Reaping the rewards

Posted by Danielle Harvey on 19 March 2024

A new survey by the GCVA has revealed that reward-based incentives are key to customer loyalty in a cost-of-living crisis.

card being scanned at checkout Research reveals two in five (40 percent) UK consumers would be more loyal to a retailer that offered modest rewards or incentives, such as a £50 gift card, as people continue to seek ways to reduce the impact of the cost of living crisis.

The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults, commissioned by the Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA), found that just under half of households are worse off than they were this time last year, with 12 percent experiencing a significant impact on their personal finances. As a result, people are looking for more ways to earn and save.

Whilst customer rewards and incentives were desired across multiple sectors, a supermarket reward scheme has the most impact on loyalty highlighting the impact of rising food prices on household budgets. Over half (54 percent) of those surveyed said a reward card would increase their loyalty to a supermarket, with 17 percent saying it would increase significantly. However, only 37 percent said a rewards and incentives scheme would ensure loyalty to fashion and beauty retailers, reflecting the fact that over half (53 percent) of consumers are cutting back on non-essential purchases, regardless of incentives to spend.

With high energy bills forcing 70 percent of households to amend spending habits, an incentive offered by a utility company would have the next biggest impact on loyalty. 42 percent of people said a reward, such as a £50 gift card, would increase the chances that they would stay with a provider.

Commenting on the findings, Gail Cohen, director general of the Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA) said: "In the current environment there's a real opportunity for businesses to utilise gift cards and vouchers to increase loyalty and retention. Whether it be in the form of offering a reward to employees or an incentive to shoppers, our research shows that the gift cards remain a powerful tool when used in this way.
"Food prices are putting the most pressure on budgets, with nearly three quarters (74 percent) of people saying this is having the biggest impact on spending habits. As a result, shoppers are looking for ways to make savings. Brands which can demonstrate that they are offering support to customers in a time of need will stand out from the crowd."


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