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Customer Dissatisfaction with Loyalty Programs Rising; Tips for Outdoor Retailers

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According to a recent Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) article, there is a ‘growing consumer fatigue’ with customer loyalty programs – one that may hit outdoor retailers especially hard. Based on a September report by service and analytics company LoyaltyOne, 78 percent of American consumer respondents see no benefit in sharing info with brands, and the numbers willing to do so are falling from previous years:

Consumers are disappointed,” said Bryan Pearson, president of LoyaltyOne, which provides loyalty services and customer analytics to brands and published the survey. “For years they’ve provided their valuable information, and they’re not realizing something of suitable worth in return. If businesses don’t act quickly to demonstrate they have the consumer’s best interest at heart, they risk an erosion of the business-to-consumer relationship.”

Larry Pluimer, President of Indigitous, LLC, which helps brands sell on Amazon, reported that these numbers are higher for outdoor companies. He advised specialty retailers to think through the potential value to customers to create a successful loyalty program:

It’s a good wake-up call for everyone as to what you have to offer your customer to get them to opt in to a loyalty program. If you are a specialty shop, you should be asking yourself what you are going to give customers and how you are going to up that game.

Meanwhile, the OIA also reported on the new Passbook feature being offered by Apple as a potentially cost-effective tool for small or independent outdoor retailers to digitize their loyaltly programs, if they have a large base of customers who use Apple products. Passbook allows customers to redeem digital tickets (such as event or airline tickets), “punch” or redeem frequent buyer or gift cards, and use digital coupons.


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