RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Shoppers will splurge more on brands with loyalty programs: survey

Don’t forget about discounts too.

A study by a global loyalty marketing agency reveals that the desire for innovative loyalty programs is high on the agenda for consumers when considering their preferred retailers, with 41% saying that loyalty programs encourage them to spend more with their favorite brands.

According to a release from ICLP, further, 48% said that discounts on future purchases were most important to them, and 42% said that they would spend more if they could get free delivery on a day of their choosing. The study, commissioned by ICLP’s parent company Collinson Group, examined affluent consumers’ attitudes towards brand loyalty.

Mary English, General Manager at ICLP, commented: “Retail continues to evolve at a rapid rate, with brands both online and offline battling for loyalty in an increasingly crowded space. A smart loyalty strategy is crucial for any brands looking to engage, retain and nurture their customers.

While we see there is an increased emphasis on shared experiences rather than individual incentives, it is particularly important to understand and predict customer behaviour across channels. This will continue to be a significant factor in further defining a loyalty strategy as the shift towards real-time intelligence will accelerate over the next 5 years.

Here's more from ICLP:

Gone are the days when a loyalty card alone would encourage consumers to choose a particular retailer above all others – the stakes are much higher now. Effective loyalty programs need to recognise and cater to what customers value, such as being greeted by name when entering a store, personalised offers or VIP events, in order to drive brand engagement and devotion.”

The survey found that while consumer interest in loyalty programs is high, as 41% of shoppers stated they would be encouraged to shop more with a brand if it had a loyalty program, retailers need to look beyond traditional points-based programs to find ways to inspire higher or more frequent spend from shoppers.

• 48% of all shoppers would be encouraged to shop more frequently or spend more with a brand if they received discounts on future purchases
• 41% of affluent consumers expect offers that are personalized and relevant to them when they walk into a store, showing that many retailers want to use data insights to create a more valuable, customer-centric relationship
• 25% claim suggestions based on past purchases drive their loyalty
• Companies that are able to send receipts via email get more repeat visits from consumers, as this is something 23% of those questioned stated would lead them to shop more frequently with a retailer
• 19% of consumers are likely to spend more in a retail store where they are greeted by name and made to feel like a valued customer
• 15% of respondents in Hong Kong will be loyal to brands that offer a stylist
• Increasingly, consumers will choose retailers that offer money-can’t-buy experiences (15%) or invitations to special VIP events (13%) over those that don’t offer personalised benefits. This shows the need for loyalty programs that offer unique and exclusive experiences

English added, “Loyalty strategies in Hong Kong need to evolve, and the historical viewpoint is changing – from “pay to play” with membership based on set purchase amount, to an inclusive approach inviting all customers to the program.

Nowadays, personal, unique rewards are more important as loyalty drivers than price alone. To win in this competitive retail landscape, brands should adopt a more holistic and inclusive approach that recognises strength in numbers and value in diversification. Having analysed the customer behaviour from the big data, brands are able to entice customers by providing personalized offers, encouraging them to spend and shop more frequently.

From money-can’t-buy experiences to personal greetings and a strong social media presence, customers want to ensure their hard-earned cash is spent with brands that are prepared to invest in a meaningful and personal relationship.”

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