PDI, a global provider of ERP, fuel pricing, supply chain logistics, and loyalty solutions for the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale industries, has released its 2020 Road to Rewards Report: Navigating Loyalty in a Pandemic.

The 5th annual report looks at COVID-19’s impact on loyalty programs and examines the considerable shift in U.S. consumer preferences since last year’s report. It also highlights what consumers found valuable in their rewards programs and suggests ways businesses can pivot their loyalty programs to successfully navigate these unprecedented times.

“We’ve all seen the effects unexpected disruptions like COVID-19 can have on consumer sentiment and behavior,” said Brandon Logsdon, president and general manager, Marketing Cloud Solutions and Fuel Pricing, PDI. “The report validates the importance of loyalty programs and shows how they can help businesses grow profitably by making data-driven decisions to adapt to changing consumer preferences.”

Key findings from the 2020 Road to Rewards Report:

  • Loyalty is an effective tool for engaging consumers, even during a pandemic: 95% of decision-makers said their companies have loyalty programs.
  • Shelter-in-place orders impacted the popularity of fuel savings: 60% of consumers said they were earning or actively earning fuel savings rewards—a decrease over previous years.
  • Consumers value flexibility in their loyalty programs, including more ways to earn and redeem: Only 6% points separated the top five most popular types of loyalty programs.
  • Using technology to enhance the customer experience is a top priority: 30% of decision-makers said their top initiative after the pandemic subsides is to implement a loyalty program mobile app and cashierless checkout, 29% said in-store customer experience and 25% said mobile ordering/delivery.

Arlington Research conducted the survey for the report, which includes U.S.-based responses from 2,500 consumers, 250 convenience retailers, and 150 decision-makers who work for retailers, grocers or consumer packaged goods brands.

To download a copy of the report, please visit https://go.pdisoftware.com/2020R2R.