Customer loyalty programs are all over the place now. According to the results of a recent study titled: Retail Loyalty and the Consumer, nearly 95% of UK consumers have at least one loyalty card. Most use them regularly. Over 40% of the surveyed consumers said they are less likely to do business with a retailer lacking a loyalty program, while 80% believe engaging with a brand emotionally influences their likelihood of making a purchase.

UK is all in Favour of Customer Loyalty Programs

According to the study conducted by SAS (a major business analytics software and services provider) and Conlumino (global retail research company) and surveyed 2,109 consumers and 100 UK retailers, it found that retailers investing in customer loyalty programs — like Tesco, Boots UK, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s — have witnessed the highest emotional connection with consumers. With 16 million active participants, Tesco uses information obtained by consumer loyalty card activity to create rich and personalized offers for customers.

More users embrace and accept loyalty programs

The findings suggest that consumers are comfortable with retailers collecting the data needed to deliver personalized offers. In fact, almost 40 percent actively opt into marketing material from retailers. More than a third admit that marketing offers make them more likely to purchase from a retailer. Nearly half would be likely or very likely to do business with a retailer who provided personalized offers. A third of consumers surveyed would be likely to accept an offer received via their mobile devices while inside a store.

Loyalty Programs Have Many Faces

In this survey, 75% of retailers who reported that they don’t offer a loyalty scheme confirmed that they prefer to generate customer loyalty using other techniques and methods, like through strong customer service or services personalized to the needs of their consumers. Other retailers reported that their customers conveyed to them that they hated receiving hundreds of SMS messages on their mobile phones about special offers and discounts, and so they prefer to use their own customized loyalty programs.