As the middle-class gets further squeezed five loyalty trends are helping merchants add value to attract customers.
In its most recent issue, LoyaltyOne’s COLLOQUY magazine examined the strapped U.S. middle-class and what marketers can do to develop loyalty with this group through the lingering recession and beyond.
With 50% of Americans defining themselves as middle-class, this group has the power to shape the directions in which loyalty programs are growing. Middle-class consumers want a helping hand in terms of not only price but greater flexibility, choice and value from their loyalty programs. And with middle-class consumers already making trade-offs to figure out how to stay ahead of a shifting economy, marketers would do well to stay abreast of five trends that will add value to member programs:
1. Firing up flexibility: Creating choice and options
2. Instant rewards with long-term incentives
3. Consumer control: A new-style digital coupon craze
4. Convenience versus price
5. Rewarding the middle-class: Guilt-free indulgences and practical decisions.
“Many in the middle class continue to suffer from a financial ‘squeeze’ and straight discounts aren’t delivering on the hype,” said COLLOQUY Managing Partner Kelly Hlavinka. “What’s working instead are creative programs that leverage discounts as part of their overall mix to build long-term loyalty, offer flexible redemption options, and are notably easy to use for time-crunched consumers.”