Customer loyalty and marketing are changing in front of our eyes, but the changes aren’t exactly universal. Antavo, an enterprise loyalty technology provider, has some insight to share on customer loyalty in three key regions: Europe, APAC and North America.
Following the company’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2022, Antavo has released regional reports that divy up the data for these three markets and compare them to the global responses. Each report provides never-before-seen insights into how companies are investing in loyalty strategy and loyalty programs, what loyalty professionals see as the biggest challenges now and for the future, and what trends are on track to guide how we see loyalty in the coming years.
Here are some key highlights from each of the three newly-released reports.
In Antavo’s analysis of the three regions, Europe led the way in loyalty program personalization. 56.3% of European companies with a loyalty program offer personalization. In comparison, just 36.7% of respondents in North America and 30.3% in APAC currently offer personalization.
There is an open door for companies in North America and APAC to get ahead of their competition by acting quickly to start providing personalized offers and experiences for their customers.
Another way that Europe stands out is that 40.6% of program owners in the region already engage customers outside of the buying cycle, meaning they go beyond rewarding members for transactions. Since the majority of companies worldwide are still not using this strategy, companies worldwide can benefit — and stand out from the crowd — by starting engaging customers in new ways.
Discover more in the Europe Customer Loyalty Report 2022
Antavo’s survey also asked respondents to indicate how satisfied they are with their loyalty programs. Satisfaction was defined in the following way: the loyalty program contributes to sales, delivers great ROI, and is popular among customers. This is where North America stood out: 63.3% of North American loyalty program owners are satisfied with their loyalty programs. The fact that the majority of North American program owners are “satisfied” or “highly satisfied” with their programs is hugely important. North America is such a large — and by some accounts saturated — market, yet organizations in the U.S. and Canada are still finding success with their rewards strategy. In Europe, 56.2% of program owners said the same, therefore satisfaction rates closely mirror the global average.
Interestingly, in APAC, loyalty program owners are less satisfied: Only 42.4% of APAC companies said they were satisfied with their current loyalty program. One possible contributing factor for lower overall satisfaction could be that fewer organizations in APAC reported tracking the ROI of their loyalty programs. Yet, tracking ROI is critical to understanding rewards program performance. Although the correlation between ROI tracking and satisfaction were not examined separately, the lack of tracking is one possible explanation for why so many companies in APAC felt “neutral” satisfaction regarding their loyalty programs.
COMPANIES IN APAC ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO USE IN-HOUSE LOYALTY TECHNOLOGY
One customer loyalty challenge among global organizations is finding loyalty technology that supports business goals, yet is easy enough to use without loads of assistance from the IT department. Let’s take a look at how companies are approaching loyalty technology today, and what changes they would like to see in the future.
Organizations either opt to build and maintain their technology in-house or to partner with a third-party technology vendor. That decision has a major impact on the experience of managing the loyalty program.
So where does each region stand? 51.5% of APAC respondents use in-house technology to power their loyalty programs. 60% of North American companies, however, indicated they use a third-party approach. European companies were evenly split between in-house and third-party technology.
Organizations in each region indicated that there are challenges in managing their loyalty programs; one of which is that the marketing department depends a lot on IT to manage the program’s features and any changes. 50% of European companies indicated that they depend heavily on IT. 42.4% of companies in APAC and 33.3% of companies in North America said the same. The lower percentage in North America could potentially be explained by the region’s preference for using third-party technology to power their rewards programs.
HIGHER INVESTMENT AND REFRESHED LOYALTY PROGRAMS PLANNED ACROSS THE BOARD
The majority of the Global Customer Loyalty Report survey participants expressed a high desire to “increase” or “significantly increase” their investments in customer loyalty over the coming three years. This means we should see more organizational support for loyalty strategy and loyalty programs internationally. European companies, in particular, are keen to increase investment. 84.4% of European respondents plan to increase investment in loyalty, followed closely by 80% of North American respondents and 78.8% of APAC respondents. With such a high interest in putting more resources behind loyalty strategy, it’s safe to say we’ll see a lot of innovations in loyalty programs over the next few years.
In a similar question, we asked respondents in each of the three regions whether they are likely to revamp how likely they are to revamp their rewards programs in the coming years. Here, North America led the way. 80% of North American respondents are planning to revamp their loyalty programs, followed by 71.9% of European respondents and 66.7% of respondents in APAC. These numbers indicate that even companies who are satisfied with their current loyalty programs are planning to refresh them — perhaps in an effort to incorporate next-generation features or keep their programs new and exciting for customers.
“In three years, what’s considered to be ‘the default’ by loyalty program members will change forever. Companies that are planning to enter the loyalty market in the foreseeable future or wish to revamp their program need to act fast and with caution while considering which trends are gaining momentum.” – Zsuzsa Kecsmar, Co-founder, CMO of Antavo
Learn more about current trends and find additional data insights about APAC, Europe and North America in the individual regional reports. These reports are your best bet for information about current challenges, loyalty investments, and future trends in loyalty programs. Download the reports here: