Report: American consumers exhibit unique regional behaviors in fuel retail loyalty programmes

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By: RickFerguson |

Posted on February 16, 2016

Think the perpetually falling price of oil has curbed consumer hunger to save on gasoline purchases? Not so, says a new report from loyalty software provider Excentus. The report reveals that American consumers exhibit striking regional differences in how they earn rewards and use loyalty programmes to save on the cost of fuel, and they remain eager to save regardless of prices at the pump.

According to the Excentus report "Road to Rewards: American Shopper Insights," consumers not only differ in their rates of programme membership, frequency and activity within loyalty programmes linked to fuel savings,  but also differ in their reliance on brands, retailers, technology, and peer influence for earning and tracking their rewards.

The report's findings, based on an Ipsos eNation-Excentus survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, includes this sample of region-specific findings:

  • Midwesterners are most active in pursuing fuel savings rewards. Of Midwesterners surveyed, 57% belong to a loyalty programme that enables them to save on fuel, compared with 56% membership rates in the West, 52% South and 50% Northeast. Midwesterners (32%) also earn and redeem rewards more actively, compared with 31% South, 26% West and 25% Northeast.
  • Northeasterners drive more. Of Northeasterners surveyed, 27% say they drive more than consumers in other regions (vs. 23% Midwest, 18% South, 10% West), and they are more likely (15%) to join a fuel savings rewards programme based on a peer's recommendation than consumers elsewhere (9%).
  • Southerners like to save. Southerners are more likely to choose brands, grocers and retailers based on the ability to earn fuel savings, and 44% say they join loyalty programmes to save money any way they can, compared to 41% Midwest, 37% West and 33% Northeast.
  • Westerners are going mobile. Of Westerners surveyed, 23% are more likely to track their fuel savings rewards from a mobile app (range of 12%-18% in other regions), and more than half (52%) join a fuel savings rewards programme because it is offered where they already shop.

In the survey, fuel savings ranked #1 as consumers� preferred loyalty programme incentive � higher than cash-back offers, instant discounts, coupons and travel-related points and miles. Excentus data also shows that consumers embrace the ability to save on gasoline; on average, 65% redeem their fuel savings on purchases of 12-13 gallons a month, whether prices are $2 or nearly $4 a gallon.

You can download the Excentus report here.

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