Loyalty schemes


Introduction and scope

Customer loyalty programmes remain very popular with both businesses and consumers. New schemes are being launched and participation in customer loyalty programmes is high and rising. However, the key question is, does this make customers spend more with businesses whose schemes they participate in? New research for this report assesses consumer’s participation in customer loyalty programmes to gauge what, if any, impact the rewards and benefits of these programmes have on spending patterns and behaviour.

Yet, is direct influence on where people shop the main metric by which loyalty schemes should be judged? Arguably the true value of customer loyalty programmes lies in their generation of detailed transactional data that businesses can use to personalise and improve their customer proposition.

Research in this report, therefore, assesses how participants prefer to receive offers from schemes and considers receptivity to increased use of online communications, especially coupons and vouchers, which is part of a trend to increase the amount of online, rather than postal, communications within loyalty schemes.


For this report, YouGov SixthSense commissioned a survey among its online panel; drawing on a nationally representative sample of 1,790 adults aged 18+ and conducted in April 2011.

A series of questions was asked, covering the following topics:

  • Personal participation in retailer, multi-user and/or credit card reward schemes
  • Influence of card schemes on choice of retailer
  • Personal participation in travel and eating rewards schemes
  • Influence of travel and eating rewards schemes on choice of retailer
  • Collection of school based vouchers
  • Use of loyalty points earned on retail purchases
  • Attractions of loyalty schemes
  • Attitudes to online activities associated with reward schemes
  • Preferred methods of receiving coupons and vouchers
  • Frequency and use of coupons printed from the Internet
  • How supermarket coupons influence shopping choices