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Relevance key to customer take up of loyalty schemes, says ICM

08 Feb 2012 3:57 GMT Back
Relevance key to customer take up of loyalty schemes, says ICM
DMA News

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Offers that aren't relevant and programmes that are hard to understand are just two of the reasons why customers are not engaging with loyalty schemes, according to a recent survey by ICM Research.

Of the 2,012 adults surveyed, 86 per cent were signed up to at least one loyalty scheme, while 40 per cent were signed up to more than three. But when it came to active participation, 39 per cent said they don't use all the schemes for the reasons cited above. What's more, 33 per cent of the coveted 18-24-year old market were not signed up to any loyalty schemes at all.

"Relevance is fundamental," says Jamie Belnikoff, project director at ICM. But it's not a case of one size fits all; 48 per cent of those signed up to mobile phone reward schemes prefer a voucher for a High Street store, while only 32 per cent prefer free minutes. The opposite is true for users of supermarket loyalty schemes with 70 per cent wanting offers to use in store and only 18 per cent wanting a voucher for a High Street Store.

Wanda Goldwag, who helped shape Air Miles, and works in this area with Smedvig Venture Capital, is unfazed that 39 per cent don't use their loyalty schemes.

"You won't affect everyone who joins a loyalty scheme. A petrol station loyalty card is unlikely to change the buying behaviour of a mum filling up her car on the school run, but road warriors who drive 20,000 miles a year will pass three petrol stations when their car's on empty to go the station that earns them points," she says.

"And it's this subset of loyalty users who are most useful to you."

"What's more interesting is the lack of membership among 18-24-year olds. I think that's because  most UK schemes are still plastic card-based. To engage this market the scheme must be mobile, and it must allow them to interact. One of the best schemes I've seen is; you swipe your mobile to collect points but you can also review your experience, and for this demographic sharing their experience in social media is key.'

Posted by Alison McClintock

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