A survey of 2,250 airline and hotel loyalty programme members across the US, UK, UAE and Singapore from Collinson Latitude, part of Collinson Group, reveals that most travellers expect greater choice and flexibility in how they redeem their loyalty currency. The research shows that three quarters of loyalty programme members are looking for more choice of rewards besides the traditional offerings of flights and hotels. Over half (52%) described redemption programmes only offering these rewards as ‘dated’ and ‘old fashioned’.
In addition, the study also reaffirms the clear commercial benefit for travel loyalty programmes providing a broader redemption offering, beyond their core inventory. 51% of airline members went on to book a flight and 53% of hotel members went on to book a hotel room (core inventory) following a redemption on non-core inventory rewards such as electrical goods or day experiences.
Now in its second year, ‘The Value of Redemption’ survey also showcases the particular value of a broader redemption proposition for both inactive, as well as those members living outside of the programmes core domestic market. For example:
• Non-core inventory redemption is important for members with a global footprint – Non-core inventory is more regularly redeemed than core inventory by members who were part of a programme not based in their home region. Over half (51%) of these members regularly redeem on non-core inventory, as opposed to 37% of members who regularly redeem on core items.
• Non-core rewards drive re-engagement – Non-core rewards are very powerful in winning back customers who haven’t purchased from a brand for some time (3 months); of the 59% of members who had reported that a redemption had driven a re-engagement with their programme, 67% of members had redeemed on non-core inventory in comparison to 55% who had redeemed on core inventory.
“It’s fascinating to see the correlation and added value that greater choice of rewards and non-core inventory has within loyalty redemption and on a travel brand’s bottom line. Giving our customers greater choice on what they can spend (redeem) their points on and how they pay, is a key priority for our programme which in turn keeps members engaged and loyal.” said Madeleine Van Wilderen, Head of Commercial Partnerships at Flying Blue. “The insight here of how non-core inventory can reactivate members is certainly consistent with what we have seen for our members living outside of key hubs. We are delighted to be able to support all our members and help them get value from our programme wherever they live.”.
This year’s study also finds that almost 7/10 (66% of airline and 64% of hotel loyalty programme members) would like to be able to redeem their points in retail outlets and over half (58% of airline and 48% of hotel members) agree that that the value of a loyalty programme decreases if they cannot redeem points in-store. This highlights once again that increased choice is a key requirement to drive engagement for travel loyalty programme members globally.
Guy Deslandes, E-commerce Sales Director, Collinson Latitude, part of Collinson Group, said: “These findings show that travel loyalty programme providers must extend their member engagement capabilities so they can cater for the changing and ever increasing expectations of their members. Members want their programmes to provide them with experiences and rewards that suit their lifestyle so it’s imperative that loyalty programme providers have an ecosystem that allows for increased engagement touch-points. This is a huge opportunity for brands, as we all look to intertwine more tightly to our member’s everyday lifestyles”.