Survey: Cash rewards outweigh all others

Retailers’ loyalty programs aren’t doing a very good job of winning shoppers’ loyalty.

The loyalty programs being offered by retailers are no longer resonating with consumers, according to the "Dosh Consumer Loyalty Survey." The report found that tiered programs, merchant credit cards, and special events lack the concrete value and immediacy that appeals to today's consumers, particularly younger ones. Only 43% of Gen Z shoppers report signing up for an in-store rewards program (compared to 53% of millennials and 57% of Gen X).

Nearly all (91%) of consumers said they feel little to no reward from tiered reward systems, and 89% feel little to no reward from merchant credit cards. And 83% feel little to no reward from invitations to special events from a brand.

What does resonate with shoppers is cash. Eighty-three of respondents said cash makes them feel rewarded, and at least one in three respondents said that they would switch to a merchant that provides cash back over one that does not. And 60% of respondents reported they would give up social media for the day in exchange for $20 in cash.

“Retailers are wasting billions of dollars advertising their complex loyalty programs," said Brad Brodigan, president and COO, Dosh. "Consumers are confused by all the different loyalty program requirements. However, our research shows what drives consumers' motivation is simple: cash.”

Consumers are increasingly using their smartphone at every point in their path to purchase, meaning loyalty rewards must be activated on mobile as well, the report said.
Key findings include:

Over two-thirds of respondents have used a coupon in the last year, but only three in 10 are using their phone to get cash back on everyday purchases.

When it comes to purchasing platforms, nearly 50% of respondents on average leverage smartphones to shop. Breaking down this average by generation, we see this trend particularly significant among moms 705), millennials (69%), and Gen Z (68%). Only 31% of baby boomers purchase items using their smartphone.

More than half of respondents (55%) report having at least one mobile shopping app connected to their bank account, debit or credit card.