Memberships in loyalty programmes have seen a decline across all sectors

by Jess Edwards


What a whirlwind 2020 has been! 2020 has seen many sectors having to change the way they operate due to the pandemic and loyalty programmes have not been an exception.

The latest study on loyalty programmes has been completed by our Account Executive Jess Edwards, using YouGov ( Profiles 2020 data. The data was collected from January to December and over 300,000 British adults were surveyed.


Key Insight One:

Overall UK Loyalty Membership has declined

Since January 2020 there has been a steady decline of Brits being members of loyalty programmes. In October 2020, 65% of Brits are members of a loyalty programme; this represents a 3.5% drop in membership since July and a 11.5% drop since January. However, loyalty programme membership was declining but started to increase again in Q4 – which bodes well for 2021.

Hypothesese – The Impact of Covid-19 continuously changing and the effect of different tiers in various locations has caused the UK shopping behaviours to adapt meaning people are not being able to utilise their memberships.

Key Insight Two:

The biggest loyalty sectors have been negatively impacted by Covid-19

The overall pattern of sector memberships has slowly declined over the months from January to October, however the biggest sectors are still the biggest. From October to December no sector has seen a significant increase.

The 4 biggest sectors (supermarkets, pharmacies, retail and restaurants/coffee shops) have seen declines, presumably down to the changed shopping, usage and footfall. The eat out to help out scheme didn’t encourage more membership to restaurants loyalty schemes.

Key Insight Three:

No Programmes are significantly growing

Out of 31 loyalty programmes that YouGov Profiles tracks 16 have grown slightly or stayed the same compared to only 9 in the previous trend piece

15 have shrunk where previously 22 loyalty programmes decreased. This implies that the lockdown in November and Covid 19 is still impacting loyalty programmes.

Key Insight Four:

Willingness to subscribe has been unaffected

The willingness to subscribe to a loyalty programme has not significantly changed since January.

Key Insight Five: 

Rewards remain the most popular incentive to join

The most popular reasons to join a loyalty programme have stayed the same with discounts and offers remaining the most popular reason to join a loyalty programme.

Overall, we have seen a slight increase in the appeal of rewards as an incentive however decreases were noticed from November to December.


The slight decline most rewards platforms are experiencing is in line with an overall slight decline of Loyalty Programme membership in the UK, impacted by Covid-19. Willingness to subscribe also seeing decreases going into December however, rewards remain the most appealing motivator to join and engage. Loyalty programme membership was declining but started to increase again in Q4 – which bodes well for 2021.


The latest trend research was also published in the The Loyalty Magazine ( To read the full version of this article please visit The Loyalty Magazine (