U.S. consumers have 3.8 billion loyalty memberships. According to the 2017 Colloquy Loyalty Census, this membership number continues to grow at a rate of 15%, down from a 26% growth rate in 2015.
"The membership growth slowdown signals the U.S. loyalty market is maturing and retailers need to up their game on how to attract and retain members within their loyalty programs,” said Melissa Fruend, LoyaltyOne Global Solutions partner and Colloquy Census author. “In order to improve loyalty marketing, brands must optimize the overall experience by creating more personalized and relevant experiences for their best customers.”
The biggest reason for joining these programs, according to 53% of those surveyed, is that they are “easy to use.” Other reasons users stated for participating in loyalty programs were they “give me great discounts,” 39%, and were “easy to understand," 37%.
And the top reason for quitting loyalty programs is “it took too long to earn points or miles,” said 57% of respondents.
Retail accounts for the largest portion of rewards programs, with a membership around 1.6 billion in the U.S.
The area of retail with the largest dips in memberships is grocery, down to 142 million from 188 million in 2015. The 24% decrease is due in large part to the number of mergers and acquisitions in the industry.