When it comes to shopping, choice is the operative word. Whether consumers shop at a specialty retailer or a mass merchandiser, on a computer or a mobile device, they have never had so many ways to please the palate, discover the deal or pay the piper. Differentiating your brand in such a crowded space is not only critical, but also more difficult than ever.
Retail loyalty programs can be an effective way to create competitive advantage by reducing customers’ likelihood to switch stores. Indeed, more than seven in 10 loyalty-program participants in Nielsen’s Global Loyalty-Sentiment Survey (72%) somewhat or strongly agree that, all other factors equal, they will buy from a retailer with a loyalty program over one without. Loyalty programs can also help drive more frequent visits and heavier purchasing.
Nearly three-quarters of global loyalty-program participants (74%) agree that loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a company, and two-thirds (67%) agree that they shop more frequently and spend more at retailers with loyalty programs.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are not the only ones benefiting from loyalty-program participation. Two-thirds of global respondents (66%) agree they’d shop more at online retailers if these sellers provided loyalty benefits similar to those of traditional in-store retailers. And increasingly, loyalty programs are at the leading edge of technology as retailers incorporate advanced analytics, mobile experiences and other digital solutions into their programs.
And many shoppers appear to love loyalty programs. In fact, 66% of global respondents say they belong to one or more programs. But there is often a large gap between the number of programs in which shoppers are enrolled and the number in which they actively participate. So what distinguishes the winners from the rest of the pack?
In Taiwan, a good loyalty programs allow consumers to take advantage of a number of useful benefits. 82% of respondents said a good program includes “points or rewards for purchases regardless of whether they were made in store, on a website or a mobile device” or “personalized discounts or promotional offerings based on past purchases.” The “ability to choose among several types of rewards” (80%) and “opportunities to earn bonuses through a specified activity (79%)” are also popular loyalty benefits among Taiwan consumers.
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