Spring holidays lead to more use of loyalty programs

An analysis of data from mobile wallet app Stocard finds that usage rises ahead of Mother's Day and Father's Day.

The winter holidays might be the busiest shopping time of the year, but the impending arrival of summer (and the need to get gifts for our parents) is also a big driver of retail activity – and getting Canadians to utilize their loyalty programs.

That’s according to mobile wallet app Stocard, which looked at its own data from 2.5 million Canadian users collected from May 2017 to April 2019 to make inferences about the pending spring shopping season in a new report.

According to the survey, department store loyalty cards, such as HBC Rewards and The Nordy Club Rewards, remain popular with Canadian consumers this time of year, utilizing their cards at least once per month in May and June. However, Canadians’ loyalties are actually split when it comes to major department stores, as the data shows that members of these loyalty programs are typically visiting two department stores, rather than just one.

In May, leading up to Mother’s Day, there tends to be an 8% lift in usage of department store loyalty programs, according to the study. But in June, as consumers seek out both summer goods and Father’s Day gifts, there’s an even bigger 18% rise in loyalty card usage at department stores.

Canadians’ fondness for libations-related point collecting increases with the temperature. While May sees loyalty card usage increase six percent, there is a 17% surge in liquor store points being collected in June, which makes that month second only in popularity to the December holiday season when it comes to usage.

According to Stocard data, the highest performing loyalty category are multi-partner cards, with usage being positively influenced by the multiplicity of shopping category options. According to the study, Canadians use multi-partner cards 2.8 times per month on average in May and June, compared with once per month for department store cards. And the spring season sees increases in multi-partner loyalty usage leading up to Mother’s Day (6%), Victoria Day Long Weekend (6%) and Father’s Day (12%).