First Data Competitive Intelligence conducted a Consumer Loyalty Study in April 2009 focused on rewards programs for the retail sector. This study resulted in several key findings including: the highest retail program memberships in grocery and book stores, coupon for discounts preference, consumers rate book store rewards programs highest, and more.

The study of 2,449 U.S. consumers focuses on rewards programs with Financial Institutions (FIs), the travel sector and the retail sector. This Market Brief focuses on consumer insights regarding rewards for the retail sector. Sample size completing the survey for the retail sector totaled 1,249.

Key Insights


1. Grocery Stores and Bookstores Highest in Retail Program Membership
Sixty-five percent of consumers belong to grocery store rewards programs, with an average number of 1.9 memberships per participant. Forty-four percent of consumers belong to a bookstore loyalty rewards program.

2. Consumers Prefer Coupons for Discounts for Total Purchase
In general, the rewards that retail members receive do not always match with their preferences. While “Coupons for discounts on total purchase” is the most preferred reward, less than two-thirds (61 percent) of members indicated that they receive that reward as a member of a retail rewards program.

3. Consumers Rate Bookstores Rewards Programs as Highest in Satisfaction and Value
Among all of the retail rewards programs, bookstores were rated by members as having the highest value (27 percent rated in Top-2 box) and highest satisfaction (24 percent in Top-2 box).

4. Retail Members Most Influenced by Gas Stations and Bookstores Program Membership
Thirty-five percent of consumers who are members of gas rewards programs and 33 percent of bookstore members indicated their choice of company was “very” influenced by their membership, compared to 8 percent of fast casual members who select a fast casual restaurant based on their membership.

5. Grocery Store Programs Used Most Often
Grocery store rewards programs are used “every time” or “most of the time” by 85 percent of grocery rewards members, followed closely by 81 percent of pharmacy members who most often use their rewards program.