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Get with the programe: Card-carrying consumer perspectives on retail loyalty program participation and perks

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When it comes to shopping, choice is the operative word. Whether consumers shop at a specialty retailer or a mass merchandiser, on a computer or a mobile device, they have never had so many ways to please the palate, discover the deal or pay the piper. Differentiating your brand in such a crowded space is not only critical, but also more difficult than ever.

A retail can be an effective way to create competitive advantage by reducing customers' likelihood to switch stores. Indeed, more than seven in 10 loyalty-program participants in 's Global Loyalty-Sentiment Survey (72%) somewhat or strongly agree that, all other factors equal, they will buy from a retailer with a loyalty program over one without.

Loyalty programs can also help drive more frequent visits and heavier purchasing. Nearly three-quarters of global loyaltyprogram participants (74%) agree that loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a company, and two-thirds (67%) agree that they shop more frequently and spend more at retailers with loyalty programs, says this Nielsen report.

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