38% of SMBs are using customer loyalty programs to deliver special offers and rewards for frequent customers, per new data from BIA/Kelsey, while another 21% anticipate adding a loyalty program in the next year. Those numbers, which come from Wave 17 of the researcher’s “Local Commerce Monitor,” are a slight uptick from the previous wave, which put current adoption of loyalty programs at 34%, with another 21% likely to add a program. Still, BIA/Kelsey notes in this latest release that SMBs’ use of loyalty programs has not changed by a statistically significant from last year.
Among respondents with a loyalty program, 54% said they operate their own in-house programs, primarily through paper-based tracking methods such as punch cards.
Separately, SMBs estimated that they will generate 17.7% of their total business over the next year through customer acquisition programs such as discount deals, daily deals, coupons or similar offers. In the previous survey wave, 37.3% of respondents said they devote the majority of their marketing budgets to customer acquisition programs, compared to just 6% devoting the majority to customer retention.
About the Data: The BIA/Kelsey survey sample size is 568. The survey was conducted online in July and may not be statistically significant.
The previous wave defined “loyalty marketing” as: “Specific efforts to acquire, engage and retain customers. It can target specific customer groups based on their search interests and purchase patterns. Loyalty marketing utilizes techniques that include frequent shopper clubs and memberships, email and print newsletters, social media programs, special events, discounts and coupons, custom content, gift cards, and gift certificates.”