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Gift cards and millennials - why it is time to target millennials for your loyalty programme

9th October 2018

Gift cards and millennials: why it's time to target millennials for your loyalty programme

Millennials vs baby boomers; the differences between these two generational groups are much discussed and debated. A recent survey* carried out by Hawk Incentives US has uncovered that when it comes to loyalty programmes, millennials do in fact come out on top.  Not only do they belong to more loyalty programmes than baby boomers but they’re more active in them as well.  So, isn’t it time that we start targeting millennials to boost engagement within loyalty programmes even further?

Theresa McEndree, Vice President of Marketing at Hawk Incentives said of the findings “As shopper habits have evolved and the world has become increasingly digitised, there has been a lot of discussion on the staying power of loyalty programmes. This research demonstrates that loyalty programmes and modern reward options have kept up with consumer trends and continue to appeal to younger generations. Our research also indicates that businesses designing loyalty programmes with millennials in mind will benefit from offering an array of prepaid and gift card rewards, in both physical and digital options.”


What did we discover?

  1. Gift cards are the reward of choice

Loyalty programmes typically work on a quid pro quo basis, customers are rewarded for their brand loyalty so that companies can maintain an ongoing relationship with them. With this being said, which rewards should companies select to encourage this kind of engagement and loyalty? Our research found that 82% of millennials would be interested in redeeming their loyalty points for a gift or prepaid reward card.
  1. The power of digital rewards

When considering gift cards for your loyalty programme don’t forget digital rewards. Indeed 65% of millennials said that they would prefer a digital reward, compared to 45% of baby boomers who were asked the same question. When we drilled further down further we found that millennials preferred digital rewards from gym, retailer and airline categories the most.  
  1. Millennials have their favourites

When it comes to which loyalty programmes millennials favour most our survey found that millennials are more likely to belong to those within online retailer and food and beverage categories. 41% of millennials surveyed belonged to an online retailer loyalty programme, compared to just 25% of baby boomers.  
When it came to dining out almost half of millennials surveyed (46%) said that they belonged to a food and beverage loyalty programme, that’s 10% more than the baby boomers.
*Consumer Loyalty Verticals Research was an online survey conducted independently by Leger on behalf of Hawk Incentives between February 5 and February 15, 2018. The sample size included 1,500 American respondents ages 18+. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. “Millennials” comprised respondents ages 22 to 37
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