You want to maximize the effectiveness of your loyalty program by offering enough points/miles to attract customers. Here’s good news: you don’t need to award a lot. Our recent survey sheds important light on shopping habits, including

  • what attracts shoppers
  • how shoppers make the most of small awards
  • how to satisfy consumer cravings

We asked, shoppers answered

We recently surveyed more than 1,500 people who are members of multiple loyalty programs about how they like to earn loyalty points and miles.

We were especially interested in their attitudes towards “high frequency earning.” This is the practice of awarding consumers small amounts of points/miles for inexpensive, day-to-day purchases (such as groceries, pharmaceuticals, gas, and other household items), as opposed to awarding large amounts of points/miles for less frequent, bigger-ticket purchases like flights, hotel stays, or big-screen TVs.

Desperately seeking points/miles

We discovered that loyalty program members are avid collectors, highly motivated by opportunities to earn.

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%) said they actively look for promotions that help them earn more points/miles.
  • Well over half (56%) said they never miss a chance to earn points and miles in their favorite loyalty programs.

And here’s the best part: this is true even when the amounts given are small.

Small rewards matter

The shoppers we polled consistently told us that earning even small amounts is important to them.

  • A solid 66% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Earning points/miles in my favorite programs is important to me, even if I am only earning a small number of points/miles.”
  • Elsewhere, 68% said that earning small amounts was worthwhile.

This is not surprising, since it turns out that the number one way shoppers collect points to reach their award goals is by earning them on everyday purchases. In contrast, making big purchases on point/mile-earning credit cards, though still important, ranked fourth.

Small rewards — big award goals

This suggests that gradual accumulation of a handful of miles at a time is meaningful — but there’s one important condition. The points/miles awarded must be in their favorite loyalty programs.

Earning small amounts of rewards for everyday shopping is an easy and accessible way for them to reach an exotic, exciting award, like a trip to Hawaii. For a great many consumers, the highly coveted award flight is not earned by frequent travel, but by regular purchases at the supermarket.

Smart retailers are harnessing this enormous potential by participating in a high-frequency, flexible program that taps into the power of frequent flyer programs to capture the consumer’s motivation and aspirations.

How shoppers make more

One of the great things about using an existing, successful loyalty program is that shoppers do a lot of the work for you.

Case in point: double dipping. Shoppers who are serious about a program often have a co-branded loyalty program credit card. Paying with the card lets them earn twice on a given purchase: the points/miles your store awards on an item, and the points/miles they earn by paying with the card.

The beauty of double dipping is that it provides further motivation for shoppers to make purchases when even small amounts of points/miles are awarded — at no additional cost to you.* It’s worth noting that nearly half (43%) of US consumers use co-branded or affinity cards, as of 2013.

Give consumers what they crave

Are you ready to build your business by tapping into the strength of some of the world’s largest and most desirable loyalty programs? Then you’re ready to start using Points Business Solutions!

*Compared to the customer paying with a non–co-branded credit card.