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Highlights from the Consumer Reward Preference survey 2017

Research report

Whatever your relationship is with your customers, you know that it’s not what you think, but what they think – and do – that matters. We surveyed over 1500 UK consumers this autumn, and here’s what we found.


Only 21% of consumers say they could remember receiving a reward for making a purchase in the last 12 months.

Of those who received rewards, 37.7% remembered being given a gift card. The more intangible rewards (such as discounts, points and cashback) were each recalled by less than 10% of the group, despite these usually being some of the most commonly used reward mechanisms. Cashback was recalled more often than discount.

Some shoppers said they feel that they are not being rewarded or even acknowledged for their loyalty.

Many of our respondents commented on the need for recognition of loyalty, although not necessarily in the traditional ‘collecting points over time’ context. From those who said their reward was for setting up a contract, 61% said they’d received a reward as a new customer and just 39% said their reward was for renewal. While this isn’t an exact science, as a random sample it does back the common perception that rewards tend to be given more as a result of acquisition campaigns than they are to retain loyal customers. 

When it came to what kind of reward they would choose, 65% of respondents chose a gift card over other reward options at all values.

15% opted for choice from an online gift catalogue (with or without a points based mechanism); the least favourite options were ‘buy one get one free’ and ‘everyday experiences’ (such as a free cup of coffee), both at less than 5% or less across all value points.

A matter of choice

When we asked what people would like to spend their reward on, out of sixteen categories the favourites were:

  • Fashion (11.59%) – the most popular option in the £25-50 card range
  • ​Electronics (11.29%) – the most popular option in the £100-250 card range
  • Groceries (10.67%) – shared the honours with Books and Beauty for the most popular in the £5-10 card range
  • Travel (9.72%) – although it was the most popular category for cards worth £500 or more

How can companies reward better?

These are typical of the answers we received:

"Giving me the choice of where to spend or cash value to spend where I please, that's a real reward.”
"Gift cards that you can use absolutely anywhere.”
"Allow you to choose which gift card you would prefer.”
"Be more tuned into the things that I like.” 
"A sensible reward programme, quite happy with points that can convert to vouchers.”
“Vouchers would be great, but not have to get thousands of points just to get a fiver.”

We know that choice, relevancy, simplicity and immediacy are all best practice attributes of an excellent and successful reward programme, and these comments certainly bear this out.

If you'd like to chat to one of our reward experts, or to find out more about working with us as a client, reward partner or agency, we'd be delighted to hear from you - call us on 01442 829450 or contact us
Survey sample 1,525 adults, statistically representative of the UK adult population age, gender and region (according to the UK Census). Conducted by CINT on behalf of Grass Roots, September 2017.

Posted: 11/30/2017 11:35:40 AM | with 0 comments
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