The Road to Rewards: What Drives Millennial Loyalty?

Millennial consumers, aged 18-34, are continuously changing the way U.S. retailers think, sell and measure success. Retail competition is tough. Pricing is continually competitive. A whole new and dynamic customer experience is required to attract online, mobile and brick-and-mortar shopping dollars from the growing Millennial segment.
Loyalty programs, of course, are a critical component of this experience, and are being re-engineered for Millennial consumers. Fiercely loyal to just a few brands, but in general not devoted to many, Millennials want to know: “What’s in it for me?”
A 2015 Excentus-sponsored Ipsos eNation survey of 1,016 U.S. consumers found that Millennials are:
• More willing to embrace technology to track and redeem their loyalty program rewards
• More enthusiastic about saving on everyday driving costs
• More likely to be influenced to join a loyalty program based on a family member’s or friend’s recommendation
Millennials, who currently represent 25% of the U.S. population and over $200 billion in annual spending, are price-sensitive and less brand-loyal. According to the July 2015 survey, Millennials are more willing to switch brands, retailers, grocers or shopping behaviors to earn a loyalty program savings of up to $1/gallon on gas. While all generations of respondents chose fuel savings as their preferred loyalty-program incentive (37%), Millennials continually opt for their right to choose, favoring  retailer/brand-specific coupons (26%) over fuel savings (25%) by only a single percentage point. Surveyed Millennials like “saving money any way they can,” which dramatically affects their shopping behavior and everyday brand loyalty.