A Survey of Americans and What They Think of Shopper Loyalty Programs

Just about everyone is a member of one or more customer loyalty programs.

These programs come in various shapes and sizes, in part because of variations by industry, by demographic and by brand, as a YouGov survey recently noted. “Customers in certain industries are motivated by different benefits and identifying the proper framework can lead to increased customer satisfaction,” the research firm noted.

In an effort to uncover how consumers feel about these programs, YouGov conducted a survey of American consumers earlier this year to get a better understanding of this phenomenon. The firm discovered via its research that roughly two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) are members of at least one program.

The complete report can be downloaded here.  

“Savvy customers now want and expect a brand to reward their loyalty,” the research firm noted. “At a glance, women (68 percent) are more likely than men (59 percent) to subscribe to a loyalty program, and engagement, while high among older Americans (69 percent), tends to lag among young consumers (43 percent).” The analysis also indicated that among people not yet subscribed to a loyalty program, “there is a chance of winning them over with the right messaging and benefits offering.”

YouGov also noted that among 18 to 24 year-olds, two in five (40 percent) men and three in 10 (30 percent) women report they have never subscribed to a loyalty program. “The reasons behind this are likely complex: their life stage suggests less experience with money and less exposure to loyalty programs overall,” the firm noted.

Among loyalty programs, the most popular seems to be supermarket loyalty programs, which have a 65 percent penetration among people who belong to at least one loyalty program. The second most dominant sector proves to be pharmacies (56 percent), likely driven by programs such as CVS ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards and Walgreens Balance Rewards, the research firm said.

 “In the battle for consumer attention and loyalty, the loyalty programs offered by retailers range anywhere from stamp cards to store credit cards to simple app-based programs,” YouGov said. “Travel-related programs such as those belonging to airlines, hotels, and gas stations appeal to 26 percent to 27 percent of the loyalty subscribing market. Banks and financial services programs only have 11 percent membership, but this may be due to people believing the benefits they offer are standard with enrollment.”