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Technology driving change in customer loyalty landscape

31st Aug 2012
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New research has revealed that the proliferation of smartphones and growth of social media is driving change in customer loyalty. 

Ipsos MORI and The Logic Group surveyed over 2,000 UK adults and found 13% of those surveyed have received loyalty scheme offers via their mobile phones in the past six months with 7% expecting to receive such offers in the next year.

Additionally, whilst only 7% of adults have used their mobile to make payments in the past six months, 17% expect to use their phone as a mobile wallet in the next 12 months with the same number expecting to use their phone instead of a loyalty card in the same period.

The research also showed that one quarter of consumers are using their mobile phones to check product reviews and details while shopping in-store in a year’s time with 42% preferring to receive offers whilst in-store, not afterwards.

In terms of social media, the research highlighted the growing importance of social networks as a medium to drive loyalty through increased customer interactions.

According to the figures, Twitter is expected to experience the largest growth in people using the site to show their loyalty (16%). However, Facebook still remains the dominant network with over a quarter of those surveyed claiming to visit the Facebook site of companies they are loyal to, in comparison to Twitter (8%).

Simon Atkinson, assistant chief executive of Ipsos MORI, said: “This year’s results are a reminder that, in the eyes of customers, loyalty is about more than just emotional attachment. Customers don’t necessarily expect something for nothing. But they expect recognition for showing loyalty to services, products or brands. 

“What’s less clear is just how quickly new technologies will change the landscape, and in what ways.  We’ve all seen the growth of high-speed internet, smartphones, social networking and apps.  But it’s still early days in terms of what this means for loyalty.  Consumers aren’t thinking about what’s possible; there is an opportunity for providers to serve up a compelling offer – those who do this right will see bottom-line benefit.”

Antony Jones, The Logic Group CEO, said: “From a customer point of view, social media is changing the way customers interact with companies. For businesses, using social media platforms such as Facebook adds another channel to customer interactions and greater business opportunity to influence and engage with customers along their purchasing journey; whether that’s greater availability of information, a more relevant and customer-friendly tone to communications, responding quickly to an enquiry, or offering a targeted loyalty deals to followers.”

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