Loyalty Program - Global Market Maturity

  • Loyalty program penetration is high outside Europe and North America, due to increasing e-commerce and online buying behaviour of the customers 

  • High adoption for Loyalty Program in APAC, due to the presence of regional/global suppliers with the established technology platform and regional/local merchant network offering iconic reward catalogue. Global buyers are looking at consolidating the supply base

  • The Middle East and Africa have low adoption, as infrastructure and connectivity pose a challenge in rewards sourcing, fulfilment, and delivery in certain locations

Growth Drivers and Constraints

The growth of retail and e–commerce in the emerging markets is expected to drive loyalty program budgets in these markets. Growth in online buying culture, high adoption of mobile and smartphone by the consumers had raised the need for digital loyalty program strategy. This will be a major growth driver in mature markets.

Drivers

Cost Benefits

  • Outsourcing has led to a reduction in the number of hours billed for the technology platform. The initial infrastructure cost for creating a technology platform is a one–time spend and this platform is customized to suit client requirements. Hence, the margins on a long term contract in providing this platform to clients is high and the supplier passes on a part of margin as a discount to clients

Potential Industry Sectors

  • The demand for loyalty services is primarily driven by the retail, financial services, consumer product and food and beverage industries. Demand for digital reward program, analytics and business intelligence for customization by the retail, food and beverage industries is a key driver

Operational Benefits

  • Outsourcing allows buyers to standardize the level of services across various locations. Productivity and efficiency could be enhanced through the introduction of various critical performance indicators and compliance clauses in the contract 

  • Centralized procurement through global/regional service provider will save cost by reduction of the cost per unit of reward fulfilment (supplier provides discounts as the number of merchandising units increases owing to economies of scale) 

Constraints

Subcontracting Practices

  • Subcontracting of reward sourcing and delivery is done in case of suppliers lack proper network in a particular region or when the program requires high localization. This practice indirectly affects the buyer since subcontractors (Local Agency) charge a margin to the service provider, which is eventually passed on to the buyer. This margin–on–margin increases the spend of the buyer

Limitation of Technology Platform

  • The loyalty program that runs on the plug and play SaaS model and is limited by SaaS capability will face issues as the customization of the program may spike the cost of the program and cost saving by avoiding customization may lead to a dissatisfied customer