Customers love their loyalty cards

Two thirds of British consumers said loyalty schemes make them feel more loyal, and more than 80% would want to replace a lost loyalty card according to a study by card maker Plastic Card Services

Commissioned to mark 30 years of high street loyalty card programmes in the UK, the survey found that consumers aged 55+ are five times more likely to use loyalty cards than those under 25. However, the younger generation feels the greatest sense of loyalty, with 80% of under-25s saying that they feel greater allegiance to a brand for which they hold a loyalty card.

Identifying regional differences, the study also noted that Scottish consumers are the least loyal, with 40% saying they felt no sense of loyalty to shops or brands from which they had obtained loyalty cards, while shoppers in London feel the greatest sense of loyalty. Londoners were also shown to be smart shoppers, with consumers on average holding 4.05 loyalty cards in their wallet or purse, second only to those in the South West who carry an average of 4.3 cards.

According to Rob Nicholls, managing director for Plastic Card Services, "It is astonishing to think of the impact loyalty cards have had on consumer purchasing behaviour over the past 30 years and, as our survey shows, the demand for them and their associated rewards is continuing to grow. In fact, we found that around 80% of the UK population use a loyalty card at least once a week."

And despite a step toward digital mediums across almost every aspect of our lives, the loyalty market is one in which consumers still seem to prefer a physical product: the survey found that, while new technology has seen the development of mobile loyalty apps, less than one fifth (18.9%) said they would swap their plastic loyalty cards for a mobile app.

Finally, the survey found that the UK's overall favourite loyalty card is the Tesco Clubcard, followed by the Boots Advantage Card, and then the Nectar card associated with Sainsbury's. However, the Boots Advantage Card was voted favourite above Tesco Clubcard by both women and shoppers aged under 25.