Survey Results: New Year Spending – We Save Our Loyalty Points For The January Sales!

Shopper using a loyalty cardA recent survey conducted by PSC ( has revealed loyalty cards are still as popular as ever with shoppers. 76% of all those asked said they currently have a loyalty card with an average of 3.7 loyalty cards per person. Over 2 thirds of people use a loyalty card at least once a week and women are 10% more likely to sign up to a loyalty scheme than men.

How do people use their loyalty points and what are supermarkets doing to increase sales?

The study showed that consumers can be savvy, the majority save their loyalty points that they have accumulated throughout the year to use in the January sales. Only 18% spend them as soon as they become available to redeem. It is no secret why retailers employ loyalty card schemes however this trend of spending rewards in January can help the dwindling high street market. Morrisons, the major UK supermarket chain, introduced its “Match & More” card in 2014 and it was no surprise when the supermarket had increased sales in January 2015. Nielsen, a market tracking agency, confirmed that Morrisons has benefited from the introduction of the loyalty scheme but would not reveal the scale of the growth of sales.

Who is leading the battle of loyalty cards?

Food retailers historically tend to perform well in January and with 3 of the top 5 loyalty cards that people possess being for supermarkets, this is no surprise. However, the year on year data shows food sales are decreasing, Tesco leads the loyalty card polls with 77% of people surveyed using the Clubcard with Sainsbury’s Nectar card second with 60%. The M&S Sparks Card, Boots Advantage Card and the Costa Coffee Club make up the top 5.

Why do people choose to spend their points in January?

In recent years the spending power of households has been squeezed due to rising inflation, which could be linked to Brexit and the drop-in value of the pound. The rising cost of living has increased at a higher rate than wages that has led to consumers ‘tightening their belts’; in 2017 many shoppers utilised Black Friday for Christmas shopping, bringing the spending into November rather than the traditional December Christmas shopping. Over 60% of the consumers surveyed said they wait until the January sales to buy at least 1 Christmas present retrospectively. In January 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics, sports equipment, games and toys were up 10.9% when compared to January 2017; that is the largest rise in sectors outside of food retail. This may suggest that new year resolutions finally kicked in with people buying gym and exercise equipment in an effort to lose weight and get fit.

How often are loyalty cards used?

The survey results show that a third of people use loyalty cards a few times a week but 69% said they have loyalty cards that they never use! 45% said having a loyalty card influences where they shop, preferring retailers who provide loyalty schemes. Nearly half of all people surveyed would take money off rewards.

Will the current concern over data protection have an effect on the use of loyalty cards?

Nowadays, especially with the introduction of GDPR, there are big concerns over how our data is stored, accessed and used. Our survey results suggest loyalty card holders are generally not worried with how the data from loyalty schemes is used, only 18% stressing that they are concerned. Interestingly 54% of people said they actually prefer the physical loyalty cards rather than a virtual, digital alternative.

Who Are PSC Systems?

PSC systems are manufactures of loyalty cards for the likes of Odeon, Costa and many more. If you would like to find out more about creating loyalty cards for your business or if you are interested in any other printing solutions then feel free to visit our website,

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