Cashback News – Oct 26: Millennials want fun, Amazon 38MM Prime members, Colloquy, Aimia, Cost of loyalty programs…

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In today’s cashback news we look at loyalty programs, recent research and several innovative uses of loyalty to build customer engagement. COLLOQUY research shows millennials just wanna have fun in their loyalty programs. Amazon now has an estimated 38 million Prime members in the US, a powerful loyalty program. It’s not just the rewards but how well the brand understands and engages the customer according to Aimia’s 2015 Loyalty Lens Report.

The average American household holds memberships in 29 loyalty programs but is only active in just 12. US companies spent $2 billion in 2014 on loyalty programs. How much should loyalty programs cost? COLLOQUY has answers. 62% of retailers are boosting loyalty budgets, but do they have the right tools? Key to loyalty program success is customer engagement.

Millennials Seek Fun Loyalty Programs

Millennials want fun loyalty programsCOLLOQUY conducted a major survey of 2,000 U.S. and Canadian respondents in August and found that people still want to form real, long-term and emotional loyalty with the brands they trust. The good news: Consumers still see the value in loyalty programs; 55% of U.S. respondents said they had joined a loyalty program in the past year, for example, with 63% of millennial respondents having done so.

But joining a program and staying active in it are two different things, of course, and developing a strong personal connection to the program is another thing altogether. via COLLOQUY

Amazon has 3Q sales surge as holidays approach e-commerce powerhouse reported a surprise third-quarter profit, driven by a boost in revenue from its Prime Day promotion and continued strong growth in its cloud-computing offerings. Results beat expectations, and Amazon’s shares jumped 10 percent in aftermarket trading. The company has invested heavily in warehouses and delivery capabilities.

Prime Day, Amazon’s 20th-anniversary sale in July, boosted revenue by 2 percentage points, the company said. Amazon did not break out sales figures. The company also said that more people signed up for a free trial of Prime on that day than any other day ever. And it said people converted to the paid program at the same rate they do on major shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the busy shopping days after Thanksgiving. Via

Creating True Brand-Customer Loyalty

Brand Loyalty Puzzle Showing Trustworthy Products And Clients SatisfactionLoyalty isn’t something that can simply be “bought” with rewards. Through extensive experience and proprietary research, we have come to believe that loyal brand behavior can only be truly cultivated over time by consistently delivering positive brand experiences. We believe the best way to do that is by consistently knowing, meeting and anticipating customer needs. Only then can a brand expect to see the measurable results of true customer loyalty, such as increased likelihood of repurchase, incremental purchase and usage, and brand advocacy.

One way to judge true customer loyalty is to assess the behaviors that demonstrate to what extent a brand relationship is valued by a customer. As recently and newly evidenced by findings in Aimia’s 2015 Loyalty Lens Report, the true value a consumer places on such relationships is surprisingly often not dominated by rewards, but by how well the brand understands and engages the customer. Via

Disrupting the Loyalty Program are the lifeblood of business, but winning customers is only half the battle. Keeping customers engaged and retaining their business is just as critical. However, offering a loyalty program is not enough. Consumers have a plethora of loyalty programs to choose from. The average American household holds memberships in 29 loyalty programs but is active in just 12 of them, according to research firm Colloquy.

Merchants must give people a reason to remain loyal to their brands—or risk losing the customers they worked hard to gain. Delivering an authentic brand experience, understanding and meeting your customers’ needs, as well as making it easy for customers to interact with your brand are some of the critical factors for building customer loyalty, say industry experts. Here are examples of brands that are taking these lessons to heart. Via

The Cost of Loyalty for Retailers a lot of retail businesses don’t have a handle on, though, is how much they should be spending to build and maintain their loyalty and rewards programs. According to the 2015 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census, consumers in the United States hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs, which is a 26 percent increase from 2013. Given that consumers are continuing to show interest in loyalty programs, companies are continuing to spend on them — to the tune of $2 billion in the U.S. last year.

Is that too much? Not enough? Just right? The answer obviously depends on each individual business’ situation. But there are some general guidelines that retailers can follow to assess their loyalty spend relative to its value. Via

Nailing Loyalty: 62% of Retailers Boosting Loyalty Budgets, But Do They Have the Right Tools? half of US retailers have identified structured loyalty programs as a priority in 2015, and 62% are increasing their loyalty budgets. True, loyalty is a remarkable tool for engagement, but if it is not crafted and installed with meticulous planning, it can become a money pit. Retailers are investing more money in loyalty program strategies, but are they buying hammers when they need nails? Via

Loyalty Is Not Dead, It Must Be Earned

Loyalty Data SourcesToday, in the hyper-competitive retail marketplace, loyalty refers to long-term customer engagement and it is crucial to success. In fact, without it the only things a retailer has to offer are products, pricing and marketing, which is exactly what every other retailer has to offer. Earning and maintaining loyalty is the key to creating differentiation from competitors, a stable customer base, and enduring success.

But haven’t we been told that loyalty is dead in the omnichannel world? Weren’t millennials born without the loyalty gene? These are myths that are ripe for debunking. Let’s start with the fact that many retailers today don’t deserve loyalty because they continue to use methods of the past. And even more importantly, there are numerous examples of super successful retailers who inspire devoted shoppers to return again and again, such as Amazon, Starbucks, Apple Stores, Nordstrom, GameStop, Nike Stores, Lululemon and Chico’s FAS. Via

Speaking of loyalty, we’re glad to have you with us at Cashback Industry News. Don’t forget to subscribe and also check out our brand-new resources page featuring key research reports.