German customers are placing ever higher demands on loyalty programmes and customer cards, according to a recent TNS Emnid survey, which found that successful loyalty schemes need to feature several attractive partner companies and also offer coupons that deliver tangible savings and benefits.
In fact, the need for attractive loyalty programme partners and coupons was cited by more than 60% of respondents. Consumers also said they are interested in exclusive services and benefits available only from customer cards (56%).
Most German consumers carry between 2 and 5 cards in their wallets or purses (including both loyalty cards and payment cards), with 4% even carrying between 11 and 15 cards. Some 7% said they do not use cards (or at least don't carry them in their wallets). However, 35% of respondents now want to be able to use a loyalty programme not only in store but also online and while on the move.
Payback was found to be the leading German customer card, with more than eight out of ten Germans being familiar with the programme and almost half of all households (46%) owning a Payback card, with many consumers citing it as a trustworthy programme.
Cards such as the Ikea Club card (20%), the DeutschlandCard (18%), the Tchibo and Shell ClubSmart cards (12% each) and Miles & More (9%) are also in widespread use among consumers. Interestingly, 39% of respondents said that Payback offers by far the greatest personal benefits, followed by the DeutschlandCard (12%), the Ikea Club card and Miles & More (6% each) and Groupon (4%).
According to TNS Emnid, the leader of the German loyalty market clearly fulfils the actual purpose of loyalty programmes, with over half of respondents (52%) saying that they use customer cards primarily to save money. Almost one quarter of users are interested in receiving attractive rewards, while 15% use the cards simply because they like collecting points.
In terms of payment cards, the clear favourite remains the EC payment card at 85%, with credit cards holding second place, followed by the Payback card at 31%.