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The Loyalty Newswire – December 31, 2018

loyalty newswire

Photo by Teddy Kelley

As we compile this Loyalty Newswire on the last day of 2018, we here at The Wise Marketer are feeling a heady mix of anticipation, exhaustion, and hope.  As a media organization charged with covering the world of customer loyalty we sense a lot of new energy in our world – in the people responsible for building customer loyalty initiatives. The technological developments are nothing short of breathtaking. 2019, in so many ways, looks and feels like it’s going to be a breakout year.  Here’s what we’re following in loyalty news:

LOYALTY STRATEGY

Don’t forget your brand loyalists during the holidays

Sometimes the smartest strategy is to return to the basics.  And this, being the cusp of the new year, seems like a good time to re-visit a few of those basic tenets.  Here are two of them to chew on as you look ahead:

1) Consider that an online retailer typically sees 40 percent of revenue from returning purchasers, who account for just eight percent of all site visitors.

2) Repeat customers are also 50 percent more likely to try new products compared to first-time customers and spend on average 31 percent more.

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Canadian consumers love credit card rewards

Payment technology provider, TSYS’s recently released study of Canadian Consumer Payment Trends reveals that Canadians “love paying with credit cards, and many consumers have multiple cards: 67% of respondents said they have two or more credit cards, up from 63% in 2017.”  Impressive Y/Y gains to be sure but the more impressive finding, in our view, is this: The top reason for using one card over another? Rewards. For the fifth year in a row, loyalty or rewards programs came in as the top influencer when consumers choose between multiple credit cards. Ninety percent of our respondents selected rewards as a feature that causes them to use one credit card over another.

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CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY

Commentary: Retail therapy won’t repair your damaged sense of self-worth.

As the saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are”, the implication being that you carry your psychic baggage with you no matter where you go or what you do.  And now, a Paris-based thinktank has apparently produced data to back-up that maxim. To wit: “Across seven experiments involving over a thousand volunteers, our research reveals that whether compensatory consumption works to fix people’s damaged sense of self-worth depends on the extent to which the connection between the products and aspects of the threatened self-identity is made explicit.”  It’s a quick and fascinating read.

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AIRLINES

Alitalia Buys Back Etihad’s 75% Stake in Their Own Loyalty Programme

In yet another example of the weight and value of airline loyalty, Alitalia, the once doomed carrier is now buying back a majority stake in its own loyalty program.  We’ve reported on this phenomenon before so this is not necessarily earth-shattering news.  It is however, strong evidence for continued investment in loyalty as ancillary revenue.

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Regulators Approve Air Canada Plan to Buy Aeroplan

While not quite the final hurdle in the process, Air Canada has certainly crossed a significant milestone by gaining regulatory approval of the purchase.  Expected closing date of the transaction is January 2019 pending approval at a special shareholder meeting on January 8.

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HOSPITALITY

Hyatt introduces benchmark rewards for loyalty members

World of Hyatt loyalty program members are in for a series of mostly-welcome changes this coming year.  Starting in March of 2019 the company will be instituting a variety of tweaks, upgrades and updates for its members based on a new set of spend & stay milestones.

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DATA

Erasing ‘DNA Footprint’ from the Internet Proves Difficult for Consumers Who Provide Data to Genetic Testing Companies

Direct-to-Consumer genetic testing services such as 23&Me and Ancestry.com are coming under increased scrutiny for their data privacy practices.  As DarkDaily reports, “Now, lawmakers are responding to growing pressure from consumers demanding DTC genealogy and genetic testing companies identify and resolve privacy and security issues.” Stay tuned – this is going to get interesting – and it will almost certainly impact other data privacy conversations making their way through various legislatures this year.

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Compiled by the editorial staff at The Wise Marketer.

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