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Join us for this new loyalty marketing strategy course, where you’ll discover what it takes to foster loyal customers, reduce attrition, and improve profitability. Immerse yourself in a fun and interactive gaming environment and see how your decisions compare to your fellow loyalty practitioners.

Our expert facilitator, COLLOQUY Research Director Jeff Berry, will explore the worlds of retail and financial services during this interactive 2-day certification course. You’ll work to maximize ROI with our innovative loyalty strategy simulation through a new and enjoyable training experience.

We guarantee you’ll leave with the skills and techniques to develop a loyalty strategy that recognizes and rewards your best customers—whether you’re a key player in an existing program, optimizing your existing proprietary program, or considering which loyalty strategy is right for your company.

Since 1999, over 1,000 executives have attended and profited from DMA and COLLOQUY partner workshops. You get the combined strengths and training leadership of two outstanding organizations.


  • Create a strategic framework to guide your loyalty program
  • Turn loyalty into your competitive weapon and design the ultimate loyalty value proposition
  • Estimate costs of your loyalty program and evaluate results on a financial basis
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Jeff Berry
Jeff Berry
Senior Director, Research and Development
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News Releases

Why wait until December 26? Throw the doors open on Christmas for returns and sales appears to be the message to retailers, particularly from millennials. 

When LoyaltyOne Consulting, a firm specializing in assessing, designing and implementing analytics-driven loyalty and customer experience strategies, asked 1,267 American consumers nationwide in November what they would do if retailers opened for business at 6PM Christmas evening, 18% of general population respondents (age 18 to 65 and older) said they would take advantage of the extra time to shop.    

Among millennials in the 18-24 age group, 30% said they’d shop on Christmas. Among older millennials in the 25-34 year-old age bracket, 27% said they’d leave hearth and home on Dec. 25 to head for the mall.ReturningGiftsCashingIn

Conversely, 24% of the general population said they wouldn’t shop on Christmas, and would be less likely to shop in the future at a store open on Christmas, or recommend such a store to friends and family.

Moreover, 58% of the general population said simply that they’d never shop on Christmas. The never-shop-on-Christmas score for young millennials (age 18-24) fell to 53%, for older millennials (age 25-34) it was 52%.

While consumers appear divided on the shop-on-Christmas issue, they are united in demanding that retailers put their best foot forward when it comes to customer service during the holiday season, their busiest time of the year:

  • 94% of all shoppers surveyed said they expect retailers to take extra measures to keep checkout lines moving during the holiday rush
  • 80% of shoppers said they blame the retailer if they have to wait because of another customer’s coupons, returns or customer service problems; except in the millennial demographic, where four out of ten said they resent the other customer, not the store, for making them wait
  • 89% of all shoppers said they expect retailers to take extra measures to keep departments orderly despite the busy season
  • 59% of shoppers said holiday gift return policies make or break their opinion of a retailer
  • 20% of shoppers reported an unhappy experience during last year’s gift-buying season that completely ruined their holiday mood; for young millennials (18-24) that score soared to 40% and for older millennials (25-34) it was 30%.

“Consumers are telling us in this survey that the holiday gift-buying season is, itself, a high-risk touchpoint. Shoppers are demanding retailers maintain service levels, they're making it clear to retailers they're not prepared to cut them any slack when it comes to their expectations,” LoyaltyOne Consulting Managing Partner Dennis Armbruster said. “Retailers that focus on pricing, assortment and other operational concerns but fail to invest adequately in delivering high-quality service during the holidays are risking long-term revenue losses.”

Despite the reputation that crowded parking lots have for keeping shoppers away, survey takers indicated their time is a more precious commodity than a parking space. When asked why they avoided stores completely during the holiday season, 36% of shoppers said their primary reason is waiting too long at the checkout.

LoyaltyOne Consulting is owned by LoyaltyOne. Its survey results are based on an online survey in November 2015 of 1,267 American consumers. The margin of error is +/- 3% at the 90-95% confidence level.

Canadians are excited by the prospect of “Surprise and Delight” (S&D) experiences from retailers and brand-owners, with 95% confirming they boost their positive perception of the brand; yet a recent pre-holiday survey conducted by LoyaltyOne also found that only 54% of survey takers were able to recall a recent instance when they were pleasantly surprised with a gift or delighted by an offer from a retailer, airline or hotel.

The survey, conducted in November 2015 of 1,188 Canadians, highlights the extent to which these loyalty-building measures impact perception and spending. Among the 95% of Canadians who confirmed S&D leaves them with an increased positive view, more than half (56%) went on to share their positive experience with friends and family and more than one in three (34%) revealed the experience led them to give the company more business.

Millennials and Generation Z (ages 18-24) had the highest recall of S&D at 69%. The rate of recall was nearly cut in half (37%) among seniors (ages 65+). The survey also found that while they may not be getting as many surprise and delight experiences as they might like, virtually all Canadians are happy receiving them.

