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New Treasure Data Survey Reveals Consumers are Motivated by Loyalty Programs and Relying More on DTC Brands, BNPL Options

Treasure Data announced the results of a national survey detailing consumers’ purchasing habits and brand engagement preferences for the year to come. The new study identifies consumer behavior trends that point to deeper, more direct connections between retailers, brands and their customers, including the hearty embrace of loyalty rewards programs, a growing reliance on direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels, and an increasing preference towards flexible financing options, such as buy now, pay later (BNPL). The company unveiled the survey’s findings ahead of NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show, the National Retail Federation’s annual gathering of retail industry visionaries and experts.

“Retail brands and stores are using innovative, data-driven strategies to keep up with customers as they navigate the pandemic, supply chain disruption, and a period of high inflation,” said Tom Treanor, CMO at Treasure Data. “Our new survey strongly suggests that investments in the customer experience are paying off. With the customer journey extending beyond the point of sale, marketers require data management strategies and solutions that help brands maintain ongoing, productive conversations with consumers.”

The survey found an overwhelming number of consumers are engaging in the value exchange with brands and retailers, with 83% of respondents willing to share their personal information in exchange for discounts, member benefits or product recommendations. Additionally, 82% of respondents indicated loyalty rewards motivate them to buy from certain retailers or brands. These findings signal customers’ desire to enter long-term relationships with brands, as evidenced further by their growing reliance on DTC companies. On that front, 68% of consumers anticipate buying directly from brands more in 2022. The study also highlighted the extraordinary popularity of buy now, pay later (BNPL) offerings, with more than two-thirds of all shoppers (71%) considering some form of financing to pay for products or services.

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Overall, the survey results demonstrate consumers are receptive to retail marketing and payment trends that grew in popularity over the past year, and foreshadow what strategies and tactics will make brands successful in 2022:

  • Afterpay Trends Ahead:  For consumers that used BNPL options in 2021, Afterpay was the preferred financing service of 74% of respondents, followed by Affirm (44%), Klarna (41%), Zip (41%), and Sezzle (31%).
  • Loyalty Among Inventory Issues:  Facing empty shelves and supply chain hiccups, almost half of consumers (48%) would rather wait for their preferred brand to restock rather than purchase a similar product from another brand.
  • Ongoing Omni-Shopping:  As the coronavirus pandemic lingers, consumers plan on using contactless commerce at a greater rate in 2022, with 60% of shoppers anticipating more curbside pickups than the previous year.
  • Social Media Shopping:  Instagram is not just for posting pictures and sharing memes. Over three-quarters (80%) of consumers made purchases on Instagram or other social media platforms in the past year, while 59% believe they will use social more for shopping in 2022.
  • Consumers Trust Retailers More Than Social Media:  When it comes to sharing data, a majority of consumers (51%) trust retailers such as Target or Walmart more than social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter (29%).
  • Pro Alerts and Push Notifications: Once deterred by marketing oversaturation, many consumers are now in favor of proactive alerts and notifications, with just over two-thirds (68%) finding them beneficial no matter the time or occasion.
  • Traditional Marketing Still Makes Noise: Millennials may have moved their conversations to social media, but more consumers, ages of 25-44, identify email promotions and TV advertisements (68%) as channels where they learn about new products, compared to 64% who recognize social media as a product discovery tool.
  • Personalized Marketing Maturation: Marketers have improved at tailoring their communications to shoppers, as 63% of consumers believe brand offers and recommendations accurately reflect their shopping habits.

“The underlying thread that ties these purchase habits together is convenience:  more discounts, faster delivery and greater flexibility,” added Treanor. “While third-party platforms and markets have made it easier to buy, customers still want to engage with their favorite retailers and brands. Whether that trend holds true for all brands in 2022 depends on the state of their data infrastructures and the marketing strategies that feed them.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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