Consumers understand 'give and take' of loyalty programmes
US consumers understand and accept the rewards of disclosing personal information to retailers: eight in ten consumers think that retailers that track and analyse what their customers buy are more likely to be in touch with what their customers really want.
New research commissioned by Quadstone, provider of analytics for customer loyalty solutions, also shows that three in five consumers do not mind sharing information about what they buy with a retailer in return for a good quality reward programme.
Savings biggest benefit Other key findings show that one in two consumers hold at least one reward card, that over half of all consumers prefer stores and websites that offer rewards over those that do not and over eight out of ten see saving money as the biggest benefit of holding a reward card. Over the last few years many retailers have made sincere efforts to collect customer data that will help them form better relationships with their customers. It is now apparent that customers expect some form of reward for supplying this data for example, reduced prices or other benefits.
Few privacy concerns Consumers don't seem to be too concerned about privacy. Just over one in ten said that they didn't hold a loyalty card because they were concerned about how their personal data would be used. However, almost half of respondents said that they hadn't joined a programme because they could not see the value in it for themselves, or didn't know enough about it.
According to Quadstone's president, Mark Smith, "The survey results are a great endorsement for loyalty and frequent shopper programmes. The results also support the case for responsible use of customer information, showing that users understand that their behaviour is being tracked and they are happy to co-operate if they feel they are getting commensurate rewards." SWR Worldwide conducted the research in the US and results are based on a nationwide survey of 1022 consumers aged 18 and older.
UK too The results echo an earlier Quadstone-commissioned study in the UK, the results of which were announced in May this year. There were however some subtle differences that reflect the different style of programmes prevalent in the US and UK.
The UK survey was based on a country-wide survey of almost 1000 consumers, aged 18 and over. It found that six in ten UK consumers have at least one reward/loyalty card and 71% use them as often as possible.
UK consumers were almost equally divided on why retailers swipe their loyalty card when they make a purchase: 46% thought it is to credit their account with points; 44% believed it is to collect information about what they purchased and only one in eight thought that it is for both of these purposes. Some 57% of respondents thought that the information collected is used to design future rewards that will be even more appealing. Nearly half thought that it is used to tailor offers and mailing more to their individual needs. Four in ten believed the information is used to "group products together in the store to make shopping easier."