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News in-depth: Consumers' attitudes to loyalty schemes revealed
16 Dec 2011

A new survey has revealed the attitudes of British consumers towards loyalty schemes.

The Imperatives for Customer Loyalty study has been carried out on behalf of Independent Retail News and shows that 77 per cent of Britons are members of at least one loyalty scheme, TalkingRetail.com reports.

On the whole, they seem to be well received, with 69 per cent of respondents reporting they are happy with what they receive from being a member.

Being able to collect and use points instead of cash was listed as the most popular benefit, with discounts and rewards also highlighted.

Supermarkets seem to be out in front when it comes to offering loyalty schemes, with a massive 68 per cent of people part of a programme run by this kind of retailer. The nearest rivals with only 28 per cent were petrol stations.

However, the study did suggest that supermarkets may not want to rest on their laurels, as only 47 per cent of Britons who are members of such schemes said they actually felt loyal to the company.

Chief executive of The Logic Group Antony Jones said people like getting something for nothing.

"However, given the apparent lack of emotional attachment within the sector, supermarket loyalty schemes must find a way to foster attachment to their brand as well as driving repeat business," he added.

Ipsos MORI's Simon Atkinson pointed out that there is "also a fine line between providing relevant rewards and over-tailoring the offer".

"Consumers want to benefit from better service, over and above that received by their non-member counterparts," he remarked.

This could be something that Waitrose will be taking into account soon. It launched its own loyalty scheme for the first time in October to provide exclusive competitions and special offers for cardholders.

There will also be a prize draw will take place each month that will see one winner win back the cost of their shopping for four weeks, so the retailer may be investigating how the test period has been getting on so far.

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