June 5th 2023 #Agenda #Insights

Four Things Shoppers Want Retailers to Know About Shopper Loyalty in 2023

The UK’s leading shopper activation business, Catalina UK, has released a new shopper insights report highlighting a staggering reliance on shopper tools. This comes after reports of shoppers’ concerns around inflation, recessions, the lingering pandemic, and even Brexit.

Inevitably, the cost-of-living crisis has changed the way in which people shop. Location, platform, and shopping habits have all been impacted. And, now more than ever, beneath these behaviour changes, is a desire to make money stretch further. 

But, as retailers are navigating the challenges of inflation and the ever-changing economy, they are also traversing the implications of Brexit and the lasting effects of the pandemic. It’s no surprise the industry is suffering; according to ONS, online retail sales fell by 2.8% in November 2022 (which it says continues a downward trend seen since early 2021)[1], and non-store retailing (predominantly online retailers) sales volumes fell by 0.8% in March 2023, following a rise of 0.3% in February 2023.

As these wider pressures shape consumer behaviour, we anticipate that the rest of 2023 will be another tough year for retailers. Every day we are seeing announcements of price cuts, mass discounts and costly above-the-line marketing campaigns – all to capture the attention and loyalty of consumers. 

But what do consumers really want to see from their favourite stores and brands? And how can retailers leverage insight and technology to deliver a more profitable and meaningful outcome for all? 

For 40 years, Catalina UK has influenced shopper behaviour by delivering personalised ads – at precisely the right moment. From couponing and shopping patterns to personalisation and gamification, here’s a look at five things your shoppers wish you knew about their loyalty and shopping habits, and that we think will shape omnichannel retail in 2023.


1)     Physical couponing vs digital coupons

Coupons, like those of Catalina UK’s, are print and digital vouchers which are triggered to print or download when the targeted shopper or behaviour is presented. Whilst there is a place for both [physical coupons and digital coupons], digital coupons are however slightly more used, with 6 in 10 (64%) consumers reporting they use ‘most’ of them.

Among those who receive coupons, around half would like to receive even more. In fact, over half (53%) of shoppers say they receive too few digital coupons and the remainder (47%) say they receive too few paper coupons.

The primary reason for preferring either digital or physical coupons relates to convenience, but this sentiment is significantly stronger with digital. Interestingly, environmental reasons are the fourth most identified reason for preferring digital coupons with nearly 4 in 10 (39%) shoppers citing this as their primary motive. Yet, as the retail industry is becoming more revolved around digital technology, some shoppers still prefer the tangibility of a physical coupon. The most preferred way of receiving coupons is via a retailer’s app with a quarter (25%) of shoppers opting for this, closely followed by email (22%) and printed at till (16%).


2)     Personalisation

The key priority among shoppers these days is to make their money stretch as far as possible and to have the freedom to make this happen themselves. Taking this into account, shoppers’ most preferred type of coupon is to have money to spend on whatever they like, with two out of five (41%) shoppers highlighting the need for individual choice. This, along with nearly two-thirds (65%) of shoppers stating they prefer personalised coupons, compared to one in five (19%) who would like generic coupons, proves that personalisation within the retail industry is crucial.

From determining both store and website traffic to influencing shopper behaviour, personalisation is at the heart of this industry, with nearly three-quarters (65%) of shoppers being more likely to shop at a supermarket if they offer personalised offers. In keeping with this trend, one in seven (72%) shoppers are more likely to choose a brand as a result of personalised offers. Yet, it is important to note that while personalisation is hugely beneficial it is not without its detriments too, with many shoppers disliking their data being tracked and receiving inaccurate recommendations. Considering this, the main suggested improvements to personalisation include: 1) having more offers available for the shopper to choose from, 2) for coupons to relate to what is purchased most regularly, and 3) only tracking and requesting the data that you actually need.


3)     Gamification

In recent years, gamification has become a key tactic for retailers to engage shoppers and boost sales. Games – such as ‘spin to win’ – offer alternative ways of making consumers’ money go further with a third of shoppers (32%) highlighting specifically that they are fun to complete. 

Two thirds (66%) of shoppers reported that they liked the idea of Catalina UK’s ‘Shop and Play’ scheme. A solution that gives the shopper the chance of winning their shopping basket in return of purchasing from a define list of branded product or spending a certain amount. 

The highest awareness of gamified rewards is for the Asda Rewards scheme, followed by the Nectar scratch card. Over half (56%) of the shoppers surveyed reported they have participated in games, with most participants aiming to participate most times they are able to do so. Nine in ten (89%) even claim games have an influence on where they shop, signifying the importance of their role.

Every brand wants its consumers to have the best possible experience when engaging with them. Shoppers reported the core emotions when playing these games are ‘happy’, ‘excited’, ‘valued’ and ‘rewarded’, as a result we’re unsurprised that the global gamification market is scheduled to grow by 25% between 2020 and 2025[2].


4)     New shopping patterns motivated by soaring costs

The cost-of-living crisis has changed the way in which consumers across the country interact with stores and brands. Stores like Waitrose and M&S are being used less (nearly half reported using M&S less and two in five using Waitrose less), with Aldi (69%), Lidl (54%) and Asda (42%) being used more. A whopping nine in ten (92%) are utilising additional cost-saving measures when they shop, such as buying cheaper brands (62%) and using offers more (55%), and nearly 100% of shoppers reported being signed up to at least one loyalty scheme (53% claimed to be registered to 4 or more).

Shopping in-store is done most frequently (80% do so once a week or more), and one in four (40%) claim they are now shopping in-store more because of the cost-of-living crisis. When it comes to those that shop online, nearly half (47%) say they are most likely to order through the app on their phone or tablet, followed by the use of a PC (44%). Ultimately it seems a brand app or user-friendly website should be a top priority for every retailer’s this year.


In summary, coupons – both physical and digital – have a role to play in helping shoppers save money, and in driving traffic both in-store and online. They need to be readily available and personalised based on regular purchasing habits and should fit seamlessly into the shopping process. 

Luckily for retailers across the UK and rest of the world, Catalina’s shopper activation platform can seamlessly integrate with any channel to elevate the shopper engagement & brand profitability across every point in the  shopper journey. Through tools like our Shop and Play offering, our customers have reported drastic improvements on conversion, loyalty and profitability. From encouraging purchases to personalising offers specific to your customers, gamification undoubtedly helps retain and connect with shoppers. And I strongly believe that it should be on every retailer’s shopping list this year.


If you would like to know how this reflects/involves your shoppers, get in touch and book a call with Catalina today.


[1] https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwit1MOytu_-AhURecAKHTdhBoUQFnoECAoQAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.idomoo.com%2Fen-gb%2Fblog%2Fgamification-in-retail-the-interactive-trend-driving-loyalty-and-sales%2F%23%3A~%3Atext%3DThe%2520global%2520gamification%2520market%2520is%2C%252C%2520eBay%252C%2520Threadless%2520and%2520more.&usg=AOvVaw1_xJIsxARydiNi5pympBne

[2] https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwit1MOytu_-AhURecAKHTdhBoUQFnoECAoQAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.idomoo.com%2Fen-gb%2Fblog%2Fgamification-in-retail-the-interactive-trend-driving-loyalty-and-sales%2F%23%3A~%3Atext%3DThe%2520global%2520gamification%2520market%2520is%2C%252C%2520eBay%252C%2520Threadless%2520and%2520more.&usg=AOvVaw1_xJIsxARydiNi5pympBne