Loyalty cards: where’s the love?

Year-over-year, Canadians consider loyalty cards less trustworthy and less personalized, according to a new report.
loyalty cards

Loyalty programs aren’t feeling much love from their members, a new survey from Bond Brand Loyalty has found.

The annual report, which surveyed 7,000 Canadians in January, found that only 22% of consumers consider their loyalty programs trustworthy (down from 25% in 2015), only 12% are very satisfied with the level of personalization they experienced (down from 17%), while a mere 13% strongly agreed they loved their loyalty program.

This is a problem, because when it comes to program happiness, the report found a strong correlation between personalization and satisfaction  that is to say, those who consider their loyalty memberships highly personalized are 14 times more likely to be satisfied with loyalty cards.

Other keys to boosting satisfaction rates include encouraging redemption: those who don’t redeem points are 2.1 times more likely to defect from a card than those who redeemed. In-store redemption was a key factor, with 27% saying they’d pay a premium to redeem their reward instantly in store.

There’s also a ways to go when it comes to mobile and digital: only 17% were very satisfied with their website experience, and while 44% would love to engage with their loyalty programs via mobile, 58% don’t even know if there’s an app for that.

Echoing previous years’ studies, while members had 11.3 cards in their wallet, they were only active in 7.3 programs, the report found.

The report also ranked the top, second-best and last-placed loyalty cards in each category. Canadian Tire (retail), Shoppers Drug Mart (grocery and drug store), Starbucks (QSR), Air Miles (coalition), Johnson & Johnson’s Healthy Essentials (CPG) and President’s Choice’s PC Financial Debit Card (co-branded debit) topped the rankings.

On the other end of the spectrum, TJX (Marshalls, Homesense and Winners), Longo’s, Pizza Pizza, Aeroplan, Huggies Rewards and BMO Air Miles Debit Card trailed in last place in their respective categories.