Marketers to Rethink Loyalty Programs to Improve Consumer Sentiment

Marketers in industries ranging from shoe stores to automotive services have launched loyalty programs to induce consumers to keep shopping with them. Many loyalty programs also offer marketers valuable insights into consumer behavior. But a newly released study finds consumers may be on the verge of reaching loyalty program burnout. Marketers will likely be taking steps to improve their programs to retain their more loyal customers.

One problem with loyalty programs is that consumers can’t keep track of what they’ve signed up for. According to ACI Worldwide, retail loyalty membership looks like this:

  • 1 membership program: 74%
  • 4 or more programs: 27%

To keep track of their loyalty programs, consumers would like to have:

  • 1 single card with all information: 52%
  • A consolidated key chain card or key fob: 32%
  • A mobile app that consolidates information: 17%

In addition, consumers find that when they want to shop their favorite retailer online, discounts from a loyalty program offered by the bricks and mortar branch often can’t be applied. As a result, fewer than half of consumers use loyalty data when they shop online.  But a large majority of consumers, 78%, say they would shop at their favorite retailer’s online site if the loyalty program was frictionless between channels.

"With American consumers demanding consolidated loyalty and rewards programs, U.S. retailers need to move in this direction," says Rob Seward, senior industry marketing manager at ACI Worldwide.  Collective loyalty programs have been popular and successful in Europe.  As a result of this study and the need to keep consumers happy, more marketers may consider joining forces to use a consolidated loyalty program card or device.

[Source: ACI Worldwide Study Reveals Half Of U.S. Consumers Demand One Card For All Of Their Retail Loyalty Programs. Retailsolutionsonline​.com. 10 Jan. 2011. Web. 31 Mar. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.