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The Future Is Seamless: New Report Signals a Wave of on and Offline Customer Loyalty Innovation as Brands Adapt to the Post-COVID World

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on December 9, 2021

  • The report, which collected data from 25 million member actions and over 300 organizations, has been developed by loyalty technology provider, Antavo
  • 71.6% of companies with an existing loyalty program are now planning a near-term revamp
  • A seamless omnichannel experience, personalized rewards, and loyalty-enhanced data collection will be the most important features

December 8th 2021, LONDON, UK: Antavo, the loyalty technology provider has today launched a new report on the state of the loyalty program market. 

The report highlights the vital role customer loyalty programs have played throughout the Covid-19 crisis, and how the pandemic-induced acceleration of eCommerce looks set to usher in a wave of brand loyalty innovation over the next three years.

According to the Global Customer Loyalty Report 2022, more than six in ten (62%) businesses report that their loyalty program has helped to keep customers engaged during Covid-19, with the effect most pronounced for brands running tiered programs. Program members who had a higher tier level also had a 30% higher purchase frequency over the course of the global crisis, compared to members with a lower tier.

“During the pandemic, brands running loyalty programs consistently found it easier to keep their audiences engaged – particularly when it came to their highest value customers,” said Attila Kecsmar, CEO & Co-founder of Antavo. “While the global crisis certainly dampened many customers’ spending power, what we observed is that those who were halfway through their journey to a higher loyalty tier, or were sitting on unspent points, were far less likely to abandon these favored brands.”

The report also revealed that the need to provide a more seamless on and offline experience is causing more and more businesses to rethink their existing loyalty programs. While 61% of brands invested in the development of their loyalty strategy during the pandemic, more than two thirds (72%) of respondents are now planning a further revamp within the next three years.

Maciej Kroenke, Partner at PwC said, “Covid-related market turmoil has brought even more attention to the topic of customer loyalty. Brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as a number of eCommerce retailers, focused their activities on better understanding and localizing the customer base. 

Looking ahead, loyalty programs are expected to play an even more significant role in marketing activities. In particular, the improvement of mobile applications has opened up a new communication channel with customers. As traditional linear media is becoming less relevant, loyalty programs supported by engaging apps appear to be the most effective channel for reaching younger generations, particularly in large cities.”

Predicted to be worth $15.5 billion by 2025, the loyalty market is shifting from a purely transaction-based model to a more personalized and emotionally engaged model which focuses on long-term customer engagement and satisfaction. In fact, the report found that 77.3% of companies who have a loyalty program that doesn’t reward member behavior outside of the buying cycle, plan to change that within the next three years.

Planet BrewDog is the loyalty program of craft beer brewer BrewDog, which uses Antavo’s technology to reward its customers. The company is increasingly focusing on the community aspect of customer engagement, as opposed to rewarding purely transactional behavior. 

Alice de Wend Fenton, Head of CRM & Loyalty at BrewDog, said, “The main thing that makes our program unique is the tie-in with one of our key brand pillars: sustainability. Members earn rewards when they offset CO2 and we also have a counter to show how many grams of carbon our community has offset. We’re proud of the fact Planet BrewDog is not completely transactional and we’re working towards something that’s good for the planet.

As for future plans, we want to grow the community aspect. Whether it’s up-weighting the gamification element, or having more interactive content, we want to evolve Planet BrewDog into something that’s a little bit more fun and playful.”

Antavo’s report compiles data from 25 million loyalty program member actions and over 300 corporate organizations, and aims to support program development and decision-making for brands and businesses across a range of sectors, from fashion to food and drink.     

About Antavo

Antavo is a pure-play loyalty technology provider that builds comprehensive loyalty programs to foster brand love and change customer behaviour for brands, retailers, and shopping malls. With a scalable and holistic loyalty logic, Antavo supercharges the marketing strategy of omnichannel and e-commerce companies, and delivers a next-level shopping experience with best-in-class, in-store capabilities. Antavo was listed as a Representative Vendor in Gartner’s 2020 Market Guide for Loyalty Management and was included in Forrester’s Now Tech: Loyalty Marketing Q4 2020 and Now Tech: Promotions And Offer Management Providers, Q3 2021 reports. As a global company, Antavo empowers clients like BMW, Lagardere, Benetton Group, Jimmy Jazz, Telarus, Luisaviaroma, the N Brown Group and BrewDog. For more information, visit antavo.com.