Understanding Loyalty Programs In Europe

Explore the landscape of loyalty programs in Europe with an extensive whitepaper from Mando-Connect and several loyalty program experts.

A cover for Antavo’s article about its guest post on loyalty programs in Europe.

In 2024, European countries have arrived at a crossroads: they can either keep using outdated, pre-2020 marketing strategies to engage with their customers, or adapt to the new market reality and become innovators. Although the latter seems to be the obvious answer, delivering it hinges on precise knowledge of the European loyalty landscape. In case you are looking for regional trends regarding 24 European countries, or wish to know what different demographics on the old continent think of loyalty programs, you are in luck. You can find all the answers in THE whitepaper about loyalty programs in Europe, courtesy of Mando-Connect and YouGov: “Understanding Loyalty in Europe 2.0”. 

Antavo not only contributed to this whitepaper but also hosted a joint webinar with Mando-Connect and several experts, discussing the findings and lessons of the report. Make sure to check it out for a rundown of what to expect!

Analyzing the State of Loyalty Programs in Europe

Following last year’s success, Mando-Connect’s whitepaper sets out to explore loyalty program memberships, appeal, and impact scores across 24 European countries. The study is based on a cross-continent survey, as well as the input of 14 loyalty professionals, including industry experts, academics, program leads, and agency representatives.

The research was then overlaid with case studies and Mando Connect’s patented Loyalty Gauge™ – a unique measure that enables Mando-Connect to score and rank loyalty engagement per country. 

The loyalty landscape is generally measured through the following scores:

  • The appeal score represents the appeal of loyalty programs in the market (how customers in a country feel about loyalty programs)
  • The impact score represents the impact of loyalty programs in the market (how effectively loyalty programs encourage customers to take action)
Mando-Connect whitepaper banner
For a complete look at the state of loyalty programs in Europe, check out the full report — it includes commentary from Zsuzsa Kecsmar, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-founder of Antavo.

So, based on this unique new research, what was learned about the loyalty landscape in Europe? There are three key insights to share:

1. The Majority of Europeans Are Fans of Loyalty Programs

According to the whitepaper, the popularity of loyalty programs has remained consistent in Europe: 

  • 55% of the adult population believes that they are a great way to reward customers
  • 42% of adults across Europe think that every brand should offer a loyalty program
  • 35% of adults across our markets will join a loyalty program every time they are offered the chance 

It’s worth highlighting that these trends remain consistent and almost identical to last year’s numbers. The appeal score is especially high in Great Britain, Poland, and Bulgaria, while Turkey, the Netherlands, and Norway have the lowest ratings in this category. 

Mando-Connect whitepaper statistics about loyalty program appeal
On average, loyalty programs have quite a high appeal in Europe, but on a per-country basis, there are big differences. Check out the whitepaper to see how each country fared. 

2. Loyalty Programs Still Haven’t Lost Their Touch

Another big takeaway from the “Understand Loyalty in Europe 2.0” whitepaper is that the loyalty program impact remains very positive in 2024. The average for the whole continent shows that:

  • 42% say loyalty programs make them more loyal
  • 35% say they are more likely to recommend the brand whose loyalty program they’re a member of 
  • 31% feel more emotionally connected with brands that have loyalty programs 
  • 29% will spend more on brands that have a loyalty program

Spain, Finland, and the Czech Republic ranked particularly well across all these subjects. Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden, on the other hand, not so much. 

Mando-Connect whitepaper statistics about loyalty program impact
Although compared to last year’s results, these metrics show that if you get your loyalty program right, both your customers and your bottom line will be very positive.

3. Tracking Market Engagement with the Loyalty Gauge™

The Loyalty Gauge™ score is a loyalty metric developed by Mando-Connect to represent the overall level of loyalty engagement in the market. The Loyalty Gauge has been created so that loyalty marketers can see a quick snapshot of the appeal and impact scores across the 24 European markets. 

It shows that the three most engaged loyalty markets are:

  • Poland
  • Great Britain
  • France

The three least engaged loyalty markets are:

  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands
  • Sweden

Generally speaking, we can say that on a net European level, there have been no big shifts in either appeal or impact since 2023.

Club Matas loyalty program main page message
The whitepaper also lists inspirational examples and case studies  – like Club Matas for Denmark – to portray what kind of loyalty programs work for each country, or what a cross-country loyalty program looks like. 

It’s Not Just Europe Going Strong on Loyalty

As an expert in loyalty programs, Antavo’s Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Zsuzsa Kecsmar contributed to the “Understanding Loyalty in Europe 2.0” whitepaper by providing region-specific insights for Hungary, as well as talking about the overarching loyalty trends in our joint webinar.

As it turns out, Mando-Connect’s findings heavily correlate with Antavo’s results from the Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024. However, what makes Antavo’s report different is that it surveyed feedback on a worldwide scale, and it looks at loyalty trends through the lens of companies that own loyalty programs. 

From our own GCL Report research, we learned that:

  • 81.4% of program owners confirmed that their loyalty program was helpful during the economic downturn
  • 9 out of 10 companies have reported a positive ROI. For those with a positive ROI, the average ROI is 4.8X
  • 27% of a loyalty program’s marketing budget, on average, is dedicated to customer loyalty and CRM

Find more global loyalty program statistics by downloading our Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024. 

A banner recommending to download Antavo’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024.

Taking the Next Step in Your Loyalty Strategy

Mando-Connect’s white paper provides invaluable insight and inspiration for loyalty marketers who want to take a pan-European view of the loyalty landscape. The rich data sets provide a solid basis on which to make decisions and plan actionable strategies. They are accompanied by case studies and commentary that overlay these valuable insights,  bringing the story of loyalty across Europe to life. 

Still, what this research shows above all else is that there is significant variation by country, and within each of those countries, there are wonderful and inspiring programs to learn from. And what our key takeaway would be? Connection is key! So it’s time to try something new! Get out there and look beyond your brand or your sector! Learn from other industry best practices, and get inspired by how loyalty is done in other countries! 

Interested in learning more about loyalty programs from a technology perspective? Curious about how to launch or revamp one? Our loyalty experts are more than happy to strike up a conversation. Get the conversation started by sending us an RFP or booking a demo.

Also, don’t forget to watch our joint webinar recounting the key findings of the whitepaper!

Headshot of Tamas Oszi Senior Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo

Tamas Oszi

Tamas is the Head of Content at Antavo and a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional - CLMP. Tamas is known for having a keen eye for loyalty and customer retention strategies and trends. Tamas is also a true gamer at heart and has an impressive collection of cyberpunk books.

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