Loyalty Program Membership Rises, but Participation Falls - eMarketer

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Loyalty Program Membership Rises, but Participation Falls

Loyalty program members cut back on usage

April 17, 2015

Who’s really a loyal customer? It takes more than just belonging to a rewards program—which appears to be becoming more common in North America, according to research from Bond Brand Loyalty.

US consumers belonged, on average, to fewer than 11 loyalty programs in 2014, Bond Brand Loyalty found. This year, the average loyalty membership is up by 2.4 programs. The same metric was also up in Canada, from 9.8 memberships per internet user in 2014 to 11.1 each this year.

But joining more loyalty programs doesn’t translate into actually using more loyalty programs. In fact, the relationship was the reverse: Respondents in both countries actually reported cutting back on the number of programs they actively participated in.

In the US, that number dropped from 7.8 to 6.7. That means that in 2014, the average consumer actively used 72% of the loyalty programs he or she was a member of. In 2015, that percentage dropped to 50%.

In Canada that drop was less dramatic, from 81% in 2014 to 67% in 2015.

US respondents rated loyalty programs at Amazon, Costco, Kroger, Jiffy Lube and Denny’s the highest in terms of meeting their needs. But no loyalty program met the needs of even 50% of respondents. Bond Brand Loyalty reported that the main drivers of satisfaction were the rewards themselves, how easy it was to get rewards and the reward-bang-for-buck.

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