Report: What loyalty really means to your customers

New study sets out to understand what loyalty is from the customer’s point of view

Customer loyalty remains a hot topic for marketers with the ever-evolving tech, data, social and demographic changes, but what does it all really mean for customers?

According to a new study, For love or money 2017 report, customers see loyalty as embodying both behaviour and belief, as well as inherent trust of a brand’s offering.

The report, released by The Point of Loyalty, surveyed a panel of Australian consumers over 18 who were members of at least one loyalty program. It found 81 per cent of respondents tended to purchased more from the companies with which they are loyalty members, and 64 per cent fully endorsed the need for loyalty programs, a significant increase from last year’s survey. Looking at the top performers, Coles flybuys remained the number one program members consider as ‘doing a very good job’, followed by Woolworths Rewards and Qantas Frequent Flyer. Priceline’s Sister Card moved up from its sixth ranking in 2016 to fourth this year, while Myer’s one program dropped from fifth to sixth. Boost Vibe Club, CommBank Awards, MyDanMurphy’s and Optus Perks took the remaining spots in the top ten.

Customers saw convenience, transactional benefits and the emotional benefits as the top reasons they joined loyalty programs, and enjoy being personally recognised as a member and offered tailored and relevant rewards. 

And while millennials, gen Xers and baby boomers were almost equally represented across program memberships, it was households with no kids and a medium income that actually actively participated. Meanwhile a record 87 per cent of Australians enrolled in at least one loyalty program, with millennials having the highest sign up rate this year. 

But complacency kills loyalty, with the report revealing loyalty program managers still need to keep an eye on member defection, which currently sits at 18 per cent.

Leveraging the right technology to boost loyalty transactional ease of use was also identified as a priority, with 80 per cent of respondents indicating they used a card to interact at POS, but would be open to other payment integration methods like a mobile app or using a unique identifier such as a mobile phone number or email address.

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