The Spirit Of Loyalty: High-Tier Members Were Faithful During The Pandemic

Loyalty programs kept customers engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic — 62.1% of businesses agree they did. And 66.4% say loyalty marketing has an impact on their strategic decisions, according to the 2022 Global Customer Loyalty Report, a study released Wednesday by Antavo. 

Of the firms that measure return on investment on their loyalty efforts, 93.1% have a positive ROI. And 56% are satisfied with their programs, while 42.3% think they should be pulling better results. Only 1.7% are dissatisfied.

The key is to hold on to members, no matter what the external circumstances.  

“While the global crisis certainly dampened many customers’ spending power, what we observed is that those who were halfway through their journey to a higher loyalty tier, or were sitting on unspent points, were far less likely to abandon these favored brands,” says Attila Kecsmar, CEO & co-founder of Antavo.

That may be why many firms are starting programs and rushing to attain advanced capabilities. Of the companies planning to launch a loyalty program in the next two years, 55.4% expect to offer experiential rewards such as member-only experiences and VIP events, as 40.5% of existing programs do. 



And 53.6% of those jumping in say their programs will be emotional rather than rational. 

But of the firms that already have programs, 71.6% plan to revamp them over the next three years, and are looking for ways to achieve this.

Loyalty marketing in general ranked third on companies priority list, after digital transformation and ecommerce. Email came in behind those function, followed by social media marketing and stronger branding. 

Despite its low ranking, email is central to certain kinds of efforts. For instance, the Italian luxury fashion retailer LuisaViaRoma uses email to send personalized birthday or brand anniversary emails to high-tier customers.

“As part of our program, we do email automations,” says Francesca Montanari, senior CRM Specialist at LuisaViaRoma. “They’re based on the fact that we target customers who are likely to churn, for example. We do this with an algorithm.

Montanari adds, “We reach customers at risk of churning via email, and we try to re- engage them and offer them a benefit to get them back. Data and targeting are really important for the success of the campaign.” 

What is the benefit of loyalty programs? Those with programs say they do these things:

  1. Increase customer engagement
  2. Increase overall revenue
  3. Improve the way we use member data and leverage insights
  4. Collect data
  5. Increase customer experience

And companies that plan to launch a program in the next two years expect them to:

  1. Increase customer engagement
  2. Improve customer experience
  3. Improve customer satisfaction
  4. Improve personalization
  5. Increase overall revenue

Antava surveyed 325 corporate respondents from all regions of the globe and analyzed data from 25 million member actions through its loyalty management system. 


Next story loading loading..