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Loyalty scheme members show allegiances to brands
24 Jan 2012

Shoppers are more likely to visit a store if they have signed up to the retailer's loyalty scheme programme, according to new research.

Global payments systems provider ACI Worldwide conducted a study of 300 US consumers to determine the effects loyalty programmes have on their shopping habits.

The study revealed that a total of 84 per cent of US shoppers had signed up to at least one loyalty scheme as of December 2011, a rise of ten per cent from the same month in the previous year.

This increase in loyalty scheme membership has coincided with a rise in the influence of loyalty schemes, with 84 per cent of members more likely to choose a retailer over a rival if they were members of their loyalty programme.

"Considering four out of five Americans are members of at least one retail loyalty card program, this adds up to a big opportunity for retailers when executed correctly," said Rob Seward, product line manager at ACI Worldwide.

"Although it takes time to build a successful loyalty program, the payoff is significant - we are now seeing proof that loyalty schemes are resonating with consumers and creating customer loyalty."

The survey also found that women were more likely to sign up to loyalty schemes than men, with 91 per cent of women members of at least one loyalty scheme, compared to 77 per cent of men.

Furthermore, older shoppers revealed that they were less likely to profit from the offers available through loyalty schemes, with 27 per cent of respondents over the age of 65 claiming that very few of their loyalty schemes deliver benefits that matter to them. However, just five per cent of loyalty scheme members aged between 18 and 24 cited the same grievances with their programme.

"With this in mind, retailers need to look more closely at the benefits they are providing to their customers in this age group," Mr Seward added.

"The key to success is placing the customer experience at the centre of a retailer's loyalty and rewards strategy."

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