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Nielsen-Top-Loyalty-Program-Benefits-Nov2013What loyalty program benefits matter to consumers? A new global study [download page] released by Nielsen reveals that while (unsurprisingly) a leading 75% of online respondents are attracted to the discounted or free products offered by loyalty programs, there are other benefits that carry some heft, too. Some 44% indicated that enhanced customer service matters to them, and a similar 42% agree with respect to free shipping. There are some striking regional differences in attitudes.

Although discounts and free products appeal to a similar share of respondents across regions, enhanced customer service matter to a high of 59% of respondents in Latin America, but just 24% in North America. And while free shipping is recognized by a relatively standard proportion of respondents, the allure of exclusive products or events appears much greater to Latin Americans (41%) than Europeans (22%) and North Americans (25%). The same applies for special shopping hours, which 25% of respondents overall see as a benefit that matters, but which is attractive to only 11% of Europeans and 12% of North Americans.

There was less variation when consumers were asked what would cause them to opt out of or not join a loyalty program. The top reason was the program being too expensive (50%), followed by not shopping there enough to realize the benefits (43%). Other turn-offs include the program being too complicated (37%), not liking the benefits being offered (30%), too many loyalty emails or communication (27%), and not liking to give out personal information (25%).

Consumers’ top 5 “creepy and weird” loyalty program users of member information can be found here.

About the Data: The Nielsen Global Survey of Loyalty Sentiment was conducted between February 18 and March 8, 2013, and polled more than 29,000 consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%.

The Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion.

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