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90% of UK adults are part of a loyalty programme, while only 15% of retailers offer one: study

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Some 90% of UK adults belong to at least one loyalty programme, while only 15% of UK Top500 retailers have such a scheme, says new research.

That’s one of the findings of a recent study, Retail Loyalty Programmes in the UK 2018, carried out by Razors Edge Business Intelligence using the IRUK Top500 2017. Its analysis found that 44 Top500 retailers operated 48 loyalty programmes.

The UK, says Razors Edge, is one of the most mature loyalty markets in the world. Nonetheless, its researchers found a lack of differentiation between most programmes, with generic schemes offering benefits such as points on spending, discounts, personalised offers and invitations to exclusive events. 

“Many UK retailers are making a minimum effort to promote their programmes on their websites,” said Hannah Esterhuizen, operations director, Razor’s Edge. “And they are doing this in a highly competitive environment.”

The most widely offered benefits were discounts, followed by free-of-charge items, points and privilege benefits.

Nonetheless, the Razor’s Edge research found some retailers are making a real difference with their programmes by responding to customer demand.

Standout benefits included the B&Q Club, which sends digital receipts via email, while myJohn Lewis stores till receipts online in a ‘Kitchen Drawer’ feature. The Decathlon Card enables holders to return items without a receipt, while the PureHMV points programme offers rewards with scarcity value, such as a signed Cliff Richard calendar. “We are seeing a shift away from hard benefits to ones that have a more emotional and psychological appeal,” said Esterhuizen. “We expect this trend to continue for some time to come.”

It’s notable that relatively few retailers in the IRUK Top500 2018 enable customers to participate in their loyalty programme across channels. RetailX researchers found that just 2% allows shoppers to set up an account on their mobile app, down from 4% in 2018, 2% enabled shoppers to scan their existing cards from the app, and 6% enabled them to enter details of an existing loyalty card.

In our previous newsletter, we reported on how Amazon’s Prime loyalty members made more than 100 million purchases in its 36-hour loyalty programme event, despite reports on outage and strike.

This feature first appeared in the IRUK Top500 Brand Engagement Performance Dimension Report. Click here to explore that report.

Image credit: Fotolia

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