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Customer Behaviour

New research shows consumer appetite for points and plastic is as popular as ever. According to Hawk Incentives’ The Loyalty Evolution Report – which surveyed 2,500 people across the UK – a massive 82% (82%) of Brits currently subscribe to at least one loyalty programme.

Over two thirds of people (64%) are signed up to between one to five loyalty schemes, followed by six to ten (14%), and eleven to twenty (2%).

The founding grocery ‘godfathers’ of loyalty schemes still take the lion’s share of the market, with eight out of ten (81%) consumers admitting to subscribing to a supermarket loyalty card scheme.

The UK’s burgeoning coffee shop culture is also driving consumer loyalty enjoying 42% of the share of the market, with restaurants in third place with 33%. Least popular currently are fuel schemes (with only 6% of the population subscribing); technology schemes with (8%); and sports retail loyalty and rewards schemes (19%).

The study also revealed that 62% of people consider themselves to be brand loyal. Contrary to previous studies which have painted younger shoppers as more fickle, the Hawk report reveals that Gen Z’ers, X’ennials and Millennials say they stay faithful to the brands they like or love. Indeed 77% of 25-34 year olds claim to be brand loyal and 70% of 18-24 year olds and 34-44 year olds.

Women are the savvier shoppers it seems, with 85% of females signing up to more loyalty and reward schemes, compared to 76% of men.

Lack of interest was cited by a fifth (20%) of respondents as the main reason for not signing up. 17% cited a perceived lack of value. This is also a greater reason for men (21% versus 11% for females), as well as the older age group (24%).

Older consumers, 55+, are failing to sign up over concerns about the use of their data. Hawk Incentives’ report finds that older respondents give stronger scores around statements relating to this, for example: “I am concerned about the use of my personal data (e.g. data breaches)” (20%); “I don’t want to share my personal details with brands” (20%); and “I think it is just a reason for brands to capture my data” (20%).

 Despite the rise of digital technologies, consumers would still prefer a physical loyalty card rather than a digital format. This is the case for both subscribers and non-subscribers.

Over half (58%) of subscribers and 30% of non-subscribers said something in their purse or wallet was preferable to a smart phone app or another digital platform. Perhaps not surprisingly, non-subscribers don’t really have a preference. But 46% said they would still prefer a physical card if they could choose.

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