Travellers want more flexibility when reclaiming loyalty bonuses, according to research by Collinson Group.
The group, which is behind Lounge Pass, surveyed 2,250 airline and hotel loyalty programme members across the US, UK, UAE and Singapore from its Collinson Latitude arm.
The research showed that three quarters of loyalty programme members are looking for more choice of rewards besides the traditional offerings of flights and hotels while more than half (52%) described redemption programmes only offering these rewards as ‘dated’ and ‘old fashioned’.
Its data showed that 51% of airline members went on to book a flight and 53% of hotel members went on to book a hotel room following a redemption on non-core inventory rewards, such as electrical goods or day experiences.
Broadening the range of rewards also drives re-engagement, according to the research. 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.
“Giving our customers greater choice on what they can 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 air miles company Flying Blue. “The insight here of how non-core inventory can reactivate members is certainly consistent with what we have seen.”
This year’s study also finds that 66% of airline and 64% of hotel loyalty programme members would like to be able to redeem their points in retail outlets and more than half (58% of airline and 48% of hotel members) agree that the value of a loyalty programme decreases if they cannot redeem points in-store, which Collinson Latitude concludes as proving that increased choice drives engagement for travel loyalty.
Guy Deslandes, e-commerce sales director at Collinson Latitude, 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.”