A recent Bond Brand Loyalty study revealed that 70% of loyalty program members in the US regularly altered their shopping habits in order to get the most benefit from their loyalty programs. When asked whether they would modify which brand they purchased, 64% agreed it was worth it. The report also revealed that customers were overall satisfied with their loyalty programs.

Although respondent enrollment in loyalty card programs is up to 13.3 cards from 10.4 cards in 2014, this increase doesn’t equate to higher engagement levels. The same is true of the increase in customer satisfaction levels. In fact, respondents are only active in 6.7 loyalty programs on average this year, as opposed to last year’s purchases from 7.8 loyalty programs.

There is some evidence to suggest that low engagement is due to a saturation point in loyalty programs. With more programs to choose from, respondents only report buying more than they intended 49% of the time as a result of the loyalty program’s benefits.

The study revealed that program satisfaction drivers are:

  • Appeal of rewards
  • Ease of redeeming rewards
  • Rewards accumulated per dollar spent

From a customer experience standpoint, the study revealed the top drivers to be:

  • Program worth the effort to participate
  • Program meets customer needs
  • Program is enjoyable

These findings suggest that monetary incentives aren’t necessarily the only factor for customers considering joining and using a loyalty program. In fact, the study found that respondents ranked a program meeting their needs as second in importance only to the quality of the product they’re purchasing. Another study performed in 2014 found that consumers were regularly loyal to particular brands because of the quality they received, not the price they paid.

When the Bond Brand Loyalty study asked respondents about specific loyalty programs, 71% of respondents were satisfied with Amazon Prime in the mid-frequency retail category. In the high-frequency retail category, 70% of respondents had favorable views of the Kroger Fuel program.

While only 12% of respondents had previously downloaded loyalty program apps, roughly 50% indicated a desire to interact with their favorite brands more often through mobile devices. Interestingly, respondents able to interact with their brands through a mobile application reported higher levels of satisfaction with the program. When asked what features they would like to see in loyalty programs without a mobile app, the top features included:

  • Manage account preferences – 54%
  • Digital membership card – 54%
  • Rewards redemption – 50%

Ultimately, having a loyalty program app that meets the needs of customers is still more important than the number of additional features it provides. As long as loyalty app users believe the application and loyalty program meet their needs, they’re 10 times more likely to be loyal to a particular brand or service than app users who don’t feel it adequately meets their needs.


MarketingCharts. More Loyalty Program Members Modify Shopping Habits to Maximize Benefits. April 7, 2015.