Loyalty to the UK's financial services and retail sectors is at an all-time low, with many consumers only staying with financial or retail organisations because of apathy or inertia, according to new research from KPMG, conducted by YouGov.
The survey of 2,451 adults in the UK suggests that financial and retail organisations could find it increasingly difficult to retain existing customers, as many affirmed that they will do "whatever is easiest and most convenient", whether it be in financial services or shopping.
"In tough market conditions, customer loyalty is vital," noted Simon Walker, a partner in KPMG's financial services practice.
When respondents were asked which commercial organisation they had the most personal relationship with, personal bank account providers (32%) and supermarkets (29%) came out far ahead of the rest, with internet service providers ranking third at only 7%.
Mortgage providers � the source of most people's largest financial commitment � were named by only 3% of respondents. In addition to a very low 16% of respondents saying they expected to keep their mortgage with their existing provider if they moved house, only 25% ruled out remortgaging with a different provider. And only 6% of respondents said that feelings of loyalty or guilt might prevent them from remortgaging with a different provider.
Loyalty cards � often seen as a key customer retention tool � were seen as good things but with little real influence on shopping behaviour. Some 46% of respondents said that they still shop wherever is most convenient. Only 2% of respondents said that loyalty cards meant they always stay loyal to that brand and never shop around.
Around half of the respondents said that loyalty cards were "a nice bonus" but that they did not really influence where they shop, while 29% said that they would rather have all-round lower prices than a loyalty card, and 10% of people thought loyalty cards are simply a gimmick.
It should, however, be remembered that the primary purpose of a loyalty card is to collect data to help other targeted marketing efforts engender loyalty and drive up transaction frequency.