Original research of over 1,400 European shoppers in the From First Look to Last Mile… And Back Again Report showed that connected customers value non-monetary rewards just as much as discounts and money-off promotions.

Rather than simply collecting points or vouchers to get money off future buys, nearly half of consumers (46%) want to receive individualised special offers and 4 in 10 (41%) expect personalised rewards based on their previous purchases.

To reward them for being loyal customers, 37% wanted to receive personalised ‘random acts of kindness’ gifts in-store, while a third (33%) wanted early access to sales and new collections before other shoppers.  With over a fifth (21%) wanting to receive experience-based rewards that match their lifestyle as opposed to just ‘money-off’ coupons, 19% wanted access to special VIP events that non-members of a loyalty scheme don’t have access to.

And, it seems, connected customers don’t just expect to be rewarded based on spend, either.  As they have become accustomed to digital-first loyalty schemes, shoppers now want to be rewarded for ‘non-spend’ digital interactions with a brand.  Almost a third (27%) expect incentives for leaving product reviews online and a quarter (24%) want rewards for promoting their favourite retailer on social media.

Frank Lochbaum, Managing Partner at KPS, commented: “In response to shoppers’ digitally driven demands, forward thinking retailers have already started to address the need to offer digital- and mobile-first loyalty schemes, in a bid to better meet these needs.  With ‘stuffocation’ and the rise of the experience economy, we have seen the trend for consumers placing value on experiential activities, which is reflective in their changing demands when it comes to loyalty scheme incentives.

“However, as well as recognising what shoppers want to be rewarded on, it’s key that retailers recognise the need not to silo loyalty initiatives, ensuring instead that incentives are integrated into each stage of the customer journey.  This requires brands and retailers to look strategically at their operations and ensure they have the processes in place to meet and exceed shoppers’ demands at each touchpoint.”