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UK consumers overwhelmingly prefer gift cards as reward for loyalty

In a new survey from incentives and rewards specialists, Appreciate Business Services, three quarters of UK consumers (76%) said they preferred a gift card or voucher for staying loyal to a company or brand.

UK consumers overwhelmingly prefer gift cards as reward for loyalty
UK consumers overwhelmingly prefer gift cards as reward for loyalty

In comparison to incentives like staff or store discounts, upgrades or VIP experiences, flexible gift cards and vouchers came out on top as the preferred way of rewarding.

In the poll of 10,000 Appreciate Business Service customers, discounts were the second most popular incentive (13 %), followed by a ‘VIP’ exclusive experience or offer (4.7 %).

Less than 5 per cent (4.3%) of respondents would opt for complimentary merchandise as a reward and only 1.2 per cent revealed they would be incentivised by an upgraded membership.

The poll reflects the growing popularity for gift card products reflected in the major spike in sales during the pandemic.

According to the latest analysis by the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA) and KPMG UK, sales via online channels grew strongly across both Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B).  

While online B2B gift cards and vouchers saw 34% growth year on year, online B2B saw growth of 292% year on year highlighting the resilience of the growing market. Overall the market share for digital products doubled in the second half of 2020 to 32.5% (from 16.6% H2 2019).

Appreciate Business Services is the UK’s most popular incentives products business and the home of Love2shop’s corporate vouchers, gift cards and digital rewards embraced by HR teams, business owners and organisations all over Britain. 

They specialise in supporting businesses, brands and organisations in rewarding  with multi-retailer gift products, which offer the recipient absolute freedom to spend as they wish at over 90 top stores across the UK and online.

Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate Business Services said: “This poll reflects the consistently positive feedback we get from our clients all over the UK. It’s not just getting a gift card that’s so attractive to consumers, but the flexibility and convenience it offers too. The customer can choose where their gift card is spent. With that choice, a customer can always enjoy a loyalty reward that resonates with them as an individual.”

The survey results:

Question: If a company offered you a gift for being a loyal customer, which would you prefer?

Answer Total answers Percentage of answers
A discount on your next purchase 1,413 13.1
A gift card (your choice of retailer) 8,254 76.6
A VIP experience 509 4.7
Upgraded membership 144 1.3
Merchandise 461 4.3

 Source: Appreciate Business Services, Sept 2021

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