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Study: 95% of UK consumers appreciate customer loyalty programs

Tesco, Boots UK, M&S and Sainsbury’s win consumer engagement 

CARY, NC  (Sep. 13, 2013)  – Consumers like customer loyalty programs. A recent study, Retail Loyalty and the Consumer finds nearly 95 percent of UK consumers have at least one loyalty card. Most use them regularly.

Business analytics leader SAS and global retail research company Conlumino surveyed 2,109 consumers and 100 UK retailers. More than 40 percent of the consumers said they are less likely to do business with a retailer lacking a loyalty program. And emotional connections matter. The research found that 80 percent of consumers believe engaging with a brand emotionally influences their likelihood of making a purchase.

According to the report, retailers that invested in customer loyalty programs – leaders like Tesco, Boots UK, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's – show the highest emotional connection with consumers. Tesco came out on top. With 16 million active participants, Tesco uses information obtained by consumer loyalty card activity to create rich and personalized offers for customers.

High-performance analytics transform big data into marketing insights

Loyalty programs have a purpose – gathering information about customer preferences and behavior. High-performance analytics not only manage big data collected from loyalty programs but transform it into valuable insights that guide marketing strategy. Using SAS High-Performance Analytics, retailers can base decisions on evidence. They can deliver the right product at the right price at the right time to the right person and through the right channel. This is what the consumers interviewed wanted. Around 50 percent said if offers were personalized, they would be more likely to use that retailer again.

"This creates a massive opportunity for retailers," said Neil Saunders, Managing Director at Conlumino. "Those that grasp this opportunity to understand their customers and treat them as individuals are more likely to see increases in purchases and add to their profit margin."

The findings suggest that consumers are comfortable with retailers collecting the data needed to deliver personalized offers. In fact, almost 40 percent actively opt into marketing material from retailers. That means a significant number believe they benefit from relevant offers by allowing retailers to market directly to them. More than a third admit that marketing offers make them more likely to purchase from a retailer. Nearly half would be likely or very likely to do business with a retailer who provided personalized offers.

Customer loyalty goes mobile

Highlighting the increasing potential for mobile services, a third of consumers surveyed would be likely to accept an offer received via their mobile devices while inside a store.

"Helping even a fraction of mobile phone subscribers to accept offers will significantly boost retail profit margins," said Alex Fovargue, SAS UK and Ireland Retail Specialist. "Those employing innovative technology to reap the bottom-line benefits of customer data trust SAS for its depth of experience and heritage in analytics."

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