Young Adults Are Less Likely Than Others to Take Part in Loyalty Programs

April 25, 2019

Loyalty programs are still going strong in the US, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans participating in at least one such program. That being said, a new report [download page] from YouGov shows that older age groups appear to be the most prevalent users, while younger adults’ participation lags.

Some 7 in 10 US adults age 55-64 (71%) are members of at least one loyalty program. This is followed closely by those age 45-54 (69%) and 35-44 (66%). By contrast, only 43% of the youngest bracket (18-24) say they take part in a loyalty program.

These younger consumers – in particular, younger men – are also the most likely to have never subscribed to a loyalty program. Looking closer at the younger bracket of 18-24-year-olds, 40% of men and 30% of women in that age range say they have never subscribed to a loyalty program. YouGov chalks up this relatively high percentage of younger people eschewing loyalty programs to their being less experienced with money, as well as having generally less exposure to them.

So what would entice those individuals who have never subscribed to a loyalty program to join one?

The majority (70%) still say they are unlikely to be persuaded in the next 12 months, but of the remainder (representing a market size of 17.6 million Americans), half (50%) said that points that translate into some type of reward are a factor that may convince them to join. The second most convincing factor is free products/services/experiences (47%).

Coming to a similar conclusion, a study by Maritz Motivations Solutions found that participants in loyalty programs want tangible benefits such as cash back and gift cards, as well as having these rewards being easy to earn. Similarly, Dosh found that 83% of customers felt rewarded by receiving cash back from a loyalty program.

However, for those who currently take part in loyalty programs, the main incentive seems to be receiving discounts or offers. The vast majority (85%) of loyalty program participants say that they take part because of the in-store or online discounts/offers they receive, while more than half (52%) say it’s to receive discounts or rewards to other retailers/brands. Another 48% say they subscribe to a loyalty program to benefit from free products/services.

To read more, download the full report here.

About the Data: Data is collected from YouGov Cube which holds 317,000 variables, collected from over 262,000 YouGov panelists in the United States.

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