Blog | 22 February, 2018

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Is loyalty a thing of the past?

Independent shopper insights consultancy Shoppercentric has published its Shopper Stock Take Index for a third year, which reveals that 41% of consumers use store loyalty cards ‘a lot’ and 47% use them ‘occasionally’. Only 1% of survey respondents said they had never heard of loyalty cards.

However, Danielle Pinnington, Managing Director at Shoppercentric, warns: “With shoppers picking and choosing between stores for particular items based on their own experience of how well different retailers deliver, there is even greater pressure to differentiate and create memorable in-store experiences. If, as our report shows, shoppers are actively widening their repertoires, loyalty as we used to know it is an outdated term.”

The survey shows that shoppers are becoming more active as they make the most of the retail choice available. Shoppers’ average repertoire has increased to five stores or websites in the last fortnight, up from four in 2017. 26% of UK shoppers say that they fit their grocery shopping in where and when they can. Tellingly, 33% of shoppers switch stores based on what they need – to get the best places for what they want (versus 28% in 2017).

The biggest change in the five channels covered by the report was in the use of discounter stores – up 13% on 2017 figures to 57% of UK shoppers. Use of the Big Four supermarkets rose by four percentage points on 2017 figures to 83.

Finally, the survey shows increasing consumer preference for digital promotional content – there has been a seven percentage point increase to 58% in the number of shoppers that have been triggered to shop by content on their smartphone. Using a smartphone to carry out ‘research’ has remained on a par with last year at 61%. However, using the device to ‘find’ an item has risen from 56% to 60%, while the number of shoppers using smartphones to buy a product has gone up from 37% to 42% of shoppers.