Skip to main content

Appetite for loyalty programs up, but brands must remain competitive (study)

Consumers are putting more cards in their wallets, but are using fewer of them

Canadian consumers are showing more affinity for loyalty programs and are changing their behaviour in order to reap their rewards, according to a new survey of 6,000 shoppers. But competition remains stiff — new data shows not every program gets the attention its brand requires.

The 2015 Loyalty Report, from Bond Brand Loyalty and sponsored by Visa Canada, shows rising levels of acceptance and enrollment in loyalty programs. The average number of loyalty programs in which Canadians are enrolled climbed to 11.1, up from 9.8 last year.

However, enrolling in more programs has not translated into making more purchases or engaging in more loyalty program activity. The average number of programs that consumers actually use to make purchases declined to 7.4 from 7.9.

Moreover, the report says, “less than half <37%> of the consumers agree they spend more after having joined a program than before, suggesting that marketers are incurring program costs with no corresponding increase in sales among a significant portion of their customer base.”

“While points and discounts drive behaviours, companies need to engage with consumers at a deeper level if they want to extend program loyalty into genuine brand loyalty,” says Scott Robinson, senior director of loyalty consulting and solutions for Bond, in a release. “This necessitates thinking beyond a program’s monetary incentives to focus on how it can better serve customers or make their experience with the brand more enjoyable, including fulfilling customer needs.


• 71% of survey respondents say they modify when and where they make purchases “in order to maximize the benefits I receive” from a program. That’s up from 65% in 2014 and a 20% bump over 2013′s findings

• 65% say they “modify what brands purchase in order to maximize the benefits receive”

• 68% agree they are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with their loyalty programs’ experience

• 37% of program members express either some or strong interest in engaging with their programs via mobile

This article first appeared on

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds