Are Loyalty Schemes Still as Valuable for Today’s Savvy Shopper?

David Buckingham
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Loyalty schemes within retail remain a popular concept. Two-thirds of shoppers globally have reported being a member of a loyalty scheme, with the most common benefits for consumers including product discounts, cashback and recognition as a valuable customer. However, as consumer demands change, retailers are adapting to ensure their schemes remain relevant.

Demand for loyalty schemes remains clear — according to Ecrebo’s latest consumer research, three-quarters of all shoppers are more likely to spend with a brand that has a scheme in place. However, while reaping the associated benefits is often the primary reason for customers signing up in the first place, it is by no means the only factor that determines their overall success.

Our consumer research dug deeper into the behaviours and opinions of consumers regarding loyalty schemes, and although 71% of respondents told us that receiving money off products they already buy is the main perceived value, we also discovered that there are numerous other reasons why they might choose to stick with — or give up on — certain schemes.

Most notably, we found that consumers want the overall process of using a loyalty scheme to be simple and seamless. More specifically, 58% of respondents believed it was important that the card or app that forms part of the scheme is easy to use/understand, while over half (48%) of respondents told us that the offers themselves should also be easy to redeem. In other words, it should be as seamless and pain-free as possible.

We also discovered that coupons are still in high demand among consumers — provided that they are personalised towards the preferences of the individuals receiving them. In fact, 76% of shoppers said that coupons actually change the way they shop, and 36% of respondents told us that they see value in receiving coupons for products they may be interested in.

Certain loyalty schemes might make it more difficult for consumers to earn rewards (i.e. they might have to spend a larger amount of money or shop with a brand more frequently), and this factor was important to the consumers we spoke to — 31% of consumers told us the time taken to earn rewards was an essential factor of any loyalty scheme. Just under a third (28%) also said that the availability of personalised offers was important — another clear indicator of the personalisation boom we are currently experiencing — and 64% said they are likely to share their data with retailers in order to receive these offers.

As the loyalty landscape continues to evolve, it is fascinating to see which elements of loyalty schemes are most important to consumers. Of course, personalisation continues to be a hugely popular trend, but the research also serves as a valuable lesson for retailers to never underestimate the power of a loyalty scheme that is both intuitive and simple to use.



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