"There is undoubtedly consumer appetite for using new technologies when the benefits are made clear," says Ipsos Mori boss Simon Atkinson. "For consumers who are worried about embracing technology changes, and the older generation in particular, the answer is likely to lie in offering existing services in tandem with new."
British consumers have a wide variety of attitudes to next generation loyalty programmes, a survey of 2,000 consumers carried out by market researcher Ipsos Mori for customer interactions specialist The Logic Group has found.
The survey focused on attitudes to mobile loyalty programmes and to the use of social networks to target offers. Key findings included:
- 21% of the British public said that they would like to receive loyalty scheme offers in this way — but 40% said they did not.
- More consumers aged 15-24 and 25-34 were positive about the idea (33% and 29% respectively) than their older counterparts (14%). Disagreement is higher among consumers aged 45-54 (50%) and 55-64 (54%), versus younger groups (32%).
- For older respondents the key reservations were physical barriers (feeling they may be penalised for having out of date devices), knowledge barriers and fear of the unknown, data security, and being tracked.
- 46% of respondents said they would like to receive offers from loyalty schemes while shopping.
- 47% said they would like to use a credit or debit card as a loyalty card.
Respondents who took part in focus groups as part of the research were also asked more in-depth questions about a number of new technologies in the mobile and social arenas. Key findings from these groups included:
- There were mixed reactions across all ages to the concept of a mobile wallet. Those who were most negative were worried about fraudulent use, inconvenience if lost, and being a greater target for theft. "More positively, people felt that this would be more convenient as a phone is always with you, and contactless technology would speed up the transaction," says The Logic Group.
- There was a broadly positive reaction to the use of mobile technologies such as SMS offers, applying points or rewards when you purchase using your phone, loyalty apps, and receiving offers to your phone from nearby shops. "Some had seen and used mobile apps before and suggested that when implemented correctly they were the future of loyalty schemes — also linking this technology to their desire to reduce the number of the cards in their wallets," says The Logic Group. "Texts and alerts to phones while shopping though could become annoying — and problematic in low signal areas."
- Social media, such as 'liking' or following a brand to receive new offers, received a mixed reaction. "Some already used social media and were happy with how it worked, while some voiced concerns about data security. They liked being able to sign up to a company and receive offers of relevance to them, and there was acknowledgement that both parties got something out of this relationship. However, data sharing and security issues were an overarching fear for all."
"When it comes to developing loyalty schemes that involve new technologies, it really is imperative to consider your target customers, and those businesses offering products or services used by older consumers should perhaps be more careful about the introduction of new technology channels as part of day-to-day scheme interactions," says Antony Jones, CEO of The Logic Group. "Encouragingly, the respondents show interest in schemes where they only need to use one card or device; pointing towards future technologies to create links between accounts and scheme rewards, mobile apps, NFC and contactless technology."
"There is undoubtedly consumer appetite for using new technologies when the benefits are made clear," says Simon Atkinson, assistant chief executive of Ipsos Mori, "though uncertainty about the actual user experience still remains. Importantly, new technology could make interacting with a scheme more convenient and make offers and information more easily accessible. For consumers who are worried about embracing technology changes, and the older generation in particular, the answer is likely to lie in offering existing services in tandem with new."