In 1981 American Airlines (AA) introduced the world’s first Frequent Flyer Program. This smart campaign, coined by a group of marketing geniuses, thanked flyers for their loyalty by offering them points to get better deals in the future. It also marked the first true loyalty program – focused on enticing consumers to repeat purchase. Within days of the launch three of AA’S competitors followed suit, ushering in the new era of automated grand-scale loyalty programs we are accustomed to today.
It’s only logical that the concept of loyalty programs became such a success after that. In an increasingly competitive market where many companies vie for the same clients, retention is the Holy Grail and loyalty schemes are a means of achieving it. And while large corporations with vast budgets and marketing departments can easily leverage such campaigns, it’s a major challenge for small businesses. Merchants remain hesitant as to whether the benefits of a loyalty program outweigh the additional time and money they’d have to spend on it. After all, small companies, as opposed to their larger counterparts, can’t conduct extensive research into the effectiveness of loyalty for their specific situation prior to launching a campaign. And let’s be honest, who would like to make such an important decision based on guesswork alone?
That’s why we’ve made this infographic. It provides some insights for small business owners regarding loyalty programs in different industries and consumer perceptions of loyalty rewards. Based on studies by industry experts Buzzoek, Coniq and Visualistan, it illuminates how people look at different loyalty programs and how they handle the rewards they’ve earned.