Card reward programs are proving to be highly effective in building customer loyalty across industries, especially the travel sector, which is roaring back after several years of deep losses.
That’s according to “Leveraging Item-Level Receipt Data: How Card-Linked Offers Drive Customer Loyalty,” a PYMNTS-Banyan study that surveyed more than 2,000 consumers in the United States to understand their interest in loyalty and rewards programs, their preference for card-linked offers, and how merchants can increase awareness and usage of these offers.
Overall, 65% of credit or debit card users prefer to shop with brands or merchants where they are loyalty or rewards program members, per the report. Additionally, the study found that 34% of consumers are willing to try out new brands or merchants, while 23% are occasional shoppers who sporadically visit specific brands or merchants.
Personalized card reward programs were found to be particularly appealing to consumers, with 4 in 10 expressing a preference for cards tailored to their needs and preferences.
In the travel sector, PYMNTS Intelligence found that nearly 64% of consumers are very or extremely likely to use card-linked offers for local travel purchases in the next three months, while 60% plan to do the same for purchases related to long-distance travel.
These high figures highlight the huge potential travel industry merchants have to increase engagement and retain customers through more personalized and relevant card-linked offers that resonate with customers’ needs.
In fact, approximately half of millennials, 49% of consumers with children, and 44% of individuals who have recently started engaging with brands or merchants are inclined to switch to businesses that provide tailored card-linked offer programs for specific products.
Similarly, our findings indicated that 50% of millennials, 50% of consumers with children, and 48% of new customers are likely to shift their preferences towards merchants offering specialized programs designed specifically for their business.
Leveraging item-level receipt data can help travel merchants fully capture this potential, the study found. By analyzing this data, merchants can tailor offers based on loyalty program insights and customer behavior, effectively engaging existing customers and attracting new ones.
Moreover, customers who have used these programs express high levels of satisfaction, especially when offers are tailored to their preferences, further giving merchants a chance to cultivate loyalty and encourage increased spending.
Finally, the report emphasized the importance for merchants, card issuers and card-linked offer platforms to promote and increase consumer awareness of card-linked offers for the nearly 40% of consumers who have not used card-linked offers because they lack familiarity with these programs. Educating consumers about how these programs work and the benefits they provide can unlock value in the form of more card members and increased purchase volume.