Survey Results Are In – Here’s What Consumers Want In Today’s Loyalty Programs

CodeBroker recently surveyed 1,207 US shoppers on a wide range of loyalty program topics, from loyalty program usage, to top pain points, to changes consumers would like to see to make it easier to engage.

Decline in Loyalty Program Usage
Loyalty programs are not performing as well as they did just a short time ago. According to retail industry analyst EKN, overall active member rates have declined by 2% from 2013 to 2015 (from 44% to 42%). CodeBroker survey results support EKN’s stats. Of the 1,207 consumers surveyed, only 24% actually use the rewards they earn. And it comes as no surprise that consumers overwhelmingly want to access loyalty programs from their smartphones.

Top Frustrations with Loyalty Programs
Carrying the cards is the number one frustration, with 43% of survey respondents saying it was their biggest pain point with loyalty programs.

Other frustrations mentioned include…

  • 28% said they forget to bring paper rewards certificates to redeem
  • 38% said they never knew if they had rewards available
  • 65% attempted to redeem a reward at POS and found it expired

Perhaps most distressing, more than half (56%) of consumers said they changed or abandoned a purchase when they realized their points had expired.

So What Do Consumers Want?

  • 70% of those surveyed said they would use a mobile version of their loyalty cards if they didn’t have to sign in to a website or download an app.
  • 71% said they would be more likely to use their loyalty cards if they could access their cards and rewards from their mobile phone.

It’s no surprise that consumers prefer to participate in loyalty programs via their smartphones – but mobile is a platform with several communication channels and, what works for one consumer may not work for another. Here is what the research further tells us:

How Consumers Want to Access Loyalty Programs
Text Message                                   34.75%
Mobile App                                      18.5%
Apple Wallet or Android Pay          15.4%
Other                                                31.2%

Many brands have employed their loyalty program via a mobile app in the belief that they have a mobile loyalty program. However, a mobile app represents only one channel. Loyalty marketers need the ability to invite each consumer to enroll in the loyalty program, and to access the program, via that consumer’s preferred channel – whether it’s a mobile app or text message or Facebook.

Take an Omnichannel Approach to Mobile Loyalty Engagement
Based on the survey results, loyalty marketers need to take an omnichannel approach to mobile loyalty acquisition and engagement. Marketers should strive to employ the complete range of mobile channels – text message, mobile app, social, digital wallet, email – to allow consumers to join the program in the manner that works best for them. And, once they join, marketers can keep each member engaged over time by making it easy to access, and participate in, the program via that individual consumer’s preferred channel(s).

By interacting with consumers over their preferred mobile channel, marketers can more effectively:

  • Increase member enrollment – especially with millennials
  • Drive higher levels of member engagement
  • Deliver cohesive communications across channels
  • Employ a more effective contact strategy

If you would like to learn more, please download and read the full CodeBroker 2017 Shopper Loyalty Survey.

About the Author
Dan Slavin is CEO and co-founder of CodeBroker, a developer of omnichannel mobile marketing solutions. He was CEO of Framework Technologies, VP of Open Market, and CEO of International Testing Services. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. You can reach him at dan.slavin@codebroker.com