Inflationary Loyalty Market

category - society
sector - retail
type - market focus
Market Focus
As inflation increasingly affects customer spending power, brands are having to innovate and develop new strategies to boost loyalty

Drivers: what’s happening

Consumers around the world are facing unprecedented levels of inflationary pressure, requiring them to mitigate these challenges by trading down or shopping around to ensure the best prices.

As price sensitivity grows, retailers are working to better support their customers with innovative strategies that maximise lifetime customer value. These include new loyalty schemes that counter the effects of inflation through promotions on everyday items and emotional appeals that deepen relational ties and by implementing digital rewards mechanisms.

Speaking about the grocery retailer’s own focus on loyalty, Giant Eagle spokesperson Jannah Jablonowski explains: ‘The past two years have been challenging for our communities, and we recognise that value has become a necessity for our guests, who are trying to maintain their budgets… [This] gives Giant Eagle the ability to expand and grow benefits as the world continues to shift, presenting new challenges for consumers.’

Published by:

13 July 2022

Author: Petah Marian

Image: Shopify Retail Hardware campaign


Left: Ankorstore in collaboration with Pentagram, UK. Right: myPerks programme by Giant Eagle, US.

Market shifts: what’s new

Popular product programmes

Retailers are building loyalty and reducing the number of split baskets through schemes that help shoppers to mitigate inflationary price hikes. French grocery retailer Leclerc wants to help the 49% of French shoppers who say they are struggling to make ends meet when shopping (source: European Supermarket Magazine). Its Anti-inflation Shield consists of vouchers for price increases on 120 of the most popular consumer products in its hypermarkets. In the US, grocer Giant Eagle is offering members of its myPerks programme savings of up to 20% on more than 1,000 key competitive items. According to the grocer, the move is aimed at helping customers manage their grocery expenses while enabling them to buy the products most important to their households

Emotional appeals

Brands are taking inspiration from sellers on consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platforms such as Etsy and Depop by emphasising the human connection between sellers and buyers. In the UK, athleisure brand Sweaty Betty has sent hand-written thank you letters to customers that have been shopping with the business for more than 15 years, working with hand-written letter company Inkpact on the campaign. Other brands are pushing this attitude of gratitude both ways. McDonald’s has launched a campaignthat allows customers to thank its staff for going above and beyond during recent difficult moments, deepening emotional relationships by providing customers with the opportunity to reflect on the positive experiences they have had with the brand.

Driving digital adoption

Digital loyalty programmes are being used as a way to help nudge consumers towards online shopping and rewards schemes, as businesses see the positive effects of low-touch service models. McDonald’s reports that digital sales accounted for more than 30% of system-wide sales in its top six markets in the first quarter of this year, and that one of the biggest drivers of digital adoption was its MyMcDonald’s Rewards programme, according to recent financial results. Digital rewards are also helping companies to fuel first-mover advantage in the Web3 space. Global cafe brand Starbucks has announced plans to launch a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) later this year. The company said the NFTs would provide owners with access to exclusive experiences and perks.


'The past two years have been challenging for our communities, and we recognise that value has become a necessity for our guests, who are trying to maintain their budgets.'
Jannah Jablonowski, spokesperson, Giant Eagle

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