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July 11, 2014
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October 4, 2013

Hispanic Shoppers and Loyalty Programs: Hispanics Are Actively Engaging on Social After Acquiring Loyalty Cards, While Conversations Are Driven by Brand Marketing Campaigns

Loyalty and engagement platform PunchTab recently shared results of a study of over 500 Hispanic loyalty program members that offers new insights into how this high-value audience segment engages in social environments with reward programs such as Sears’ “Shop Your Way” and Walgreens’ “Balance Rewards.” The data show that nearly two thirds of Hispanic shoppers' social posts around loyalty programs occur after a purchase has been made, and as much as 20 percent of the conversation around loyalty programs comes from non-members. The study also reveals that over one third of all the social conversation around loyalty programs is sparked by a brand's marketing campaigns and content.

"Nearly half of Hispanic shoppers use social media during the purchasing process, and our research shows that many of these posts relate to loyalty programs," said Angela Sanfilippo, CMO at PunchTab, in a news release. "By understanding which loyalty program topics are most prevalent and how shoppers are engaging, marketers can implement pinpointed programs to increase engagement and amplify positive word-of-mouth at every stage of the purchase process."

Key findings of the survey include:

  • The majority of Hispanic shopper posts about loyalty programs occur post-purchase.

The data show that 62.8 percent of Hispanic shoppers posts around loyalty programs occur after a purchase has been made.

While only 17.9 percent of posts happen as people are making purchases or receiving rewards, the study reveals that this is high-value conversation, as the majority of posts involve promoting the saving members received, the free gifts and bonuses they earn, or their overall purchasing experience while using the loyalty card.

According to the study, about 19.3 percent of posts happen pre-purchase; the majority of the pre-purchase conversations revolve around wanting to join a loyalty program or waiting for approval.

The study also reveals that Hispanic shoppers who are not yet members of a loyalty program are nonetheless promoting it within their social networks. Of the Hispanic shoppers studied, nearly 20 percent of the loyalty program posts, came from non-members. The most discussed loyalty program by Hispanic shoppers who were not yet members was the Target REDcard, driving 40 percent of total pre-purchase conversation.

  • Hispanic shopper loyalty posts frequently tout the brand, the promotion or the rewards.

According to the study, at least 30 percent of the social conversation about loyalty programs amongst Hispanic shoppers involves some sort of positive word-of-mouth. 12.1 percent of posts were related to sharing promotions; 11.4 percent revolved around the points or rewards awards; and 7.5 percent were posts advocating for the loyalty program itself.

  • Brands can spark considerable conversation around loyalty programs through engagement campaigns.

PunchTab's study shows that brand marketing campaigns—such as dedicated hashtags or special contests—drive 37.5 percent of all the social conversation around loyalty programs amongst Hispanic shoppers. This presents an enormous opportunity for brands to continue to raise awareness within the Hispanic market by way of timely social initiatives, such as holiday or back-to-school campaigns, that leverage social, email and SMS campaigns and encourage social sharing.

  • Big box retailers are engaged with Hispanic shoppers.

Shop Your Way rewards from Kmart and Sears, and Walgreens' Balance Rewards generated the most loyalty conversations among Hispanic shoppers. 33 percent of the segment observed discussed Walgreens' Balance Rewards, while Shop Your Way rewards generated 20 percent of total loyalty conversations.

PunchTab listened to Twitter conversations surrounding specific loyalty programs. After searching through thousands of posts and tweets, Punchtab identified 500 loyalty program members who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino American and consolidated the social discussions they had throughout their loyalty program journey. PunchTab reviewed over 611 tweets, between 1/1/2012 and 6/30/2013, centered around the following brand loyalty programs: Target, JC Penney, Kohl's, Walmart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Panera, Sears and Kmart. The goal of this analysis was to understand how the Hispanic Market felt about reward programs as they moved through the different phases of loyalty program journey.

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