Canadians among the most active loyalty program users

Consumers view rewards as more important to loyalty than other factors, but are less likely to give their points to charity.
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Canadian levels of engagement with loyalty programs are among the highest globally, according to a new global study by KPMG. But, at the same time, they are more hesitant than consumers in a lot of other countries to give away their loyalty points to a good cause.

The consultancy’s Truth About Customer Loyalty report includes responses from 18,000 consumers worldwide, including 876 Canadians. The sample consists of 4% of Gen Z consumers, 41% of millennials, 33% of Gen X, 17% of Baby Boomers and 4% of the Silent Generation (born between 1925 and 1945).

Canadians are among the most active loyalty program users in the world, with 56% making purchases that earn rewards or benefits several times a week. Only Australia (61%) and Italy (which ties at 56%) are more or as active as Canadians, surpassing consumers in the U.S. (42%).

But compared to the global average of 52%, only 34% of Canadians – who, as a country, are sitting on around $16 billion in unredeemed loyalty points, according to Bond Brand Loyalty research – prefer to donate their loyalty rewards to a good cause over redeeming them personally, putting them on equal footing with consumers in the U.K. and Japan. The customers most likely to donate their rewards are in China (89%), India (74%), Thailand (70%) and Mexico (64%). In spite of their less frequent engagement with loyalty programs, more Americans (46%) than Canadians prefer to do so as well.

Consumers’ willingness to give differs between younger and older segments. Millennials are much more willing to donate their reward points – in Canada, 42% of millennials, 36% of Gen Z, 32% of Gen X and 24% of Baby Boomers indicate they would like to give them away.

Overall, KPMG found Canadians tend to be more loyal to brands whose loyalty programs they use. As many of 75% of consumers here define loyalty as participating in a rewards program – a proportion far exceeding those who attribute brand loyalty to a company’s commitment to sustainability and the environment. Only 29% of Canadians consider that commitment an important aspect of brand loyalty (below the 37% average). Similarly, 15% of Canadians say they are faithful to a brand based on its charitable or community giving (again, lower than the 22% global average).

At a global level, the report notes that the factors most likely to keep consumers loyal are product quality (74%), followed by value for money (66%), product consistency (65%), customer service (56%), easy shopping experience (55%), selection or product assortment (55%) and pricing (54%).

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