Cdn. Consumers’ Loyalty Preferences Changing

A new report released by Eagle Eye, a leading SaaS technology company, upends conventional assumptions about Canadian consumers and their relationship with brand loyalty, and highlights the importance of getting loyalty right for brands and retailers in the Canadian marketplace.

The report is set against the backdrop of a shifting loyalty market in Canada, one that is experiencing the fragmentation of legacy loyalty programs like Air Canada and Aeroplan and subsequent consolidation of major retailers’ loyalty programs, like the recent fusion of the Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart initiatives into the PC Optimum program. Eagle Eye’s report, Shifting Loyalties, illustrates the pitfalls of mis-executing loyalty, as reflected in the surprising finding that 87% of Canadians currently belong to just five loyalty programs or fewer.

Based on a survey conducted by Eagle Eye/Ipsos of 2,000 Canadian consumers, the report also contrasts the attitudes and behaviour toward loyalty programs between different generations of Canadian consumers: Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.

Other key statistics include: 45% of Canadians have quit a loyalty program, and among those who do quit, 57% shop less or quit shopping with the brand altogether; 83% of Millennials support loyalty’s shift to the mobile environment, as do 64% of Gen X and 34% of Boomers; 45% of consumers expect personalized offers and communications in exchange for sharing personal data.

These and other findings within the report indicate a growing interest across all consumer groups for loyalty experiences and rewards that are personalized, valuable, easy-to-use and delivered in real time. Millennials (18-34) are raising expectations for data-driven, digital loyalty experiences, while Generation X (35-54) and Baby Boomer (55+) consumers – two demographics that deliver palpable spending power – are increasingly open to mobile technologies and social media influence.

For brands and retailers across Canada, the report offers several prescriptions for data-based engagement strategies that will resonate with Canadian consumers. These include an embrace of digital and mobile earning and redemption options, the ability to leverage data to create personalized offerings and communications, and using non-transactional rewards to foster emotional loyalty.

According to Eagle Eye CEO Tim Mason, the results of this consumer survey represent a significant opportunity for retailers.

“The Canadian loyalty market is clearly shifting, while the value of customer data is increasing,” he says. “Brands that can create data-enabled, 1-to-1 interactions with their customers through their loyalty programs and engagement strategies will position themselves for significant competitive advantage.”