UK “drowning in a sea of loyalty cards” reveals Nielsen study

A study by Nielsen shows that British shoppers are among most likely in the world to carry a loyalty card but some of the least likely to use them.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said the paradox had resulted in the UK “drowning in a sea of loyalty cards”.

The research, carried out in 63 countries, showed that 89% of Brits carry a loyalty card of some sort, well above the global average of two-thirds, and behind only Finland on 94%.

But only 51% of shoppers in the UK will choose a retailer with a loyalty scheme over one without, the second lowest figure globally after Denmark.

Watkins said: “Whether it’s because loyalty schemes aren’t offering the right rewards, are too difficult to redeem or there are simply too many of them to make a competitive difference, retailers need to be addressing it.”

Across all 23 questions around behaviour, attitude and potential benefits in the survey, Brits show less positivity than the global norm, added Watkins.

“This suggests Britons simply like the idea of signing up rather than actually using them – a tick-box exercise – but the schemes aren’t personalised enough to keep them engaged,” he said.