Supermarkets have the highest loyalty scheme take up among a range of retail, leisure and business sectors, according to recent research by Ipsos MORI and secure payment specialist, Logic Group.
Researchers surveyed supermarkets, department stores, fashion/clothes shops, garden centres/DIY stores, cinemas/theatres, restaurants/cafes/coffee shops, bars/pubs/clubs, banks/building societies, insurance companies, hotels, travel/transport/car hire/airlines, mobile phones (handsets/operators), electrical/IT retailers, petrol stations, leisure/entertainment (eg books, music, films, games etc), sport (eg gyms, sports clubs).
They found 68% of British consumers are members of any supermarket loyalty schemed compared to 28% for petrol stations – the nearest rival.
On average, consumers in Great Britain are members of two supermarket schemes, the study revealed.
Women are more likely to be a member of any supermarket scheme than men (75% versus 62% respectively) and more consumers aged 35+ have scheme membership (77%) than their younger counterparts (55%).
The study found feelings of loyalty towards supermarkets are second only to the banks/building society sector: 60% feel loyal to supermarkets; 66% to banks/building societies; while women are more likely to feel loyal than men (66% versus 55% respectively).
Two in 10 consumers are a member of a loyalty scheme without feeling loyal to supermarkets (the highest proportion of any sector in the study), the research found.
This is a clear indication scheme membership is not about attachment, but about more functional factors, claim researchers.
Supermarkets receive the highest satisfaction ratings of all sectors: 78% are satisfied and only 3% dissatisfied.
However, points (22%) and vouchers (14%) are the most common reasons for satisfaction.
According to the Logic Group, the research findings raise key questions including what supermarkets can do to differentiate their scheme from others, given the proliferation of loyalty schemes.
And, given multi-scheme membership is fairly common for supermarkets, are supermarket schemes about loyalty or simply about rewards, it asks.
“Given the lack of emotional attachment within this sector, is there anything supermarket loyalty schemes can do to foster attachment to a brand as well as repeat business?”