At REACH, we aspire to give customers full control of their data while providing more interesting ways to interact with the brands they love. At the same time, we give brands a way to establish and strengthen customer loyalty by complementing their loyalty rewards program. The ultimate goal: to repair the broken customer-brand relationship that has plagued both sides for years.

We were glad to discover that Merkle’s 2020 Loyalty Barometer Report proves our point about what consumers think of loyalty and rewards programs. Here are some of the highlights of the report:

  1. More consumers now prefer earning points across multiple merchants.

Ever since the first Loyalty Barometer Report was published in 2017, consumers have preferred “earning rewards points” as a loyalty rewards program structure. However, more consumers have opened up to loyalty programs that allow earning points through multiple retailers. 

Multi-brand programs are one way to address the often-cited complaint that it is “ too long or too difficult to earn a reward.” Consumers can earn points faster when there are more brands in the program.

This is why the REACH Loyalty Marketplace is a perfect avenue for customers and brands. With the loyalty marketplace, brands can partner with complementary brands and expand their program offering. Meanwhile, customers are encouraged to interact with the companies they’ve added to their brand circle.

  1. Knowing your demographic is key.

The 2020 Loyalty Barometer Report surveyed over 1,500 US consumers, with ages ranging from 18 to 65. Naturally, this gave various insights on the different generations of consumers.

  • Baby Boomers (those born between 1944-1964 and are currently 56-76 years old) prefer writing online reviews, taking surveys or attending events. They are also less likely to go on social media or download apps.
  • Millennials (also known as Gen Y; born between 1980-1994 and between 26-40 years old) and Gen Z (1995-2015; 5-25 years old) enjoy achievement and competition. 35% want badges, while 27% want leaderboards as features in their loyalty and rewards programs.
  • Gen Zs also prefer programs with a community aspect, with 22% wanting like-minded people to interact with. 19% like the idea of competing with other members, as well.
  • Millennials and Gen X (1965-1979; 41-55 years old) welcome brand content, social media interactions, and lifestyle activity trackers. Most are also eager to gift points to family and friends, and are often out to find the best product fit for them.

Tailoring your loyalty and rewards programs using these insights will ensure your brand’s success. The Loyalty Marketplace makes sure of that. With the number of brands and customers working together, there will always be something for everyone. 

  1. More consumers want a personalized brand experience.

41% of respondents want their brand experiences to be personalized. Others prefer loyalty programs that unlock features and allow access to tools to find the product they want. 

What’s really interesting is the fact that 85% of consumers say they want the ability to choose the benefits and rewards they earn. This is a validation of the work we do here at REACH. One of the key loyalty marketplace tenets includes allowing our customers to dictate their own terms of engagement with brands. 

REACH members also get to choose which information they want to share and when they want to share it. Consumers value their privacy more than ever, so this kind of brand transparency is a welcome reprieve. Merkle’s survey reports that companies using self-selected profile preferences have taken a 6% dip from Merkle’s 2019 survey results (48%). This finding demonstrates consumers’ growing desire for empowerment around how companies acquire and use their data, and suggests that marketers need to deliver transparency and clear benefits in exchange for customer data.

Moreover, the Merkle report found that 59% of consumers are comfortable with companies that use their purchase history to understand and recognize them. They prefer brands that tailor their recommendations to customer preferences. Brands can easily do this within the REACH loyalty marketplace.

While loyalty programs provide data on customer transactions, the transparent, empowered environment of the REACH marketplace gives brands access to a new level of customer understanding. This kind of deep customer insight, well beyond anything enabled by traditional loyalty rewards programs, allows brands to scalably customize offers, content and experiences.

The Loyalty Marketplace is the Future

Even though more than 70% of consumers still vie for free products and discounts as rewards in loyalty programs, brands need to up their game. A simplistic loyalty rewards program won’t work anymore; consumers need more human connections to establish true brand loyalty. Because of that, brands should now strive to create highly-engaging and personalized customer experiences.

Check out more insights from the 2020 Loyalty Barometer Report here, or find out more about the REACH Loyalty Marketplace through the link below.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts.