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Mobile loyalty cards will double by 2020, Juniper says

Coupons and similar loyalty cards are moving into digital with a high pace, a new study by Juniper Research says. Among the key conclusions of the report is the idea that the number of loyalty cards operating completely digital (within mobile apps), will double by 2020.

Last year, 1.4 billion loyalty cards were mobile-only, and in 2020 that number is expected to grow up to 3 billion.

The research, entitled Mobile & Online Coupons: Redemption, Loyalty & Consumer Engagement 2015-2020, says that retailers are responding to the consumers' demand for mobile integration and offering digital coupons that can be stored within their digital wallets.

Such an approach increased activity rates, the research suggests, resolving one of the key issues this marketing technique has faced over the years.

There also seems to be a discrepancy between retailers and other reward card providers, the report says.

"In the UK, it observed that around 40 per cent of Nectar Card holders had acquired the loyalty app by late-2015, but less than 4 per cent of Tesco Clubcard holders. It found a similar disparity between US retailers Walgreens, where 61 per cent of card holders had linked their card to an app, and Target which had only 27 per cent of cardholders linked,” it says.

Research author Dr Windsor Holden says there may be various reasons for this, including the level of satisfaction with the app, the features it offers, as well as quality marketing techniques.

The research also adds that retailers without a mobile integration have lower visibility.