The latest findings of the Aimia Loyalty Lens report reveal that UAE’s mobile-savvy audience is open to building stronger, loyalty-based relationships with companies.
Owing to the high smartphone penetration and connectivity in the UAE, consumers are looking to connect with brands that understand them by using the power of the smartphone and thereby securing their long-term loyalty.
The 2015 Aimia Loyalty Lens surveyed more than 20,000 consumers in 11 markets, including the UAE. The research confirms the connected savviness of consumers within the region, along with a willingness to share information with brands in return for more personalized offers and services.
Sixty-five percent of consumers in the UAE said that they would share personal information to receive better offers and services. This is second only to India (73 percent). However, only ten percent of consumers in the UAE said they had actually received better services and benefits from companies as a result of sharing personal details.
“This is a golden moment for companies to build meaningful relationships with their customers, but this opportunity will quickly disappear if companies fail to respond appropriately,” says Paul Lacey, managing director, Middle East, Aimia, in a statement. “Our research shows that consumers in the UAE are willing to share their information with brands. Successful companies [should] seize this moment and think about what they can do for the customer, not to the customer, with each personalized communication, experience and offer.”
At 71 percent, UAE consumers are more willing to share their mobile numbers with companies than any other market. In comparison, only 38 percent of UK consumers and 23 percent of German consumers are willing to provide this detail.
The smartphone is also central to the increase in coupon usage within the UAE. There has been a substantial increase in the number of coupons downloaded since last year. In 2014, 27 percent of the population had downloaded a coupon. This has jumped by 15 percentage points in 2015 to 42 percent.
There has also been a change in where people download coupons. Although the majority continue to download a coupon at home, 14 percent now download coupons in the store – a four percentage point increase since 2014 – reflecting the growing importance of smartphones in the physical retail environment.
The high connectivity in the Emirates has resulted in consumers relying more and more on their mobile devices when it comes to payment. In 2014, 57 percent of respondents in the UAE said they were likely to use a mobile wallet and that figure has climbed to 62 percent in 2015.
“Our region is fast becoming a hotbed for tech-savvy, digitally led marketing campaigns. The success of a brand and, indeed, a loyalty program’s success, hinges on the ability to reach consumers through their mobile devices – whether it’s downloading a coupon, using a digital wallet or receiving a relevant offer. Because consumers here are so willing to connect with brands on their mobiles, loyalty uptake continues to rise even as it plateaus in other countries,” adds Lacey.
Other key findings from the Aimia Loyalty Lens report include:
– Loyalty program membership in the UAE has increased from 79 percent in 2014 to 84 percent in 2015. This is in line with the global average of 85 percent.
– The most popular loyalty programs are: supermarkets (43 percent), airlines (35 percent) and department stores (30 percent).
– The top three personal pieces of information customers are most willing to share are: name (88 percent), email address (87 percent) and nationality (84 percent).
The 2015 Aimia Loyalty Lens surveyed 20,168 respondents in 11 international markets: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). This included over 1,000 residents of the UAE. In all markets apart from the UAE, Brazil and India, the sample sizes are nationally representative. Because of the online nature of the survey, there was some bias towards younger, higher-income groups in the latter markets.
Participants answered questions about their opinions, experiences and feelings about loyalty and reward programs across three industry sectors and 15 industry sub-sectors. The industry sectors were retail, travel and financial services. The sub-sectors were supermarkets and grocery stores; department stores; petrol and gas stations; pharmacies and beauty retailers; credit card providers; airlines; restaurants and other food, including coffee; banks; hotels; mobile/cell and network providers; fixed line, broadband and cable TV providers; and home improvement.