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Customer Loyalty Data Insights

Specialty Food Association

According to the 2022 Clarus Commerce Premium Loyalty Data Study, the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, inflation, and more have disrupted customer loyalty, giving brands the opportunity to rethink their programs. Clarus Commerce is a customer engagement and loyalty strategy firm.

Although all types of loyalty programs are trending, including free enrollment options that gradually accrue rewards, premium loyalty services that require a membership fee, like Amazon Prime and Walmart+, have come out on top.

It polled 2,500 consumers about their feelings toward loyalty programs and found that 72 percent of consumers belong to a premium loyalty program and 65 percent of respondents noted their willingness to pay for a grocery-related premium program. Grocery-related programs were popular, second to clothing and gas which both held a 50 percent willingness to participate in a premium program.

When considering how generations’ sentiments toward these program types differ, the study found that Gen Z respondents had the highest rate of those planning to join additional premium programs: 87 percent. This number steadily declines as the consumer gets older: Millennials at 85 percent and Gen X at 79 percent.

The stratification of sentiments broken out by generation changes, however, when considering a consumer’s willingness to invest in a premium loyalty program if they already belong to that company’s traditional program. In this case, Millennials are the most loyal with a 90 percent willingness, higher than Gen Z’s 88 percent, Gen X’s 85 percent, and Baby Boomers’ 66 percent.

“The pandemic has changed consumer expectations permanently, and brands are still figuring out their new normal,” said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce, in a statement. “We can expect retailers to get more creative this year, designing more tiered loyalty programs or adding premium tiers to existing programs, and finding new ways to increase customer engagement through other exciting promotional campaigns like sweepstakes and giveaways.”

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