Customer loyalty in Canada is shifting, according to a new report from Eagle Eye, that highlights key opportunities for retailers such as data, personalization, and mobile.

The report is set against the backdrop of a shifting loyalty market in Canada, one that is experiencing the fragmentation of legacy loyalty programs like Air Canada and Aeroplan and subsequent consolidation of major retailers’ loyalty programs, such as  the recent fusion of the Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart initiatives into the PC Optimum program.

The report, Shifting Loyalties, reveals the pitfalls of mis-executing loyalty, as reflected in the interesting finding that 87 percent of Canadians currently belong to five loyalty programs or fewer.

Based on a survey conducted by Eagle Eye/Ipsos of 2,000 Canadian consumers, the report also contrasts the attitudes and behavior toward loyalty programs between different generations of Canadian consumers: Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.

Here are some other key study findings:

45 percent of Canadians have quit a loyalty program, and among those who do quit, 57 percent shop less or quit shopping with the brand altogether

83 percent of Millennials support loyalty’s shift to the mobile environment, as do 64 percent of Gen X and 34 percent of Baby Boomers

45 percent of consumers expect personalized offers and communications in exchange for sharing personal data

According to the report, these and other findings indicate a growing interest across all consumer groups for loyalty experiences and rewards that are personalized, valuable, easy-to-use, and delivered in real time. Millennials (18-34) are raising expectations for data-driven, digital loyalty experiences, while Generation X (35-54) and Baby Boomer (55+) consumers–two demographics that deliver palpable spending power–are increasingly open to mobile technologies and social media influence. 

“For brands and retailers across Canada, the report offers several prescriptions for data-based engagement strategies that will resonate with Canadian consumers,” the report says. “These include an embrace of digital and mobile earning and redemption options, the ability to leverage data to create personalized offerings and communications, and using non-transactional rewards to foster emotional loyalty.” 

According to Eagle Eye CEO Tim Mason, the results of this consumer survey represent a significant opportunity for retailers.

“The Canadian loyalty market is clearly shifting, while the value of customer data is increasing,” Mason said. “Brands that can create data-enabled, 1-to-1 interactions with their customers through their loyalty programs and engagement strategies will position themselves for significant competitive advantage. Loyalty programs, along with the wealth of customer touch points facilitated by consumer technology, yield a goldmine of data. From these surveys, we’ve learned that using data to develop a holistic customer view, and creating personalized, relevant experiences is the most advantageous and financially rewarding approach brands can take.”

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