Customers remain loyal to print when vouchers are involved, study finds

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An independent report of 2,000 consumers commissioned by Opus Trust Communications, the multichannel communications expert, has found that traditional methods of receiving correspondence are preferred when it comes to loyalty schemes.  

The findings from the Hidden Opportunity Market Report show that more than 90% of consumers receive loyalty vouchers and of those, over half stated that they preferred to collect them by post (51%), with email (36%) being the second choice.

However, digital alternatives have yet to take off as the report reveals that just 7% of respondents use online portals to receive loyalty vouchers, whilst 3% choose apps and only 2% prefer SMS. 

What the findings highlight is that digital transformation is providing consumers with a multichannel method of receiving communications, but the majority still prefer to receive this type of correspondence in a more traditional way. 

The preference shown towards receiving hard copies may be due to consumers seeing the voucher in a similar way to having money in their wallets, which they can then spend or share. On digital platforms, such as an app, the consumer doesn’t have that monetary experience. 

When asked about travel documents as opposed to loyalty vouchers, the figures share some stark similarities. The majority of customers would rather receive travel documentation in the post (44%) or by email (45%), with only 2% choosing apps as a preference. 

In each instance, the two preferred methods of communication remain post and email (87% and 89% respectively) demonstrating that it is essential that leisure providers invest in their communications strategies to meet with the changing needs of customers. 

In terms of travel, reliance on technology for plane tickets when travelling abroad and the possibility that a mobile battery may go flat is seen as a risk.  Consumers would rather not take risks with critical aspects of their travel.

Chief executive officer for Opus Trust Communications, Tony Strong, comments: “This Hidden Opportunity Market Report has revealed that consumers still rely on traditional methods of correspondence for their loyalty vouchers, despite the growing number of options available such as websites, smartphones and apps.

“With such a small percentage of respondents using digital alternatives to access vouchers and schemes, leisure providers need to consider their communication strategies both now and for the future. It is essential that customers can take full advantage of the benefits that digital platforms can provide for themselves and their customers, while still meeting the needs of those that continue to rely on post. 

“The challenge for companies now is to turn conventional methods of communicating into more engaging, relevant and informative customer experiences, which we believe can be done digitally.” 

The research also explored individual sectors in more detail, providing a more granular view of how consumers prefer to receive the different types of document and communications issued by different service providers.