New study: Connected loyalty strategies key to retail success

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By: RickFerguson |

Posted on April 10, 2017

Merkle subsidiary 500friends has released a new report called "The Great Loyalty Reset: Defining the Future of Loyalty for Retail and CPG brands" that provides new recommendations for loyalty program managers as they navigate a constantly evolving marketplace and a global pool of consumers whose shopping behaviors can be unpredictable. Their conclusion: Retailers should focus on "connected loyalty" strategies that build relationships with shoppers through their mobile devices and across multiple touchpoints and channels.
Based on a survey of 200 loyalty program managers and 1,000 consumers in North America, Europe, UK and Asia, the 2017 study reports that a reset is critical for brands that do not currently have the ability to gather, analyze, and average customer data, and it urges the loyalty industry to re-examine the current state of program effectiveness across a variety of parameters. Repositioning for a "connected loyalty" calls for new ways of developing, delivering, and measuring success for today's loyalty programs that reinforce how consumers now rely more on connected mobile devices to shop and how they interact with retailers and brands across multiple touchpoints and channels. Money quote from Michael Hemsey, 500friends president:
"Today's loyalty programs must evolve to capture the opportunity that digital marketers have created for retailers around the shopping experience. Consumers demand a personalized and memorable engagement with a brand. It is clear from our study that loyalty programs have been undervalued for their impact on overall brand health and growth."
Among the key findings from the survey:
  • The Loyalty Disconnect: While loyalty program managers profess to have a 360-degree view of their members, consumers say they often feel as if "the brand doesn't get me."
  • Financial Impact: 50 percent of consumers have quit a loyalty program, and those who leave are prone to shop less with the brand or abandon it entirely.
  • Increasing lifetime value: 86 percent of consumers who like a loyalty program will shop more, and of those, 58 percent will shop 15 percent or more with their retailer/brand of choice.
Download the survey here.