Amazon, Kroger offer most satisfying loyalty programs

A new study conducted by Bond Brand Loyalty suggests that loyalty program engagement has reached an all-time high, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Kroger (NYSE:KR) are just two retailers who are making the most of such programs.

In fact, 70 percent of the survey respondents—up 13 percent from the previous two years—reported being influenced by the opportunity to maximize loyalty points when choosing where to shop, and one-third of respondents said they wouldn't show as much dedication to their favorite brands if not for loyalty programs.

The overall top loyalty programs, which received the most "very satisfied" votes from consumers, include Amazon Prime, 71 percent approval, and Kroger Fuel, 70 percent. Other industry leaders in retail include Food Lion with its MVP Card, 59 percent, and Cabela's Club Rewards, 55 percent.

The report also indicates that the number of loyalty programs engaged by each consumer has grown from about 10 per person in 2014 to more than 13 per person in 2015.

"While points and discounts drive behaviors, companies need to engage with consumers at a deeper level if they want to extend program loyalty into genuine brand loyalty," said Scott Robinson, senior director of loyalty consulting and solutions for Bond Brand Loyalty. "This necessitates thinking beyond a program's monetary incentives to focus on how it can better serve customers or make their experience with the brand more enjoyable, including fulfilling customer needs".

According to a Capgemini Consulting report, companies spent $2 billion on loyalty programs last year, yet a majority of businesses are reporting that these investments did not necessarily translate into increased customer engagement.

The Bond Brand Loyalty survey also ranked the satisfaction drivers in loyalty and rewards programs, and the top three included the appeal of the rewards, the ease with which rewards can be redeemed and the amount of rewards accumulated per dollar spent.

Mobile also plays a strong role in loyalty engagement: 50 percent of consumers reportedly want to engage with their loyalty programs on their mobile devices, according to the report. However, only 12 percent of consumers have downloaded a retail loyalty app and 61 percent of smartphone owners are not aware that such apps are offered by their program of choice.

For more:
-See this Bond Brand Loyalty press release

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