According to the Cognizant shoppers survey in six European countries, the Belgians are still very fond of their loyalty programs.
Price is the most important factor in the buying process, but Belgian shoppers aren’t as price sensitive as some other European citizens.
Even if they know their favourite item is available for a lower price elsewhere, 42% of Belgian shoppers say they will purchase the item if other factors are attractive enough. Outstanding after-
sales service, a better quality product or an engaging experience can convince them to pay a bit more.
Loyalty programs are also an attractive proposition, with 34% of Belgian shoppers prepared to spend more to boost their rewards.
If retailers want to avoid a margin-destroying price war, they should focus on quality, after sales service and loyalty programs to differentiate their service.
Belgian shoppers understand the benefits of loyalty programs and are likely to be members of multiple programs. For instance, 72% of Belgian shoppers are a member of at least one program.
That’s a lower level than in the UK (85%), but higher than countries such as Germany (65%), and far higher than in Denmark and the Netherlands.
Over a third of Belgian shoppers (34%) said that getting reward points contributed to their purchasing decision, even though they knew the product was available cheaper elsewhere.
When asked what they want from a loyalty program, the respondents confirmed that they are interested in the rewards from those programs: incentives, discounts and special offers as reward for their loyalty. Interestingly, points or rewards per euro spent are top of the list, above automatic discounts.
That suggests that Belgian shoppers are not only looking at immediate savings, but also consider how their money can stretch further in the long run. This long term focus indicates that reward programs help build customer loyalty and customer retention. And increasing customer retention has proven to increase bottom line profits. A study by Reichheld and Sasser, published in the Harvard Business Review, indicates that a 5% increase in customer retention may cause a 25% to 125% increase in net profit.
At Address System, specialists in Tailor Made Reward & Incentive Solutions, we have extensive experience in setting up loyalty programs in Belgium. Our customers include AEG, Becel, Bertolli, Dixan, Eternit, Europ Assistance, Friesland Campina, Henkel, Iglo Ola, Knorr, Lidl, Lipton, Mars, Meurisse, Pairi Daiza, Persil, Solo, Studio 100 and Zwan.
Click here to read more about the Cognizant European Shoppers Survey 2015.