THE CLARUS Blog

New Data Reveals 90% of Retailers Say Expanding Their Loyalty Program is a 2021 Priority

A new year is always a good time to make a resolution and deliver on it.

As 2020 slowly fades in everyone’s collective memory, the impact from it is real.

From a customer loyalty perspective, you want your brand to leave a sea of sameness and emerge with something unique and memorable for your customers.

One way you can do that in 2021 is by expanding your loyalty program.

Our 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study reveals that 90% of respondents say enhancing or expanding their loyalty programs is a priority for 2021. And the reason lies with consumers.

Download the full Loyalty Data Study here for more compelling loyalty statistics. 

 

Consumers are Looking for More out of Loyalty Programs

Nearly 40% of consumers are not interested in joining loyalty programs due to their lack of perceived value.

But almost every retailer has a loyalty program. Why is there such a disconnect?

The problem is that many programs out there have gone stale and don’t provide enough value. There are virtually no unique incentives or instant benefits for members to engage with and the programs are very similar.

Value is the key here and most loyalty programs offer very little.

All these factors make it harder for your brands to earn customer loyalty. Two-thirds of consumers believe their loyalty is harder for retailers to attain now.

Given the pandemic’s impact on consumer behavior and the countless loyalty programs that blend together, you want to expand your loyalty program to create that differentiation, elevate member engagement, and build brand advocacy.

If you want to expand or enhance your loyalty program, as most retailers are, you’ll need to rethink your strategy for 2021 and beyond.

 

What Are Consumers Demanding More Of?

Consumers expect a lot and competition is fiercer, so what can you do to be competitive and gain more customer loyalty?

Give members of your loyalty program immediate value, something that’s not happening with most points programs today.

Consumers are attracted to evolved loyalty programs that show value and spread your brand message.

So, what are consumers demanding more of?

Benefits like free shipping, instant discounts that can be used whenever you shop, free giveaways, surprise rewards, holiday discounts, and personalized offers.

Our 2020 Premium Loyalty Data Study found that 66% percent of consumers say free shipping is a perk that would motivate them to join a premium loyalty program.

Sixty percent said it’s instant discounts.

Still, others are drawn to experiential or members-only events.

But, to significantly expand or revamp your loyalty program, you need corporate alignment from the top down.

In other words, think beyond loyalty points (i.e., experiential events, instant benefits) and get everyone on the same page.

Consumers are expecting more and you need to be responsive to gain greater loyalty.

 

Supercharge Your Free Program With a Premium Loyalty Tier

While many traditional loyalty programs are hard to distinguish on their own, you can add a premium tier that will attract your best and most valuable customers.

A traditional loyalty program and a premium loyalty program or tier can complement each other nicely.

One is focused on member acquisition while the other elevates your best customers’ engagement and spending levels. Sixty-seven percent of consumers are likely to join a premium loyalty program if they already belong to that retailer’s free loyalty program.

According to our loyalty data study, 51% percent of respondents with premium loyalty programs consider program members to be at least 4x as valuable as non-members.

Traditional loyalty programs onboard your members and give them their first benefits. Meanwhile, your best customers are in your premium tier and 94% of them shop with you at least once a month.

Targeting your best customers is a great way to expanding your loyalty program and finding increased engagement.

 

Deliver on a New Loyalty Promise in 2021

As consumers demand more from you, it’s critical to make loyalty top of mind in 2021.

While adding a premium loyalty tier can make your best customers significantly more valuable and make your program more attractive, enhancements to your points program can make a difference as well.

You want to stand out in the crowd and from your competition. From a loyalty perspective, you should find something more appealing than points that will incentivize your current members and attract new ones.

It’s quite significant that 90% of retailers want to expand their loyalty programs this year. They realize being part of a similar crowd won’t expand or help their respective programs.

Think beyond points in 2021, offer compelling, instant benefits, and watch your engagement levels soar.

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