When it comes to the S&D experiences and their appeal, an overwhelming majority, 90%, of the survey participants reported to being most interested in receiving special privileges for being a longtime customer. Whereas exclusive club invitations and special community events, which are relatively expensive S&D programs to administer, were the least appealing S&D offers at 53% and 52% respectively.

“As we head into the holidays we might see more of these types of offers and loyalty-building strategies, but as this survey tells us, they are very few and far between as part of a more sustained and strategic business-building tool,” said Bryan Pearson, President and CEO, LoyaltyOne. “Customers want to be appreciated and recognized for being loyal. And retailers want to set themselves apart from competitors and increase the perceived value of their brand in the eyes of their consumers. More brand-owners need to take S&D into account as a key part of their loyalty strategy.”

The top five S&D rewards customers find most appealing include:

1.       Receiving special privileges for being a longtime customer


2.       Receiving surprise discounts after spending a lot with a retailer during a particular month


3.       Receiving free samples or products based on relevant products they purchase often


4.       Receiving a special offer or coupon for their birthday


5.       Receiving a special gift during the holidays based on what they often purchase


While the LoyaltyOne survey found that shoppers are quite consistent with how they prefer to receive S&D offers: 81% via email with direct mail a distant second at 27%; differences between men and women were also found: 

  • Women feel more appreciated than men by companies when they receive a surprise gift: 68% vs. 58% men
  • Women are also more likely to share a positive S&D experience with friends and family: 63% vs. 49% men
  • Women are twice more likely than men to divulge personal information, such as an email address, when treated to S&D offers

“Surprise and Delight is about providing shoppers with an unexpected ‘WOW’ experience that leaves a lasting impression,” said Pearson. “These need not be hugely expensive programs, the key is relevance and leveraging data and personal shopping habits. What’s more, when done right, shoppers are more inclined to give you permission to contact them directly with even more offers to build their loyalty and your business.”


LoyaltyOne conducted an online survey of 1,188 Canadians in November 2015. Survey respondents were at least 18 years of age and had primary or shared responsibility for the grocery shopping in their household. The margin of error is +/- 2.42.

Seeing Santa in the store with children enhances the holiday shopping experience for nearly seven out of ten (66%) U.S. shoppers, according to LoyaltyOne nationwide survey research that provides timely data on the consumer mindset.

The survey results also indicate that Santa’s in-store future is safe in the hands of young millennials. Seventy-one percent of consumers age 18-24 said encountering Santa in the store enriches the holiday shopping experience. That exceeds the 66% score for the general population (18-65 and over) and rivals the 65-and-over age group (72%) for the highest score among all demographics surveyed. In all, 1,267 American consumers completed the LoyaltyOne survey this month.


But Santa takes a back seat to another venerable holiday tradition when it comes to putting cheer into the seasonal gift-buying excursion. No less than 76% of all consumers said that hearing carols and other holiday music in the store enhances their Yuletide shopping trip.

Shoppers’ good tidings and cheer, however, do not mean they’re willing to cut retailers any slack when it comes to poor service. Just over seven out of ten consumers (72%) disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: I am more understanding if a salesperson is rude during the busy holiday sales season.

In fact, 81% of consumers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: I am more offended if a sales person is rude at a time when he or she should value my business.

“Pricing is important but it’s not everything. This research underscores how critical it is for retailers to make the overall holiday shopping experience memorable and delightful,” LoyaltyOne Vice President Dennis Armbruster said. “These results are illuminating, I think, for retailers who are unsure about the significance that consumers still attach to traditional elements of the holiday shopping experience, such as Santa and seasonal music,” he said.

“Additionally, this research should dispel any notion that a customer’s encounter with a sales person is less of a high-risk touch point during the holiday season hustle and bustle,” Armbruster said. “Retailers that fail to address poor service during the holidays jeopardize customer loyalty and risk significant revenue losses.”

Other highlights from this month’s survey of consumer attitudes reveal differences in millennial sentiments versus the general public on in-store holiday shopping:

  • At 78%, young millennials (18-24) scored higher than any other age group for appreciating in-store carols and seasonal music
  • 40% of young millennials and 31% of older millennials (25-34) said they had a poor shopping experience last year that ruined their holiday mood, versus 20% of the general population
  • Just 53% of young millennials said they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: I am more understanding if a salesperson is rude during the holidays, compared to 72% of the general population
  • At 65%, older millennials were less patient with sales person rudeness than young millennials, but more patient than the general population
  • 42% of older millennials and 37% of young millennials said an encounter with a condescending sales person would prevent them from returning to a store for holiday shopping, versus 32% for the general population.

In other highlights from the in-store holiday shopping research:

  • Among the general population, 50% said an encounter with a sales person who took a “that’s not my department” attitude would prevent me from returning to a store, followed by 32% citing a condescending sales person, followed by 18% who said they would not return to a store after an encounter with a sales person who knew nothing about the item they were seeking
  • Nearly one in three consumers (29%) said that each holiday shopping season there is at least one store that loses their business due to a rude salesperson or poor service.

The LoyaltyOne survey results are based on an online survey in November 2015 of 1,267 American consumers. The margin of error is +/- 3% at the 90-95% confidence level.

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