Understanding Digital And Consumer Loyalty

April 27, 2015 Dx3 Digest Contributor

Yahoo Talking Loyalty graphic

by Claude Galipeau, Country Manager – Yahoo Canada

If you live in Canada, chances are you have a loyalty card in your wallet right now. Loyalty programs are incredibly popular with Canadian consumers. Our recent research study “Talking Loyalty” found that 90% of Canadians have a loyalty card, which represents approximately 22 million consumers. Why is this important? Because loyalty programs have a big influence on how consumers make purchasing decisions in Canada. For brands, loyalty cards represent a big opportunity to connect with customers during the shopping process.

To help drive greater engagement with consumers, here are four key findings from our recent research to keep in mind:

Claude Galipeau, Country Manager - Yahoo Canada

Claude Galipeau, Country Manager – Yahoo Canada

1. Loyalty Is In The Consumer’s Wallet

The loyalty space is very crowded and competitive. Given the popularity of loyalty programs in Canada, consumers appear to be quite selective in their engagement. While Canadians may belong to several loyalty programs, they have only four cards in their wallet. So, being one of those cards can be incredibly powerful for a brand. You need to be in their wallets.

2. Consumers Research Loyalty Value Online

Consumers carefully weigh the benefits of different programs and they frequently go online to get more information. 66% of consumers that calculate the value of a loyalty program go online to do so, which makes this a critical touch point for brands.

3. Loyalty Affects Shopping Frequency & Purchase Value

The loyalty programs consumers choose ultimately have a strong impact on their shopping behavior. It’s not just about where they decide to shop, but also how much they end up spending overall. Our research found that 56% of Canadians make an effort to visit retailers where they have a loyalty card. Meanwhile, 47% of membership cardholders say that loyalty programs influence their purchase amount. And this finding is more pronounced among millennials who are even more likelyto spend an increased amount based on their loyalty card affiliations. With such a significant impact on purchases, loyalty programs offer a key way for brands to build customer engagement and keep them coming back.

4. Cross-device Strategies Impact Loyalty Decisions

While brands boost loyalty through rewards programs, it remains a competitive marketplace with these very savvy consumers. Digital advertising is one important way for brands to increase awareness and interest around their individual programs and make sure that they stand out from the pack. One in five Canadians are already learning about loyalty programs online. Our research found that display and native advertising, as well as mobile apps, can effectively increase awareness of these programs and their benefits. Again, millennials are nearly twice as likely to prefer mobile channels for loyalty information. So when marketing, it’s critical to adopt cross-platform and cross-device planning strategies to ensure success.

Given the importance of loyalty programs in Canada, brands have a unique chance to forge new and continued connections with customers. Today’s consumers are looking for greater value, more relevant information, and cross-channel access. Successful brands are focused on building long-term loyalty when they engage customers across all devices.

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