HelloWorld, a Merkle company, and a leading digital marketing solutions provider for the world’s largest brands, today released the results of its latest data report, “2019 Loyalty Barometer Report: What Consumers Think of Loyalty & Reward Programs.” The annual report, first issued in 2017, examines consumer sentiment toward loyalty programs, as well as areas where brands can pivot to accommodate consumer preferences.
The research found that consumers are increasingly prioritizing instant gratification when it comes to redeeming rewards, and that unexpected incentives can help them feel valued by their favorite brands, fostering stronger emotional connections.
Key takeaways from 2019 Loyalty Barometer: What Consumers Think of Loyalty & Reward Programs include:
- The greatest loyalty pain point is impatience. 54% of all respondents said that it takes too long to earn a reward, which provides brands ample opportunity to alter the structure of their loyalty programs to meet consumers’ desire for instant gratification and continuous appreciation.
- Consumers want to be rewarded for engagements beyond purchases. While consumers appreciate “points for purchases,” 75% want to be rewarded for things like watching a brand video or taking a survey.
- While “spend and earn” programs continue to reign, younger generations appreciate a good surprise. 64% of all consumers indicated that traditional “earning points for rewards” programs remain appealing, however, younger consumers such as Millennials (55%) and Gen-X (38%) enjoy when brands offer creative and unexpected rewards, whether on social media or in stores.
- Brands can win consumers by rewarding them just for being customers. 61% of all respondents said the most important way a brand can interact with them is to surprise them and reward them with offers just for being a good customer.
The Loyalty Barometer Report also explores the ways consumers prefer to earn rewards across verticals, as well as how emerging technologies like mobile apps and smart speakers are influencing loyalty and reward programs.
The report also examines consumer’s comfort level with disclosing personal information in order to receive rewards. Only 28% of respondents are comfortable sharing their browsing history on a brand’s website, compared with 57% of respondents who are comfortable sharing their purchase history and 51% willing to share their gender.
"As brands, even those in nontraditional industries, are prioritizing loyalty programs, it’s more important than ever to align with consumers’ preferences,” said Gina Fleck, Director of Loyalty at HelloWorld. “To engage and retain consumers, brands must build programs that directly address loyalty pain points and present desirable rewards structures. The ‘2019 Loyalty Barometer Report’ will help brands create more effective loyalty programs and cultivate more meaningful connections with consumers this new year.”
For this report, HelloWorld surveyed over 1,500 male and female consumers in 2018 who were sourced outside of the programs we manage for clients. The age responses came from U.S. residents aged 18-65, allowing us to segment the data from Baby Boomers to Gen X to Millennials and Gen Y.
About HelloWorld, A Merkle Company
HelloWorld is a digital marketing solutions company working with the world’s leading brands across all industry verticals. The company offers a powerful combination of native platform technology and marketing strategy to marketers looking to accelerate growth and deepen consumer impact. HelloWorld creates brand-consumer interactions through promotional campaigns to spark interest, loyalty programs to retain and reward, and multi-channel messaging to continue the conversation in market. Founded in 1999 as ePrize, HelloWorld joined the Merkle family in 2018 and has offices in Detroit, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The company has been behind highly effective regional and global campaigns for clients such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Samsung, and Starbucks. For more information, please visit helloworld.com.
Kite Hill PR for Merkle
Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,000+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 21 additional offices in the US and 29 offices in EMEA and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.