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Retail loyalty programmes still a big hit with consumers – study

24th Sep 2013
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Retail loyalty card schemes may have taken off in the early nineties but they still remain a favourite with today’s consumers.

According to new research from SAS and Conlumino, 95% of consumers have at least one loyalty card with nearly 90% of these using them regularly.

The findings, based on a survey of over 2,00 UK consumers and a second survey of 100 UK retailers, also showed that the loyalty programmes are a huge consideration for consumers when choosing which retailer to shop with. The survey showed that over 40% said that they would be less likely to use a retailer without a loyalty scheme.

Retailers that invested the most into their loyalty schemes were shown to have the highest emotional connection with their customers. Boots, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s all ranked highly with Tesco, the king of customer loyalty programmes, taking the top spot.

So what makes their loyalty schemes so successful and what are customers looking for in return for signing up? According to the research, 50% of those surveyed said that if offers were personalised that they would be more likely to use that retailer again.

And customers are comfortable handing retailers their data in return for this personalised service. Nearly half of consumers were shown to have no concerns with loyalty schemes whatsoever with almost 40% actively opting-in to receive marketing material from retailers.

Additionally, the research showed that over a third of consumers claimed that receiving marketing material from a retailer would make them more likely to purchase from them, and nearly half would be likely or very likely to use a retailer if they provided personalised offers.

Neil Saunders, MD at Conlumino, said: “This really creates a massive opportunity for retailers because those that grasp the opportunity to understand their customers and treat them as individuals, are more likely to see increases in shopping trolley purchases and add to their profit margin.”

The research also investigated consumer use of loyalty programmes via their mobile devices and found a third of consumers would be likely to take advantage of an offer if they received it via their mobile device whilst in-store.

Alex Fovargue, SAS UK & Ireland retail specialist, added: “With nearly 88-million mobile phone subscriptions in the UK, the potential business development in getting around 30 percent of that 88-million to accept offers would have a serious impact on the retail industry’s profit margins.”

Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby, the brains behind Tesco’s hugely successful Clubcard scheme, recently explained how they introduced a new era of customer insight a – and why Big Data is a myth.


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