Rewards programs deliver in a down economy

Rewards programs are a win for both customers and corporations.

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The Future. While inflation might be easing, a possible banking crisis and high food prices have still forced many people to dip into their savings to offset the cost of living. If brands want to attract and retain shoppers during difficult times, they can show up for their customers by offering rewards programs that support them at every stage of life.

A win-win situation
Rewards programs are a win for both customers and corporations. 

  • 63% of shoppers expect more from brands now when it comes to the value and meaning they bring to their lives, according to a recent study from Havas Media Group. And nine out of 10 people say they already own at least one loyalty card, per Kantar Worldpanel.
  • As brands try to solidify their customer relationships in a down economy, they’re adding to their own data goldmines in the process. Ulta Beauty, Target, and Kroger use the first-party data collected via their loyalty programs to drive their retail media networks and give onsite advertisers access to more nuanced audience segments.

Better value for your money
Rewarding customer loyalty isn’t one-size-fits-all, though. It looks different for every brand.

  • In 2022, Starbucks teamed up with Delta Airlines for “Reward Together,” which allows their combined 100 million members to earn one airline mile for every $1 spent with the coffee chain.
  • At the start of 2023, customers downloaded the McDonald’s App (host to its MyMcDonald’s Rewards program) more than 40 million times in the US. The initiative offers discounts on everything from Big Macs to McFlurries and allows customers to earn points on their purchases and then trade them in for menu items later on.

The details may vary across programs, but one thing remains consistent: a strong personal connection with a brand increases customer retention.

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