Consumers lukewarm about loyalty programs

While 87 per cent of Hong Kong consumers agree that a loyalty program makes them want to spend more, only 45 per cent feel engaged in loyalty programs.
These figures are included in a new study conducted in January by SSI Research for customer relations development firm Collinson Group. Surveying 6125 participants internationally, it found that loyalty program memberships fell 20 per cent from 2014 to 2015. These included programs for supermarkets, airlines, retailers, hotels, media companies, cafes and credit card providers.
Only a quarter of the Hong Kong respondents say they feel that loyalty programs have increased in value over the past year, and Collinson Group director Chris Rogers says the Hong Kong response is an example of what can happen if companies become complacent.
Along with China and Singapore, Hong Kong is a vital market for brands, says Rogers. “We’re seeing a much higher demand for personalised, relevant and digital customer engagement initiatives than before.
“Given the importance of affluent middle-class consumers on the fortunes of companies, brands must lift their game and focus on how they recognise, engage and reward customers.”
Hong Kong consumers, says the report, mainly want to be “treated as an individual” (66 per cent), while “access to a range of awards and benefits” is almost equally important at 65 per cent. “Ease and efficiency” is important to 49 per cent.
Rogers says Hong Kong’s affluent middle class values spending time with, and providing for, their families, as well as saving for the future. “These rank far higher than driving a good car or going on a luxury holiday. Brands should seek to tap into what motivates their customers, instead of reaching for only discounts or material goods as rewards.”

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