THE CLARUS Blog

Why Is There a Disconnect Between What Loyalty Members Want and What Retailers Currently Offer?

According to our 2020 Premium Loyalty Data Study, 60% of consumers said instant benefits such as free shipping would motivate them to join a premium loyalty program.

But then you compare that to our 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study, only 13% of retailers that don’t currently provide this benefit would like to offer it in the future.

And that’s not the only disconnect.

Sixty percent of consumers said instant benefits would motivate them to join a premium loyalty program, but only 22% of retailers who don’t offer this benefit today would like to in the future.

And two-thirds of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult for retailers to maintain than ever before, but only half of retailers believe that.

Retailers Aren’t Talking to Their Customers Enough

Consider that 42% of companies don’t survey their customers or collect feedback. This is a staggering statistic, especially because consumers have infinite choices and heightened expectations.

While most companies portray themselves as customer-centric, only 12% of consumers believe a business when it says, “We put the customer first.”

Talk to your customers. Use surveys and focus groups and talk to them directly.

And when they talk to you, listen to them and you will build lasting trust.

Eighty-two percent of U.S. consumers say they will continue to buy a brand they trust, even if another brand suddenly becomes hot and trendy.

Consumers want to talk to you.

Two-thirds of consumers will share personal information with brands in exchange for value.

Seventy percent of consumers not in a premium loyalty program would join one if their favorite retailer offered it and the benefits were valuable. It takes communication to figure out what those benefits should be.

Many retailers today don’t prioritize some of the core benefits consumers expect, especially involving premium loyalty programs.

For more on this, listen to the March 23 Clarus Commerce webinar titled, “New Data Reveals Loyalty Marketers’ 2021 Priorities.”

It Can Be a Struggle to Find the Dedicated Resources

According to our 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study, 37% of retailers say competing priorities were the biggest barrier to entry in launching their loyalty programs.

Nearly 1 in 4 say they lacked the internal resources to build and manage their programs, and 19% say they don’t have enough IT support. This statistic makes sense since there are many other things on a retailer’s priority list.

The main benefit of working with a loyalty partner is it gives you greater agility and success. Dealing with someone who specializes in a discipline means they’re usually up to date on best practices and can guide your brand into the future.

Retailers who worked with a vendor were 3.5x more likely to have updated their program in the last month.

When you struggle to find internal resources to design and launch a loyalty program, find a loyalty vendor you can trust and who has your best interests in mind.

 

Loyalty Has to Be a Companywide Strategy

As our 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study shows many retail marketers have some type of barrier to launching a loyalty program.

The bottom line is if you want to launch a loyalty program, you must have company buy-in from the top-down. If it’s not everyone’s priority, it’s no one’s priority.

If everyone isn’t rowing in the same direction, your program won’t get the attention it deserves. And, most importantly, your customers won’t get the attention they deserve.

True loyalty is more than just a program. It’s your brand message conveyed in a way that engages, excites, and inspires members. It must be a companywide effort and a labor of love from the top down.

Granted, customer loyalty can be a big investment for brands. But it’s an investment that can reap huge rewards without breaking your company’s bank.

 

What Are Your Next Steps?

This shows you why there is a disconnect between what customers want from a loyalty program and what retailers offer.

What can you do about it?

Talk to customers more because your members want to talk about your brand. Listen to them and see how their suggestions can be leveraged in your program benefits.

Nearly 90% would recommend your brand to family or friends if your program offers valuable benefits.

Get that all-important buy-in from the top. If you have that, your entire customer loyalty journey will be more seamless and less bumpy. And you and your customers will be on the same page.

If resources might be a barrier, think about working with a loyalty partner.

If you’d like to read more about our loyalty statistics, here are links to our 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study and 2020 Premium Loyalty Consumer Data Study.

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