There is little doubt that consumers are attracted to retail subscription services and loyalty programs. And, while a recent survey [pdf] from IRI found that three-quarters (74%) of consumers obtained a loyalty card or rewards membership because it was free, more than half (56%) also take part in online subscription programs that require an annual fee.
For close to three-quarters of consumers, loyalty/rewards program membership is extremely (22%) or somewhat (51%) influential when it comes to choosing where they shop. And, when it comes to paid online retail subscription services, Amazon Prime is by far the most popular. About half (51%) of respondents subscribe to this service. This is significant because the next most popular subscription service (of the options given), Chewy, is used by only 7% of the population, followed by Walmart+ (4%) and Dollar Shave Club (3%).
In exchange for paying for membership, consumers expect certain benefits and services, including no minimum order for free shipping (58%), same-day delivery (39%) and access to a wider assortment than what’s found in-store (31%).
That said, online services carrying an annual fee like Amazon Prime are not the most used type of shopper loyalty or rewards membership. More consumers report being part of drug (i.e CVS or Walmart, 74%) or grocery (i.e Kroger or Safeway, 68%) loyalty card/rewards membership programs.
What does stand out from the data is that consumers with a higher income (more than $100K) are also more likely than other income groups to use these more popular types of loyalty programs, but are least likely to participate in loyalty programs for convenience stores or dollar stores. On the other hand, Gen Z are stand-out users of loyalty card programs for mass/supercenters as well as specialty beauty stores.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on IRI Subscription Services January 2021 Omnibus as well as the Consumer Connect Survey January 2021 — a quarterly survey of 2,000 respondents.