Loyalty programmes have become central in the bid to attract and retain Singapore’s customers in both the immediate and longer-term, according to a new report by payments software firm FIS.

The report found that when choosing where to purchase an item, 81% of consumers in Singapore will choose to spend with a retailer they have a loyalty programme with over one where there is no existing relationship. Seventy-six percent also agree that being part of a loyalty programme encourages them to spend more with their retailer.

The research also revealed that there is potential for retailers to do more in this space. Singapore consumers currently have limited engagement with loyalty programmes, with almost half (48%) stating that they do not belong to a programme.

This is particularly prevalent among millennials (ages 24 to 39) and Gen X consumers (ages 40 to 54), who typically have higher rates of disposable income, with 60% and 58% of the groups respectively indicating that they are not part of any loyalty programme. In addition, those who are signed up are only actively engaged with three programmes at a time, meaning retailers must work harder to get consumers attention if they want to reap the relevant benefits.

The best feature for attracting sign-ups to loyalty programmes in Singapore is non-expiring points. The research shows that 63% of consumers ranked this in their top three factors for encouraging new sign-ups. This is followed by high value of cash rewards (58%) and the ability to redeem rewards points at multiple retailers (53%).

The findings also revealed that consumers in Singapore want to take advantage of joint loyalty programmes with complementary retailers, whilst digital rewards programmes are also preferred:

  • 91% want to redeem points with multiple retailers
  • 93% want more flexible loyalty programmes
  • More than half (55%) think that earning points is more hassle than the rewards are worth
  • Nearly 4 in 5 consumers (77%) prefer app-based loyalty programmes
  • 74% prefer the retailer to track spend and rewards for them

“Customer loyalty and repeat customers is the foundation of healthy, thriving businesses everywhere,” said Phil Pomford, GM for Global eCommerce, APAC, Worldpay Merchant Solutions at FIS. “As businesses and consumers in Singapore emerge from COVID-19, tapping into the effectiveness of customer loyalty programmes could be key to helping merchants reinvent smarter consumer offerings and kickstarting the country’s retail sector.”

In addition, local consumers are now more open to using ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) programmes for smaller purchases. This is especially true for younger generations who were found to be more focused on setting budgets than their older counterparts.

As physical retailers reopen, Pomford noted that it is worth keeping an eye on spending behaviour changes and considering how the current mix of payment methods can be adjusted or reinvented. To a certain degree, retailers could very well find that offering BNPL at point of sale will help in maintaining a steady revenue stream and cash flow during the current economic downturn.

“Recession worries have also made consumers more receptive toward entering short-term payment plans that can fit into a budget. There are benefits to having budgeting tools, and the ability to spread out payments could allow individuals to budget more accurately and effectively. Herein lies the opportunity for BNPL, as an alternative payment method, to add further value,” he added.

The Generation Pay report surveyed 15,951 respondents from 15 markets in June 2020, of which, 925 came from Singapore.

Sourced from FIS