Study: Younger Consumers Less Likely To Use Loyalty Programs

Millennials and Gen Zers are not participating in loyalty programs at the same levels as generations before them, according to an eMarketer analysis.

A November 2018 YouGov study of loyalty program members in the U.S. found that 57% of 25-to-34-year-olds participated in at least one loyalty program, as did 43% of those ages 18 to 24. However, 66% of consumers 35 to 44 years of age participated in at least one loyalty program as did 69% of those 45 to 54, 71% of those 55 to 64 and 65% of those 66 and above.

Still, eMarketer pointed out, the jury is still out on younger consumers and their loyalty to loyalty programs.

“Millennials— and younger consumers more generally— simply haven’t developed many of the household formation habits or reached the points in their careers when loyalty programs make the most sense,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst. “If you’re not regularly buying food, medication and clothes for your household, you don’t have the same need. And if you’re not a frequent traveler, why belong to airline or hotel loyalty programs?”

Loyalty programs are still important to consumers. A January 2019 study by retail management platform iVend Retail indicated that 58.7% of Internet users worldwide cited earning rewards or loyalty points as among the most valued aspects of the retail shopping experience after quick and easy checkout, which came in at 83%.

Overall, the YouGov study demonstrated, women, at 68%, were more likely to participate in at least one loyalty program than were men, at 59%.