Younger Consumers More Likely to Shop at Merchants That Offer Rewards Programs

Customer loyalty

PORTLAND, Maine — Millennials and members of Generation X show a preference for shopping at retailers that offer rewards programs, according to results of a new payment and loyalty survey from mobile payment and rewards technology platform Zipline.

More than 70 percent of Gen X men and women are more likely to visit merchants with rewards program, as are more than 60 percent of millennial men. Awarding points, "surprise & delight" offers, fuel discounts and clubs are all options retailers can use to strength consumer relationships, according to ZipLine's "Payment Trends in the United States," which analyzed a sample of 500 adults in the millennial and gen X categories.

Among the survey's key findings include that younger consumers seek immediate rewards, exclusive perks and long-term value. Millennial men seek a balance between immediate rewards and long-term value, as 30 percent prioritize the former and 30 percent consider the latter to be most important. Millennial women also most want immediate rewards, followed by exclusive perks. Among Gen X women, 45 percent say immediate rewards are most important, while 20 percent primarily seek out exclusive perks.

Consumers, especially women, prefer debit for everyday spending. More than 45 percent of survey respondents prefer debit payments over credit (37 percent) and cash (18 percent) for transactions between $10 and $250. On a daily basis, more than half of women also prefer debit to credit cards. This growing preference for debit means that retailers can spend less on interchange fees and redirect the savings toward loyalty programs that build their brand and increase sales, according to ZipLine.

"Our research suggests that rewards combined with debit payment remain largely an untapped market," said ZipLine Chief Marketing Officer Kristen Bailey. "This is great news for retailers, who are eager to put the profits traditionally eaten away by interchange fees to better use: Inspiring customer loyalty."