Email is one of the top retail communications channels. But few retailers are using it to its full potential — at least in driving loyalty programs.
Data is the problem, judging by recent research.
For instance, 70% of retailers collect data, but only 45% use it for personalized messaging, and 41% for customized offers and promotions, according to Take the Road To Rewards Report, a study released last year by PDI.
And of the companies with loyalty programs, 75% collect consumer data, but 25% do not. And a mere 34% use data to find customers with similar attributes.
That’s a sad commentary in the age of Amazon.
Consumers themselves are part of the problem. A recent study by Stibo Systems found that 49% will provide data to get loyalty program points. Yet only 23% will do so to receive weekly coupons.
And a mere 11% will trade information for personalized product recommendations, location-based offers or streamlined in-store service.
Another problem may be that few companies are up to the challenge. Liveclicker found that less than half of retailers are fielding loyalty or rewards programs to compete with Amazon.
But here are some encouraging stats from PDI. First, email is only behind the in-store experience as a communications medium — collect and use the data effectively, and you will have strong customer engagement.
Second, 50% of consumers will join a loyalty program to earn points or rewards on everyday purchases — up from 19% in 2017 — and 30% will shop when they do.
Also, mobile usage has hit 44%, twice that of 2015.
And fuel savings are the most popular form of loyalty offering.
It’s time to gear up.