For Many Consumers, Loyalty Program Participation Requires Perks

Most want free stuff or cash back for joining

What incentivizes consumers to join a loyalty program? According to recent data from financial technology company Blackhawk Network, they want to get something out of it—whether that's a discount or free merchandise. 

When US internet users were asked why they joined a loyalty program—or if they didn't, what would encourage them to do so—many said it was to get free points (61%), cash back (61%) or even free stuff (51%).  

Only 4% of respondents said nothing would encourage them to join a loyalty program.

According to a February 2018 survey from Oracle, 72% of internet users worldwide said they would be interested in a loyalty program that involved no effort. Instead of managing rewards, promotions or discounts would be automatically applied to a purchase without consumer action.

Indeed, one common frustration consumers have with loyalty programs is that they often forget to redeem their rewards before they expire. 

If a brand did a better job communicating how many points consumers have—through timely updates, for example—that could help solve the issue. And drive even more engagement. In fact, roughly four in 10 respondents surveyed by 3Cinteractive said they would visit or purchase from that store more often.