will continue to change, but these key takeaways will help you stay on top of the ever-dynamic expectations of consumers. Want to learn more? Download the full report now.