There’s no doubt that Americans love loyalty programs that offer gas rewards. In a previous Excentus-Ipsos eNation survey, consumers ranked fuel savings as the No. 1 most-desired loyalty reward. For such a necessary expense, earning discounts on fuel is essentially free money in the pockets of loyal shoppers.
Now, in a new report from Excentus, “Road to Rewards: American Shopper Insights,” the company examines how fuel rewards are earned and spent depending on different regions within the U.S.
The study looks at factors like frequency, enrollment rates, and activity within the program, as well as deeper statistics about how users are earning and tracking points through brands, retailers, technology, and even peers.
Survey respondents were divided into four regions: Midwest, Northeast, South, and West. From there, they were asked questions about fuel reward loyalty program participation, earnings, and redemption. The results present a fascinating look at how regions differ in loyalty program engagement.
Midwesterners are the most active fuel reward earners, topping the chart both in program enrollment (57%) and active earning and redeeming (32%).
Northeasterners, surprisingly, are the least active in loyalty programs, while 27% claim that they drive more than other regions. This disparity may present an opportunity for marketers to engage the region with more targeted fuel reward programs. The Northeast is also more likely to join a program based on peer recommendation, with 15% saying that speaking with family and friends is a factor in the decision to join compared to 9% in other regions.
Southerners lead the way in choosing brands based on potential fuel savings, and 44% of surveyed Southerners indicate that they join loyalty programs to save as much money as possible on a variety of goods, also tops in the nation.
Finally, 23% of Westerners lead the nation in tracking fuel savings through a mobile app, speaking to the growing prevalence of the platform. The region also offers contrasting perspective from the South’s willingness to switch brands for loyalty programs, with 52% saying they joined a loyalty program simply because it was offered by a store at which they already shop.
“Knowing which behaviors and preferences U.S. consumers share – and which are unique or more relevant to a specific region – can help marketers create, improve and fine-tune new or existing loyalty programs, whether they are partner-driven or standalone,” said Brandon Logsdon, President and CEO of Excentus. “Regional data can also help loyalty programs find what works best to turn existing customers into even better customers – more engagement, greater frequency and more revenue.”

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