Understanding the History of Loyalty Card Programs

Having understood the objectives of a loyalty card program and evaluating its effectiveness, I wanted to study the history of it. After all, I find history to be a collection of unbiased facts that give a unique insight into the past.

In the case of the history of loyalty card programs, I found some interesting facts that are worth contemplating about;

  • It began in the Early 1700s and retailers quickly caught on – Here I would argue the “fear of missing out” and parity with competition played a bigger role in the popularity of the loyalty card programs rather than the effectiveness of it.
  • Over time consumers became commoditized – when every retailer was offering a loyalty card, it was no longer a unique offering. Therefore, it became a commodity that customers utilized for their own advantage – leading to the overall decrease in the effectiveness of the loyalty card programs.

For anyone wanting to understand the history of loyalty card programs I encouraged them to read this article as well as Tesco’s CEO’s analysis of the loyalty card space.

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