03 January 2018

Loyalty programs. Summary of 2017

The role played by loyalty programs in building a long lasting relationship between the brand and the customer is still very significant, and more and more solutions are created every year. In 2017, incentive programs were still one of the most popular marketing strategies aimed at building consumer loyalty towards the brand.

The number of loyalty program participants is growing

Customers' awareness and expectations towards specific brands are systematically growing. This tendency is noticed by companies operating on the Polish market, investing more and more often in personalized communication with users of their products / services usually via incentive programs. In spite of the fact that such solutions are still associated only with the collection of points, stamps and stickers by a large number of Poles, many of them have in their wallets not one, but even several loyalty or incentive cards.

According to the ARC Rynek i Opinia Loyalty Program Monitor, during 2017 the percentage of people using loyalty programs increased by 17 percentage points. The year before, participation in incentive programs was declared by 41% of Polish consumers. The biggest interest in these types of promotional activities was noted in small urban agglomerations of up to 100,000 residents and in villages, especially in the hypermarket and discount store category. Over 33 percent of consumers using incentive programs are very involved, whereas 7 percent of them are usually withdrawn, almost not participating in such programs at all, despite their earlier registration.

The most active in 2017 were people participating in the programs of petrol stations, drugstores, clothes and shoes shops, as well as hypermarkets and food discount stores. The most popular loyalty programs in Poland last year include: Moja Biedronka every day, Tesco Clubcard, Orlen-Vitay, PAYBACK or CCC Club.

What counts most?

For Polish consumers taking part in promotional programs in 2017, the most important added value came from material and financial benefits. For over 90 percent of Poles all kinds of offers and promotions are crucial, and 86 percent of consumers pay a lot of attention to the quality and quantity of rewards offered in an incentive program. For the majority of customers taking part in the programs, pre-premieres and pre-sale offers as well as lotteries and consumer contests are very important. For nearly a half of the Polish consumers, gamification, interactive games and all kinds of entertainment are also a significant aspect of an incentive program.

Motivation programs from a European perspective

The following are the learnings from a study carried out in Poland , the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Italy in 2017 by Comarch and Kantar TNS - "The future of shopping. The most important trends in retail today and in 2030 "Consumers participating in loyalty programs attach the greatest importance to financial benefits. Up to 90 percent of participants most often use a traditional plastic loyalty card, while 39 percent of consumers use terminals in retail shops. Only 18 percent of program members reach for smartphones as part of incentive programs.

Nearly 1/3 of Europeans participating in the survey declared their willingness to receive coupons and discount codes in a digital form (eg, e-mail, internet service). Every fifth participant personally prints their coupons, using them while shopping in a brick and mortar retail shop.