Loyalty programs do encourage Hongkongers to spend more.
According to a survey of 510 local shoppers by global loyalty marketing agency ICLP, the desire for innovative programs is high on the agenda for consumers when considering their preferred retailers. Forty-one per cent of those surveyed said loyalty programs encourage them to spend more with their favourite brands. And 48 per cent said discounts on future purchases were most important to them, with 42 per cent saying they would spend more if they could get free delivery on a day of their choosing.
“Loyalty strategies in Hong Kong need to evolve, and the historical viewpoint is changing – from “pay to play” with membership based on set purchase amount, to an inclusive approach inviting all customers to the program,” says ICLP GM Mary English, commenting on the results.
“A smart loyalty strategy is crucial for any brands looking to engage, retain and nurture their customers. While we see there is an increased emphasis on shared experiences rather than individual incentives, it is particularly important to understand and predict customer behaviour across channels. This will continue to be a significant factor in further defining a loyalty strategy as the shift towards real-time intelligence will accelerate over the next five years.”
English says the days when a loyalty card alone would encourage consumers to choose a particular retailer above all others have gone – “the stakes are much higher now”.
“Effective loyalty programs need to recognise and cater to what customers value, such as being greeted by name when entering a store, personalised offers or VIP events, in order to drive brand engagement and devotion.”
The survey, commissioned by ICLP’s parent company Collinson Group, examined affluent consumers’ attitudes towards brand loyalty.
It found that while consumer interest in loyalty programs is high, with 41 per cent of shoppers saying they would be encouraged to shop more with a brand if it had a loyalty program, retailers need to look beyond traditional points-based programs to find ways to inspire higher or more frequent spend from shoppers.
- 48 per cent of shoppers would be encouraged to shop more frequently or spend more with a brand if they received discounts on future purchases.
- 41 per cent of affluent consumers expect offers that are personalised and relevant to them when they walk into a store, showing that many retailers want to use data insights to create a more valuable, customer-centric relationship.
- 25 per cent claim suggestions based on past purchases drive their loyalty.
- 23 per cent said they appreciated receiving receipts by email and would be more likely to pay a repeat visit to such stores.
- 19 per cent of consumers are likely to spend more in a retail store where they are greeted by name and made to feel like a valued customer.
- 15 percent of respondents in Hong Kong will be loyal to brands that offer a stylist.
- Increasingly, consumers will choose retailers that offer money-can’t-buy experiences (15 per cent) or invitations to special VIP events (13 per cent) over those that don’t offer personalised benefits. This shows the need for loyalty programs that offer unique and exclusive experiences.
English says in today’s retail market, personal, unique rewards are more important as loyalty drivers than price alone.
“To win in this competitive retail landscape, brands should adopt a more holistic and inclusive approach that recognises strength in numbers and value in diversification.
Having analysed the customer behaviour from the big data, brands are able to entice customers by providing personalised offers, encouraging them to spend and shop more frequently.
“From money-can’t-buy experiences to personal greetings and a strong social media presence, customers want to ensure their hard-earned cash is spent with brands that are prepared to invest in a meaningful and personal relationship,” English says.