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Research Reveals Customers Clueless Love of Loyalty Cards

Originally Published 05 July 2004

A student research project has revealed that many people have absolutely no idea how much their supermarket loyalty cards save them but that despite the cards do indeed produce customer loyalty and increase customer spend within supermarkets.

University of Warwick Economics student Katriona Buchanan questioned around 200 supermarket loyalty card users in Warwick, Leamington and also her own home town of Nottingham. She found that only 30% of those questioned knew how many loyalty cards points they received for every £1 they spent.

She also found that loyalty card users firmly believed that owning a loyalty card had no affect on where they shopped or how much they spent in a particular shop. A majority of those questioned said it had no affect at all on their purchasing and 73% claimed it was the location of the store that was most important.

However despite the general failure to understand what they gained by using the cards, and despite the claim that the card had no real affect on their shopping patterns Katriona found that in fact the supermarket loyalty card owners she questioned spent on average £15.32 more on a shopping visit than those who did not have a loyalty card.

While there has been marketing studies of the use of loyalty cards few if any academic economists have looked at their effect. Katriona hopes her study will spur economists to conduct more larger scale studies of this area.

For further information contact:

Katriona Buchanan Tel: 07977 400446