Do retail loyalty schemes make customers more loyal? Half of 18 to 34-year-olds say yes, but loyalty experience needs to improve

| June 26, 2018 | By

Half of 18 to 34-year-olds in Britain say retail loyalty schemes make them a more loyal customer, but while 70% regularly collect points only 47% are engaged enough to claim the rewards owing to them, according to a new YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Yoyo.

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Yoyo wanted to find out what the current perception of retail loyalty schemes was amongst British consumers, as well as how customers accumulated and earned rewards and what they thought would improve the loyalty scheme experience.

Firstly, we wanted to find out what British consumers thought about retail loyalty schemes, so we asked:

1. Do you think retail loyalty schemes have generally made you a more loyal customer?

  • 46% said loyalty schemes had made them a more loyal customer
  • Only 17% said loyalty schemes had not made them a more loyal customer
  • 49% of women said loyalty schemes made them more loyal, and 42% of men agreed
  • People in London were most likely to agree (48%)
  • Scotland-based consumers were least likely to agree (40%).

And this is how 18 to 34-year-olds compared:

Yoyo’s Insight:

  • According to the YouGov survey, 13% of all respondents said they were not a member of any retail loyalty scheme, suggesting 83% of British people are part of at least one loyalty scheme
  • The data also suggests that 78% of 18 to 34-year-olds are a member of at least one loyalty scheme
  • More 18 to 34-year-olds believe retail loyalty schemes make them more loyal than any other age group surveyed
  • People in London say they are the biggest fans of loyalty schemes

We then wanted to compare consumer behaviour around collecting loyalty points and redeeming rewards. We started by asking:

2. How often do you collect points through your loyalty schemes?

  • 74% always or often collected loyalty points
  • 17% sometimes collected loyalty points
  • Only 8% rarely or never collected loyalty points
  • 79% of women always or often collected loyalty points – 10% higher than men.
  • People living in the east of England collected points most often (80%)
  • Londoners were most likely to rarely or never collect loyalty points (11%)

We then asked:

3. How often do you claim rewards through your loyalty schemes?

  • Only half (50%) of people in Britain always or often claimed rewards owing to them
  • 30% sometimes claimed rewards
  • 19% rarely or never claimed rewards
  • Men were less likely to claim rewards than women (47% v 53%)
  • People living in the east of England claimed rewards most often (58%)
  • Scotland was most likely to rarely or never claim rewards (22%)

And here’s how it compared with 18 to 34-year-old:

Yoyo’s Insight:

  • While more 18 to 34-year-olds say they think loyalty schemes make them loyal customers, their current experiences make them less likely to fully engage than the rest of the British population
  • Women are more likely to fully engage with loyalty schemes than men
  • People living in London are the most likely to see the overall value in retail loyalty schemes, but are the least engaged when it comes to collecting points
  • People living in the East of England are the most likely to fully engage with loyalty schemes

With a fifth of British consumers claiming to rarely or never claim the rewards owing to them from their loyalty scheme, we wanted to find out why. So we asked them:

4. Why don’t you claim the rewards offered to you by your retail loyalty scheme?

  • Nearly a quarter of respondents said: “I don’t like the rewards that are offered”
  • 20% said: “I think the process to claim rewards is too time consuming
  • 12% said: “I don’t know how to find out what loyalty rewards are offered
  • A third of respondents (33%) simply said: “I can’t be bothered.

And here’s how it compared with 18 to 34-year-olds:

Yoyo’s Insight:

  • Consumers aged 18 to 34 are less worried about the rewards on offer, but are more likely to complain about how they are delivered
  • With such a large proportion of consumers saying they “can’t be bothered”, the data suggests that traditional loyalty schemes are not providing a personalised experience and are failing to positively engage customers
  • From the findings of the next question, it’s clear that consumers, especially 18 to 34-year-olds, believe mobile-led experiences would improve the delivery of loyalty schemes..

Finally, we wanted to find out what new features would improve the retail loyalty experience for consumers, so we asked all of those surveyed:

5. What would improve your experience with retail loyalty schemes

  • 26% wanted to be able to view their points and rewards on offer through an app:
    -41% of 18 to 34-year-olds
  • 26% wanted rewards to be personalised to past purchases:
    -35% of 18 to 34 year-olds
  • 26% wanted to receive instant notifications when they reached enough points to start claiming rewards:
    -28% of 18 to 34-year-olds
  • 18% wanted to be able to receive digital vouchers and use them through their smartphones
    -32% of 18 to 34-year-olds
  • 17% wanted to collect retail loyalty points without the need to sign up for a scheme or have a loyalty card
    -19% of 18 to 34-year-olds

Yoyo’s Insight:

  • British consumers are generally positive about retail loyalty schemes:
    83% are a member of at least one
  • It’s become a common habit for consumers to regularly collect points:
    74% always or often collect them
  • But there is some confusion / dissatisfaction on what consumers can / should do with their loyalty points:
    Only 47% regularly claim rewards
  • Loyalty scheme engagement could quickly be improved amongst 18 to 34-year-olds if retailers delivered:
    a) An end-to-end app-based loyalty scheme experience
    b) Personalised rewards based on past purchase behaviour
    c) Digital vouchers that consumers could instantly use through their smartphones