26 July 2012 11:35
Half of UK adults are more likely to make a purchase from a store or brand if it offers a loyalty card scheme, according to new research by plastic card manufacturer, Plastic Card Services.
The study reveals that two thirds of British shoppers said such schemes make them feel more loyal and over 80% would replace a card if they lost it.
The survey, commissioned to mark 30 years of UK high street loyalty card schemes, found that consumers aged 55 and over are five times more likely to use loyalty cards than those under 25. However, the younger generation feels the greatest sense of loyalty, with eight out of 10 under-25s stating that they feel greater allegiance to a brand for which they hold a card.
The survey also revealed some interesting findings in the battle for the UK's favourite supermarket, with Tesco Clubcard coming out on top in the popularity stakes. The chain was closely followed by Boots Advantage and Sainsbury's Nectar, although the majority of women voted Boots Advantage card their favourite, as did shoppers under-25. Overall, the supermarket loyalty card was by far the most popular, being used six times more often than any other.
Shopping savings were a further area uncovered by the research, with UK adults saving more than £4bn a year thanks to loyalty cards. Additionally, the study revealed that 86% of the UK adult population owns at least one such card and each individual consumer saves an average of £100.32 annually, equating to £4.39bn every year across the UK. However, the research also discovered that shoppers are still sitting on £351 million worth of unused points annually.
Rob Nicholls, managing director of Plastic Card Services, said: "In this recent research, we found that almost one in ten card owners admit they have never cashed in their points, with shoppers in London and those aged under 25 the guiltiest of this. Meanwhile, Yorkshire folk and those aged over 55, are most likely to cash in their points regularly.
"It has been an extraordinary journey over the past three decades for loyalty cards, but this research indicates that they are well and truly here to say. In fact, despite a step towards digital mediums across almost every aspect of our lives, the loyalty market is one where consumers still prefer a physical product, with less than a fifth (18.9%) of respondents saying they would swap their cards for a mobile app.
"Key to the future of the loyalty card, especially in the retail sector, is reaching those consumers who have cards but don't use them properly and getting more people to sign up to schemes."