The Truth behind Shoppers’ Love-Hate Relationship with Loyalty Schemes

Retail loyalty schemes can been traced back as far as the late 18th century, when retailers in America began offering customers copper tokens that they could redeem during future visits in return for free or discounted items. In the intervening 250 or so years, loyalty programmes have become far more commonplace and slightly more advanced, but the underlying principle remains the same – retailers understand that they must offer customers rewards for their repeat business.

However, despite loyalty schemes establishing themselves as an accepted norm in the retail industry, the way these benefits are delivered to the customer are far from perfect. To dig deeper into this issue and uncover the truth behind Britain’s love-hate relationship with loyalty programmes, Ubamarket has conducted a survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers. As you may have seen, this week the intriguing insights from our research featured in the Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and Metro!

So what did we uncover?

Ubamarket’s research found that the majority (59%) of consumers are signed up to at least three different loyalty schemes. Moreover, almost half (46%) of shoppers said they choose to buy items in certain shops over others based on the points they can earn through a store’s loyalty scheme.

But despite the clear draw of loyalty points, there remains mass frustration with the current system. Three tenths (30%) of UK adults say they’ve lost track of how many loyalty schemes they’re signed up to, while 25% said they have no idea how many points they have on their loyalty cards and would not know how to find out. The findings come as research shows that a massive £6 billion sits unclaimed in loyalty accounts with the UK’s leading retailers. And wait; there’s more! A quarter of consumers say they regularly forget their loyalty card, blaming the current system for being outdated and “inefficient”.

The message from the survey is clear – shoppers love loyalty, but retailers have to make it much easier for customers to collect, track and claim their points.

We’re here to help!

Thankfully, Ubamarket solves this very problem (among many others!); forget fumbling through pockets and bags to find the right loyalty card – if you’ve even brought it with you – we integrate a store’s loyalty programme into our next-generation supermarket app. This enables the shopper to automatically gather points on every purchase – they can then see and reclaim their points with a single tap of their phone.

The future has arrived – now is the time for retailers to embrace it!

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