Women and young people are more inclined to remain loyal to a brand if a loyalty scheme is in place, while young people are keen to see an established scheme before supplying personal information.

Research from GI solutions shows that 90% of women say a “good loyalty scheme” has led them to continue buying from a company over the last few years, versus 84% of men. This equates to 76% of all consumers when handing personal data over to companies.

GI Insight said: “The research showed that there were few major differences between men and women in terms of their attitudes towards loyalty schemes, but the findings did indicate that the buying behaviour of female consumers was more affected by a useful loyalty scheme. Most significantly, the research reveals that more women than men feel schemes have kept them loyal to certain brands during more difficult economic periods over the last few years, and that they are more likely to remain loyal because of these programmes even as the economy improves.”

Meanwhile 89% of 18-24 year olds will expect a business to offer a loyalty scheme in exchange for supplying personal information. Among older respondents only 69% of 55-64 year olds said it would be a deal breaker to hand over personal information in exchange for a scheme.

GI Insight said: “Today’s consumers are savvy to the use of data to strengthen customer relationships and most are unsurprised by its use in suggesting further purchases that match their needs, communicating servicing offers, and otherwise extending the commercial ties between brand and customer.”

The survey showed consumers will continue to show loyalty to companies that implemented loyalty schemes during the economic downturn; 87% said a good loyalty scheme made them select a certain company in the past few years and a further 82% state they will remain loyal to the brand “now that things are picking up”.

“We see that loyalty programmes are not about the short-term win but the ongoing relationship, so even as the economy moves to a stronger position it is critical for companies to make the best use of their schemes to keep members engaged. Clearly, loyalty programmes remain a valuable tool for generating customer knowledge in both the good times and the bad - providing information that can be used to not only retain business, but to improve all customer-facing facets of an operation.”