Web Exclusive - July/August 2020

COVID-19 and Loyalty

Bond Brand Loyalty has been catching regular snapshots of what's changing in the industry in an effort to understand consumer attitudes, behaviors and spending changes related to COVID-19. Here's a quick look at some results.

While consumers initially planned to decrease their spending, the number who said they'll be spending less has flattened. On March 16, 43% said they planned to spend less over the coming three months. By March 20, that number had jumped to 49%, but in the follow-up survey on April 22, it had not climbed higher, with 48% indicating they'd be spending less.

Less than one-quarter—23%—of members are very satisfied with loyalty and credit card reward program response to COVID-19. "Critical focus is required on making human experience better during times of crisis," Bond's report states.

Credit card reward programs are particularly struggling. While 42% of loyalty program members said the program was sending relevant communications, just 35% of credit card reward program members said the same.

Looking at whether customers were comfortable returning to various businesses in May, banks, specialty retailers, dine-in restaurants and auto dealerships fared the best. Some 47% said they were very or somewhat comfortable returning to banks, 40% to specialty retailers, 32% to dine-in restaurants and 32% to car dealerships. Taxis and ride services, air travel and Airbnb were in worse shape, with 18% very or somewhat comfortable returning to using taxis, Lyft and Uber, 16% with air travel, and 14% with Airbnb.

With case counts once again climbing in much of the United States, it will be some time before customers are comfortable returning to normal.