The Co-op chiller doors shopper

Loyalty schemes are still hugely popular in the UK but are at risk of alienating younger users, new research commissioned from point of sale marketing specialist Ecrebo has revealed.

The survey, of 1,200 consumers, found that 91% are members of loyalty schemes but this drops to 83% of 16 to 24-year-olds.

More than a third (36%) of 16 to 24-year-olds found loyalty schemes to be too complicated, compared with 27% of those aged over 25.

Three in 10 (31%) of 16 to 24-year-olds felt that the sign-up process for loyalty schemes was too long and complex. This was double the average of 17% for those aged 25 or older.

Consumers who used loyalty programmes also identified several areas for improvement.

Three-quarters (74%) said they would be more likely to join schemes with personalised rewards, while 89% said if loyalty programmes were quick and easy to use, it would influence where they shopped. Half (49%) of consumers said they would be attracted to loyalty schemes that were cardless.

The poll also revealed a growing appetite for new types of rewards. Two-thirds (66%) said they would be tempted to use schemes that offered “exclusive access, services or products”. This rose to 79% for 16 to 24-year-olds.

“Our research highlights a growing demand - especially among younger shoppers - for loyalty programmes which are personalised, convenient and genuinely rewarding,” said Dr Hassan Hajji, Ecrebo co-founder and CEO.

“In a marketplace which remains more competitive than ever, it is crucial that retailers continually reassess their loyalty offer, consider new and different ways of engaging customers and stay ahead of changing expectations and needs.”