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Loyalty has always been essential to the success of businesses and organizations. And we don't really see this changing anytime soon.

And yet, while the role of loyalty tends to remain the same in the present, we wondered if today's data might tell us what it will look like tomorrow...or next week...or next year?

I’m a self-proclaimed Potterhead (a nickname given to fanatics of the Harry Potter series).

Needless to say, one of my favorite trips as an adult (yes I said adult) was a quick, two day visit to Universal Studios Orlando to finally experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

And it was...

AWESOME!

I got to see Gringotts Bank, eat at the Leaky Cauldron, enjoy a frozen butterbeer, go inside Ollivanders wand shop, ride on the Hogwarts Express and more.

My point? Traveling is an important part of peoples’ lives as it creates opportunities for discovery, exploration, shared experiences and lasting memories.

Which brings me to the idea that people love to travel (no surprise there) - all kinds of people in all kinds of ways for all kinds of reasons.

How much do people love to travel you ask?

So much so that we've created an entire stats page around it, Travel and Tourism Statistics: The Ultimate Collection, to help us better understand travelers.

Americans alone took 2.3 billion solo trips for business and leisure purposes in 2017.

Not only do people like to travel, but they spend a significant amount of their hard earned dollars on road trips, vacations, getaways, staycations, etc.

Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2.8 billion a day, $118.2 million an hour, $2.0 million a minute and $32,800 a second in 2017.

Because traveling is such a significant part of people’s lives, we've identified 6 things you should know about travel savings as they relate to your members.

Have you ever asked yourself what creates loyalty?

We have.

In fact, we’ve filled several pages devoted to gathering the latest facts and stats about all things customer loyalty and engagement.

What is it? How do you earn it? Is it worth the effort? (And so on...)

On the flip side, have you ever wondered what makes loyalty fade?

We’ve asked ourselves that one, too, turning again to our content-filled stats pages to seek out some answers.

Read on and discover -- like we did -- five clear patterns that studies suggest are fast and easy ways to turn off consumers and drive them away from becoming truly loyal.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Feb 6, 2019 12:28:00 PM

A customer is someone who buys something. A member is someone who belongs to something.

We should all aim to have members, even if we don't have a formal membership structure. Members, in this sense, are customers who have developed a deeper, ongoing relationship with your product or brand.

These relationships don’t happen by accident. Some brands can develop deep cult followings, but not all of us can be Apple or Starbucks.

We can however, borrow specific tactics from membership groups designed to build engagement and long-term loyalty.

Start small. Try any of these 20 engagement tactics used by some of the largest membership organizations in the world.

One of the great things about working at Access is its positive attitude towards work-life balance and employee wellness. As a result, I get to spend more time doing what I love outside of work, in this case teaching and taking dance classes on a weekly basis. Over the past decade, the first brand I turn to when I need (or heck, just want) a new piece of athletic clothing is Lulu Lemon.

Why? Because when I shop Lulu I feel valued, appreciated, understood and like I’m part of something.

How is that possible?

To start, its athletic clothing is made with specific purposes in mind as the description of what each item is ideal for can be found on the tag. I also perceive Lulu’s clothing designs to excel in the area of flattering and fitting women’s body types. And, it offers in-store hemming services at no charge so you feel like each item was made just for you.

Bonus! Lulu has a program called “Sweat Collective” for people who teach/coach athletic activities. As a part of this group, I enjoy 25% off all of my personal purchases and feel my input/opinion on products is valued.

Plus, the popular athletic retailer offers community fitness and wellness classes/events all over the world.

So… am I emotionally connected with/engaged/loyal to Lulu Lemon?

Have you seen our Loyalty Statistics: the Ultimate Collection page lately?

If not, you should. It’s ballooned to a jaw-dropping 1000+ statistics curated from across the web over the last 5 years. And it’s still growing.

They come from studies run by industry leaders and top firms across the nation. Organizations and businesses have used it for research, presentations and to influence member benefit strategies. It has become a trusted resource for a host of companies worldwide as they navigate the complex and sometimes confusing notion of “loyalty.”

As obsessed as we are about all things member loyalty and member benefits, we recognize that no one statistic tells the full story. Still, we’ve dedicated this entire blog to exploring every nuance of customer and member loyalty – and as we’ve organized the statistics, a few interesting trends have emerged.

