It may not say much for “loyalty” in the traditional sense. But consumers are increasingly ready to join premium programs like Amazon Prime, Walmart+ and CVS CarePass, judging by Meeting Rising Consumer Loyalty Expectations Post-Pandemic, a study released on Wednesday by Clarus Commerce.
Of the shoppers surveyed, 76% say they would pay for a premium loyalty program. And 81% of traditional loyalty members would join a premium program at their favorite retailer if the benefits were valuable.
Premium programs require a different type of email communication. For instance, updates that may lag in traditional programs would have to be precise and regular when people are paying to belong to them.
In addition, the imperative to drive renewals would become more urgent.
Consumers seem restless with traditional programs. For instance, 79% say they don’t want to accumulate points any more, and that they expect more immediate benefits. And 68% agree that their loyalty is more difficult to maintain.
Premium membership varies by generation:
But the percentages vary when consumers who have traditional memberships are asked whether they would join a premium program:
It also varies by the type of products and services. Here are the categories for which shoppers will pay for a premium membership:
In general, these are the benefits that would drive them to join or renew in a premium program:
In contrast, 75% cite faster, free shipping as the top reason for joining Amazon Prime, with video streaming benefits a very distant second at 15%.
And the top reason for renewing with Amazon Prime? Faster, free shipping is cited by 58% and video streaming by 21%. Food delivery, music streaming and customer events are in the single digits in both cases.
Clarus Commerce surveyed 2,500 U.S. consumers in March 2021.