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… and UK shoppers love loyalty schemes

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In the face of great change on the high street, new research from YouGov and partnership and rewards agency Mando-Connect shows Britons’ affinity for loyalty programmes continues.

The What the British think of loyalty report reveals that three quarters (77%) of the population are members of a loyalty programme, with seven in ten (72%) Brits believing they are a good way to reward customers and three in five (59%) thinking that all brands should offer them. Just under one in six (16%) UK adults have never subscribed to a loyalty programme, rising to 21% of men.

YouGov and Mando-Connect’s data shows that women are leading the loyalty charge. 84% of British women are members of a loyalty programme, compared to 70% of men. However, the research suggests that brands are failing to connect to younger people in this area, with only 61% of 18 to 24 year olds currently belong to one, a figure that falls to 54% among men in this age group. 

The report shows that despite so many of the population subscribing to loyalty programmes, the space is currently dominated by a few select sectors. Supermarkets have by far the biggest footprint, with 65% of the population subscribing to one of their programmes. Pharmacies trail far behind (37%), followed by retailers – both physical stores and online (30%) – and restaurants and coffee shops (25%).

Britons clearly see the value of the schemes, with the research showing that people are willing to put their money where their loyalty cards are. Among consumers using loyalty programmes, almost half (47%) spend more with a brand whose scheme they are member of, whilst four in ten (38%) are more likely to recommend the brand. What’s more, more than quarter (28%) say they feel “emotionally connected” with a brand whose programme they belong to.

Finally, the research shows what Brits want loyalty programmes to offer them. 55% of loyalty programme members want rewards from partner brands, not from the brand offering the programme itself. This compares to only 18% of people who want better services from a brand as a benefit and only 6% who want to be part of a community as a benefit.

Amelia Brophy, UK Head of Data Products at YouGovsays: “Our research shows that Brits’ love affair with loyalty programmes continues. However, problems may lie ahead – with notably fewer young people – particularly 18-24 year-old men – being members. While this might not pose too much of a challenge at the moment, it could in the future. Unless brands can do something to get in front of them more effectively and win them over – such as offering discounts or experiences with other retailers and brands – loyalty programmes could end up being seen as something only for older people and women.”

Charlie Hills Managing Director & Head of Strategy at Mando-Connect, adds: “Loyalty programmes are going through a period of great change, driven by rising consumer expectations, exponential leaps in technical capabilities and increased scrutiny and attention from senior marketers. The opportunity to engage your members through partner rewards is clear. Partner rewards are often more engaging for members and also cheaper to execute than offering a brand’s own rewards. Overall, what Brits want from programmes is clear: great rewards, offers and discounts from partner brands.”

Image: Fotolia

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