2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study: Insights, Challenges & Plans from Today’s Retailers

Clarus Commerce

No one could have predicted that the marketing strategies presented in January 2020 would become obsolete in March as businesses executed a quick pivot to digital experiences.

Retailers had to quickly adapt to the accelerated trend of ecommerce that the pandemic brought on. Loyalty was no exception.

As customers moved online, their habits and expectations shifted accordingly. Online shopping gives consumers nearly unlimited choices, making loyalty difficult to secure. While retailers have spent the last year determining what the changing landscape means for their 2021 marketing plans, on a more granular level retailers must also consider what it means for their customer loyalty programs:

  • What does the loyalty landscape look like in 2021?
  • How do current loyalty programs stand up to new consumer expectations?
  • Which aspects of customer loyalty are most difficult to maintain?

Based on a survey of 300 marketing and loyalty professionals across the U.S., this report reveals retailers’ current and future loyalty strategies, barriers to loyalty program innovation, expectations for loyalty in the new year, and perceptions about whether current loyalty programs are ready to compete in 2021. 

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