Top Customer Loyalty Trends in 2023

Loyalty programs are an effective strategy for businesses looking to enhance customer engagement and drive growth. It can help attract new customers and improve existing customer retention, ultimately leading to higher revenue and business expansion.

We summarized Antavo‘s Global Customer Loyalty report for 2023 to provide an overview of top loyalty trends for this year and help you stay on top of your digital marketing strategy.

Loyalty 2023 trends

Loyalty team formation within companies

Forming a dedicated team for managing loyalty programs is becoming increasingly common among businesses. 

On average, companies have 16.2 individuals actively engaged in loyalty program management, and many have formed dedicated teams to lead the program with team members from various departments. A significant proportion of companies that plan to launch a loyalty program in the next two years are interested in developing the concept in-house, with 36.8% also seeking external expertise to support them during the initial phase.

Third-party expertise in loyalty tech

Businesses increasingly seek a combination of in-house and external teams to manage the technology behind their loyalty programs. This trend holds true for companies launching their first loyalty program and those revising existing ones. 

Furthermore, 61% of loyalty program owners utilizing third-party technology vendors are satisfied or very satisfied with their program. Businesses have also reported greater satisfaction with third-party loyalty program technicians than with in-house solutions. 

Strategic partnerships

Strategic partnerships have the potential to open new opportunities for businesses, and partner rewards are expected to be a prominent trend in loyalty programs over the next three years. 

Antavo’s surveyed respondents believe that strategic partnerships will become more prevalent but also acknowledged the challenges in selecting the appropriate partner. Despite that, many recognize the potential benefits of strategic partnerships, with 43.8% identifying unique loyalty experiences as the main advantage.

Card linking

As an effective method for collecting data, card linking is expected to be a prominent trend in loyalty programs in 2023. 

43.3% of Antavo’s respondents predict linking payment cards to loyalty programs will be adopted across various markets and brands. This approach allows companies to gather more first-party data and provide a seamless shopping experience. Respondents also identified technology and implementation complexity as challenges associated with card linking.

Loyalty support to ESG causes

Not only do loyalty programs benefit businesses, but they can also positively impact the world. 

Loyalty programs are emerging that encourage customers to participate in environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-aligned actions. Currently, it’s a relatively rare occurrence, but it is expected to change in the near future. Over 50% of companies surveyed plan to reward environmentally-friendly consumers, ethical product purchases, healthy lifestyle choices, and charitable donations through their loyalty programs.

Help through the financial crisis

As the potential for an economic downturn looms, many companies will recognize the strategic value of loyalty programs in mitigating the impacts of the financial crisis. 

Over half of Antavo’s surveyed organizations view customer loyalty as crucial to overcoming the potential recession. Additionally, a substantial majority are planning to increase their investments in retention strategies as opposed to focusing solely on customer acquisition.

Strong ROI for loyalty programs

Despite the current economic downturn, loyalty programs demonstrate a strong return on investment (ROI) for companies. 

Most loyalty program owners report satisfaction with their loyalty program and attribute it to contributing to sales, delivering strong ROI, and being well-received by customers. 80% of companies measuring the ROI of their loyalty programs reported positive results, with an average return of 4.9 times more revenue than the program’s cost.

As the top 3 trends from those mentioned above, we would highlight: 

  1. Strategic partnerships 
  2. Card linking to loyalty program accounts
  3. Loyalty supporting ESG causes

If you want to learn more about loyalty programs, join our webinar “Loyalty Programs: Ensure your customers return,” where scandiweb’s CRO & UX Strategist Arseniy discusses what makes up customer loyalty in commerce overall, how loyalty programs work, loyalty program types, and practices for a great-performing loyalty program in eCommerce.

Thinking of implementing a customer loyalty program on your online store or want to revamp your existing one for 2023? Drop us a line through our contact form, and we’ll be happy to assist!

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