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Membership in US retail loyalty programs has grown to more than 1 billion, and based on data released in June 2014 by Bond Brand Loyalty, monetary rewards are the most important benefits for program members.
Discounts were the most important element, cited by 79% of US internet users who participated in loyalty programs. Around seven in 10 respondents said cash back rewards as well as rebates were top benefits.
Millennials were highlighted as a key segment for brand loyalty programs, with 68% of 20- to 34-year-olds saying they would change where they shopped if it meant getting more program rewards and one-third reporting buying something they didn’t need or want just to earn points or increase membership status.
Based on a January 2014 study conducted by Thrive Analytics and Local Search Association, millennials are more likely in general to interact with companies in order to receive deals and rewards. When asked why they shared their location with businesses, 71% of US smartphone users ages 18 to 29 said they did so in order to get offers and deals, and 67% cited gaining loyalty points or rewards. Both percentages were higher than those from any other age group.
However, Bond Brand Loyalty found that it wasn’t all about rewards and points for this group. Millennials were more likely to prefer nonmonetary benefits compared with the general population, especially when it came to recognition from peers or social groups. Sharing product or service experiences with others as well as contributing to enhancements also saw large percentage gaps between this demographic and respondents overall.
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