A recent survey carried out by Hello World sheds valuable insight into what consumers want out of loyalty programmes, and mobile is playing a bigger role than ever.

According to the 2019 Loyalty Barometer Report, 76 per cent of customers say free products are their preferred loyalty rewards, whilst 74 per cent favour discounts. Although customers continue to appreciate traditional loyalty programmes, they are increasingly looking for new ways to engage with brands. Younger customers in particular, like millennials, desire more innovative approaches.

Mobile channels are therefore becoming more important, with apps, messenger services, and emerging tech like smart speakers all considered the way forward. The report suggests that brands can look to voice technology like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to facilitate rewards.

What consumers want out of loyalty programmes

Mobile apps have become consumers’ preferred method for accessing loyalty programme information, with 66 per cent of those surveyed identifying this method as their top choice. While 64 per cent of consumers said that traditional points-for-rewards schemes remain attractive, 55 per cent of millennials and 38 per cent of those in Gen X said they like unexpected and more creative rewards, whether they are in-store or on social media.

However, when it comes to personalised rewards, there are still some obstacles to overcome.

Consumers remain very concerned about privacy, with just 28 per cent of those questioned saying they felt comfortable enough to share their browsing history on a brand’s website; 51 per cent said they were willing to share their gender and 57 per cent said they felt comfortable sharing their purchase history. The top concerns identified were identity theft and credit card fraud.

When it comes to loyalty programmes in general, the top complaints were that it takes too long to earn rewards (54 per cent), and that earning rewards is too difficult (38 per cent). Meanwhile, 61 percent of customers said they like it when brands surprise them with certain offers simply for being a customer, while 26 per cent prefer more personalised offerings. 75 per cent of respondents said they’d like to get rewards for doing things like taking a survey or watching a video.

The survey, which involved more than 1,500 American consumers, indicates that marketers would do well to find new ways to link their marketing content with loyalty programmes. Thinking outside the box will help them attract those valuable younger consumers who could well become long-term customers.

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.