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Article - PMR Research Poles have little awareness of loyalty schemes offered by super- and hypermarkets, even if they use them

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Poles struggle to spontaneously recall supermarket loyalty programmes they are familiar with, a study by PMR Research has found. The survey, which examines participation in supermarket/hypermarket loyalty schemes in Poland, shows that 13% of the respondents are able to name stores that offer such schemes but not the programmes themselves.

Spontaneous and aided awareness of loyalty programmes in Poland

Poles demonstrate a very low level of both spontaneous and aided awareness of loyalty schemes run by supermarkets and hypermarkets, according to the study. Thus, only 11% of the respondents were able to spontaneously remember Tesco’s Clubcard programme, just under 9% mentioned the Payback scheme offered by Real, nearly 6% recalled Carrefour’s Rodzinka and 3% Auchan’s Skarbonka. The six remaining supermarket/hypermarket schemes available in Poland were not mentioned at all in response to a spontaneous-recall question. Thirteen percent of those surveyed were able to name stores that offered loyalty schemes but not the schemes themselves.

As for aided awareness (respondents are read out a list of loyalty programmes and asked to identify the ones that they are aware of), more than a quarter mentioned the Clubcard scheme, just under 25% the Payback programme, a little over a fifth pointed to Skarbonka and 16% to Rodzinka. Programmes with the lowest aided-awareness rate include Premia, run by Selgros, and Chomiczek offered by Dobosz Market.

Loyalty Programme in Poland

Source: PMR Research, 2012


Declared participation in loyalty programmes

Of the 600 persons interviewed, only one in three declared that they participated in at least one loyalty scheme run by a supermarket or a hypermarket chain. Of this latter group, a little over 16% participate in the Clubcard scheme and 14% in Payback. The percentages taking part in the remaining programmes are very small. None of the respondents declared membership in the Chomiczek programme.

Participation in Loyalty Programmes

      Source: PMR Research, 2012

About 55% of those participating in a loyalty scheme joined their programme two, three or more years ago. Their entry thus coincided with a period of uncertainty caused by the global economic and financial crisis. Perhaps at that time such schemes gained extra appeal to newly frugal consumers looking for savings.

How Long Have You Been a Participant?

     Source: PMR Research, 2012

There is a noticeable difference in the level of awareness of loyalty programmes between the participants and non-participants. Only a fifth of the non-participants are familiar with the most popular schemes such as Clubcard or Payback. This indicates a very low level of interest among Polish consumers in the loyalty programmes run by supermarkets and hypermarkets, which could be a consequence of a lack of effort on the part of retailers to convey to the public the benefits of participation.

 Participant and Non-participant in Loyalty Programmes 

Source: PMR Research, 2012

Main reasons for joining a loyalty programme

The most commonly cited reason for joining a loyalty scheme is being a frequent buyer at a given chain, mentioned by more than 50% of the respondents. About one in three joined their programme because of the possibility to obtain extra discounts or rebates available to participants only. Far less popular are reasons such as the opportunity to receive prizes or branded gadgets, or to be kept up to date on promotions. Reasons collated under the “Other” category included e.g. being invited to join by a retail chain’s employee; being persuaded by a family member; by chance; or because of the possibility to get additional discounts at e.g. petrol stations or banks.

 Reasons for Joining a Loyalty Programme

Source: PMR Research, 2012

Main benefits of participation in a loyalty programme

For 45% of the respondents the main benefit of participating in a loyalty scheme are extra discounts and rebates. For nearly one third, the main benefit is the possibility to exchange points for prizes.

 Benefits of Participation in Loyalty Programme

Source: PMR Research, 2012

For women, a very important benefit of participation is that it enables them to save on their shopping expenses. Men, meanwhile, are more likely than women to see no benefits at all of taking part in a loyalty programme.

Since the possibility to exchange points for prizes is one of the main perceived benefits of owning a loyalty card (mentioned by 29% of those surveyed), respondents were further asked if they have ever redeemed their points for prizes. Nearly 39% have done so at least once, but more than 50% never have. This is very interesting given that more than half of the respondents have been in their programme for more than two or three years, i.e. a period long enough to collect the points needed to receive a prize.

Points for Prizes

Source: PMR Research, 2012

Why the low participation rate?

The most frequently cited reason for not participating in a loyalty scheme is lack of interest, mentioned by 50% of the respondents. Nearly 12% said that the benefits were too small, while more than 7% said nobody has invited them to join. A slightly smaller percentage explained that it was because they did not do their shopping at supermarkets or hypermarkets, or that the distances involved were too big for them to do so. Other reasons given included e.g. lack of trust in such programmes, or that the period needed to collect sufficient points to be able to exchange them into gifts was too long.

 Reasons for Non-participation in Loyalty Programme

Source: PMR Research, 2012

The countrywide consumer survey was conducted by PMR Research in April 2012 on a representative sample of 600 adult Poles, with a maximum estimation error of 4%.

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