This is what shoppers expect from a loyalty programme


(Advertorial) Customers are quite willing to share personal data with retailers, provided they get enough in return, research shows. But beware of irritation and watch out for the right tone.


App or loyalty card

How do you win the hearts of consumers? It is not an obvious struggle. Four building blocks are crucial in building customer loyalty: product range, pricing strategy, customer service and member benefits. This has been shown by research among Belgian and Dutch consumers by Comarch, specialist in ICT, CRM and loyalty solutions. A few key points? 

Although consumers say they are loyal to no more than four brands on average, they are affiliated with some 14 member programmes. For a small minority of these, they have downloaded an app, for others they identify themselves with a digital loyalty card or a plastic card. The latter is especially true for somewhat older customers. Research shows that membership programmes have an unmistakably positive effect on the number of repeat customers, turnover and profit, although customers do not feel that their spending has been influenced by them.


Personal data

So what do consumers expect from a loyalty programme? Loyalty points and coupons are trusted rewards: almost all consumers use them to get a discount on their next purchase. This opens perspectives for retailers who want to keep customers coming back. Alternatives are physical rewards or access to additional services.

But beware, sometimes loyalty programmes also cause irritation: for example, when shoppers have to save too long for a reward. They also expect rewards to match their personal preferences. Customers are open to communication about promotions, discounts or personalised offers, but they want control over the channel and frequency. Email is by far the preferred channel and most consumers do not want to be contacted more often than weekly.

Speaking of personalisation, customers are willing to share personal data if they get something in return. Brands should be transparent about why they need certain data and explain well what the added value is for the shopper. If people receive discounts, extra points or exclusive offers, gifts or rewards, they are open to sharing data.


The right tone

Digital marketing tools can help you get the right data, analyse your target group and approach them with the right message. But brand loyalty doesn't come for free, and customers expect brands to add value. Setting the right tone of voice will be essential in turning your customer into a loyal one. You can download Comarch's free white paper via this link.

Want to know more about the possibilities of loyalty programmes? Comarch is organising a free webinar on 14 December in which marketing experts from Belgium and the Netherlands will tell you more about the key components of customer loyalty. In one hour you will learn how to implement an effective loyalty strategy. You can register via this link.