 

#1 - More Loyalty Programs Competing for Attention — and Failing

Attracting people to your loyalty program is a massive undertaking, and nothing is more frustrating than seeing membership numbers rise while usage stays stagnant. After all, what’s the point of having a loyalty program if people aren’t finding value in it?

It was only a few centuries ago (a short time in the grand scale of humanity) that a shopper’s only option was the town’s General Store. It doesn’t take much to earn a person’s loyalty if you’re the only option available.

But now the market is flooded with options. So much so that 63% of Millennials and Gen Z agree they have so many choices, a brand has to show them loyalty in order to gain their business — not the other way around.

The same argument applies to loyalty programs. 65% of consumers reported they actively engage with fewer than half of their loyalty programs and 41% with fewer than a quarter of them. Americans collectively hold 3.8 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs. Consider then, that Millennials report maxing out with activity in 4.2 loyalty programs, and only 3.9 programs for all consumers.

The reality is, your loyalty program might get ignored simply because members are engaged in too many others. And with that kind of competition, you can’t skimp on the value.

The statistics have clearly identified the issue plaguing loyalty platforms everywhere. If you need some ideas, click to view strategies for standing out from the crowd

 

#2 - Losing Loyalty Can Happen Fast, But Winning it Back Still Possible 

Loyalty is hard-won in the first place, so the best-case scenario obviously is to never lose it. However, bad experiences happen. Employees have off days, products are sometimes faulty, benefits sometimes fail to live up to expectations.

And the statistics are showing just what it takes to convince customers to switch away from a brand to which they were previously loyal.

The answer? Not much.

Consumers reported it takes anywhere from 1 (19%) to 3 (58%) bad experiences before they take their business elsewhere. Millennials reported that prices 10% to 15% better at a competitor could get them to switch. And fully half (50%) reported they simply found someone else who better meets their needs.

It may seem discouraging to see how increasingly easy it is to lose once loyal customers to other brands. But don’t throw in the towel. You can actually win them back. They’ve said so themselves.

When brands develop a history of transparency, about 90% of consumers said they are more willing to give brands a second chance after a bad experience.

This means before the bad experience even takes place, people want companies to have a strong social media presence that makes them feel more human. Then, once they’ve built this platform of trust, it’s the perfect forum for making things right. After all, when people see you making things right with one member, it can deepen their trust in you, even when they’re not directly involved.

Plus, it’s important to remember that customer engagement is a cumulative experience. And one bad day will seem so much less important if it’s drowning in a flood of positive ones. 

 

#3 - The Key to Getting Valuable Customer Personal Data? Trust and Value

Data is king. Many companies are hungry for data about their members and customers. After all, armed with valuable demographics, organizations could start segmenting their marketing plans and really delivering up the best value to each individual.

The problem is, most organizations don’t know quite how to get it.

The statistics show that 34% of Millennials won’t join a membership program because the enrollment process is too long. At the end of the day, members aren’t going to give up personal details for nothing.

I myself have joined a group or 2 with the information: First name = Me, Last name = Me, email address = Me@me.com. Why? Well I couldn’t tell if it would be worth my while without signing up first. And I didn’t want them bugging me if it wasn’t.

Trust has to come first. Trust that their membership will bring them value. Trust that you will use their information with care. So what does that mean for organizations? Try asking for the bare minimum of information to help them get in the door. After you’ve developed that trust, you can ask for more detailed information.

Luckily, the statistics also show that the vast majority of people are more than willing to share their information… as long as you make it worth their while. In fact, 90% of consumers are okay with brands knowing more about them if it helps deliver a more rewarding and satisfying shopping experience.

So what will members trade their personal data for? Well, statistics show they are most interested in exclusive deals (60%), the ability to gain points and rewards (56%) or for a more personalized experience (55% of Millennials).

So, if incentives and personalized value will get you the data you’re looking for, make sure that value is present in your loyalty program.

 

Let's Learn Together

There’s a lot more stats where those came from, and a lot more conclusions to be drawn from them. Take a look for yourself. If you notice any trends, we'd love to hear from you. Comment below.