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8 eye-opening stats about why customer rewards programs are crucial to the bottom line

July 25, 2019

This sounds like a silly question, but ask yourself: how critical are your most loyal customers?

You’re probably laughing to yourself at how absurd that question is—of course your most loyal customers are extremely critical to your business. You couldn’t get by without them. It’s a no-brainer.

But go beyond that initial response for a minute and really think about what those customers bring to your business. Think about the customer who comes in regularly and buys the same thing, every time—and now imagine that person comes in on the weekend, or every weekday. How much of a lift does that give your business? One Portland, Oregon coffee shop figured that out with their “$5.35 guy,” and the answers were eye-opening: Even if he only came in once every weekday he’d be spending $1,337.50 a year!

One key to attracting and retaining more of these “$5.35 guys (or girls)” is to create a rewards program that keeps them coming back for more—more often. Here are some stats to consider about why a customer rewards program is crucial to your bottom line:

What do customers think about loyalty?

  • 56% of customers are loyal to brands they feel a connection with, while 89% are loyal to brands they feel share their values.
  • 69% of customers will shop at a retailer based on what they get from their rewards program.

The bottom line? Get to know your customers and understand your audience. A big city feel to your establishment might not work in a down home country setting, and vice versa. Once you understand your audience, you can tailor your rewards program to make sure your store is always their first choice.

What do customers expect from your rewards program?

  • 54% of customers think they wait too long to earn a reward.
  • 61% of customers expect to be rewarded simply for being a customer, while 75% expect rewards for doing things like taking surveys or participating in social media campaigns.

It might be time to start thinking outside the box for your rewards program. Make it easier for your customers to cash in rewards points—for example, instead of 10 visits to get a whole sub, maybe add an option get a half sub after 5 visits. And if your loyal customers can spread the word about your business online, make sure you give them an extra incentive to do so, like a free small cup of coffee every time they share a video on their social networks.

Why personalization is so important

  • Less than a quarter of customers are very satisfied with the personalization level of their rewards program.
  • The number of satisfied customers is 8x higher when a level of personalization is present in their rewards program.

Personalization ties into everything else mentioned. Customers want to be more than just a number—they want to feel like they’re valued by your store. Your rewards program should recognize their preferences, like their most common order from your store, and remember important events like their birthday. These are simple ways to make a rewards program feel customized for each and every customer.

The role of technology in customer rewards programs

  • Demand for customizable, digital rewards programs will push the market to $201 billion in less than 5 years.
  • 15% of department stores, 6% of activewear stores, and 5% of specialty stores launched digital customer rewards programs in 2018 alone.

The days of a customer rewards card are coming to a close. Consumers expect their rewards program to be as easy and intuitive as possible, and that usually means an app that holds all their information and keeps them informed about special deals or sales happening in your store. Clover Rewards, a free app available to all Clover merchants, checks customers in whenever they enter your store over Bluetooth, sends rewards on their birthday, and allows you to customize perks and bonuses for your regular customers and VIPs.


Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, SunTrust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including CardConnect, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.