Omnichannel shoppers' loyalty demands move to mobile-first

Omnichannel shoppers are increasingly demanding a mobile-first approach to loyalty, with their appetite for receiving offers through mobile channels overtaking physical loyalty cards and traditional, paper-based vouchers, a new report by iVend Retail, the global retail solution brand, suggests.

Original research in the Omni-progress Report revealed that 40% of UK shoppers would rather have loyalty offers sent to their smartphone or email as opposed to receiving traditional, paper-based vouchers or coupons, while a further 16% wanted to receive, collect and claim incentives sent directly via a mobile app.

Whilst loyalty schemes remain popular among UK shoppers – almost three quarters (74%) are members of up to 5 loyalty schemes – nearly half (48%) of consumers say they forget to use physical loyalty cards or paper-based vouchers, while 29% often forget to use physical vouchers before they expire, meaning they lose out on their benefit before they have a chance to redeem them.

UK shoppers also expressed the need for more timely and customised loyalty communications, with 43% saying they want personalised, location-based incentives to be activated on their mobile as they entered the store.

Despite many retailers moving towards mobile-first loyalty schemes, over half (56%) of UK shoppers still felt they were not being rewarded equally across online and in-store channels. This, the report suggests, indicates there is still work to be done in allowing consumers to collect and redeem loyalty points holistically across all sales channels.

Rob Gentles, Channel Director at iVend Retail, commented: "Our research shows that two thirds of UK consumers think it is important for retailers to have a single view of them, based on their online and in-store habits. To address this loyalty expectations gap, retails must ensure they have a holistic view of the customer's value across all channels.

"Moving towards a mobile-first loyalty strategy can bridge the on-line and off-line gap and seamlessly integrate digital and physical incentivisation, to equally reward and engage shoppers across the sales platforms, improving customer experience and, ultimately, boosting conversions," he concluded.

Luckily for brands and retailers, consumers are becoming more receptive to sharing personal data if they see a tangible benefit; a third (34%) would happily provide their data to retailers if they felt they would get something in return. 25% of UK shoppers thought retailers should use their data to tailor product recommendations, whereas 22% said it should be used to personalise the shopping experience.

About the survey

The survey of 1,000 European consumers from UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, was conducted by AYTM on behalf of iVend Retail.

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