TECHNOLOGY

Study: The most loyal generation is…

BY Dan Berthiaume

A new study reveals defining the “most loyal” generation of shoppers is not a clear-cut proposition.

According to “What do Americans think of loyalty programs” from online research platform YouGov, 64% of all U.S. adults belong to at least one loyalty program. But the rate of loyalty membership varies by generation. The most loyal generation is 55-to-64-year-olds and the least loyal is age 18-24 (the youngest millennials and oldest Gen Z). However, when 18-to-24-year-olds do sign up for a loyalty program, they participate more frequently than their older peers.

Here is a more complete breakdown:

• Age 18-24 – 43%
• 25-34 – 57%
• 35-44 – 66%
• 45-54 – 69%
• 55-64 – 71%
• 65-plus – 65%

Looking at what percentage of loyalty members are “super-loyal” – consumers who tend to spend more with a brand, recommend that brand more, and feel more emotionally connected to a brand, generational results skew differently:

• Age 18-24 – 38%
• Age 25-34 – 34%
• Age 35-44 – 35%
• Age 45-54 – 30%
• Age 55-plus – 20%

Measuring by participation, including making crucial personal recommendations, the youngest consumers could be considered “most loyal.”

YouGov also measured several other data points relating to loyalty programs. For example, there are significant differences in loyalty membership by retail sector:

• Supermarkets – 65%
• Pharmacies – 56%
• Shops and online – 50%
• Restaurants/coffee shops – 32%
• Gas stations – 26%
• Movie theaters – 20%
• Beauty parlors/salons – 4%

When asked to select reasons they joined a loyalty program, one factor was the clear leader:

• In-store/online discounts and offers – 85%
• Discounts/rewards to other retailers/brands – 52%
• Free products/services/experiences – 48%
• Be among first to know about brand promotions/discounts/news 23%
• Better services, such as faster delivery – 20%

In addition, the study found that women are more likely to belong to a loyalty program than men. Sixty-eight percent of women and 59% of men are members of at least one loyalty program. Twenty-eight percent of men and 19% of women have never belonged to a loyalty program.

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