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Points, Cash-Back & Stock Rewards– oh my

Of consumers not currently in a loyalty program, 70 percent would join one if the benefits were deemed “valuable” (Clarus Commerce, 2020). However, what makes a modern reward currency valuable can be nuanced in this digital age, making it more paramount than ever for companies to think critically about investing in a reward mechanism that truly excites and engages their customer base.

Although traditional rewards have been considered popular in some ways, stock rewards are uniquely positioned to move the needle for customer loyalty due to its long-term value, security and compelling nature. Let’s break it down:

Points

Accumulating points has been a namesake of loyalty programs for decades. However, this tried and traditional model has become outdated and unimpressive to the modern day consumer. As of 2020, consumers have accumulated $48 trillion of unspent loyalty points globally (Wise Marketer, 2020). Nearly half– 45 percent– of loyalty program accounts are considered inactive, with consumers not tracking or redeeming points (Wise Marketer, 2020).

Shoppers have been loud and clear: 79 percent of consumers say they don’t want to accumulate points anymore, and that retailers’ loyalty programs should provide more immediate benefits to maintain their loyalty (MyTotalRetail, 2021). On the contrary, 97 percent of Bumped users would rather receive stock rewards than points. So why keep offering your customers a reward mechanism they’ve shown they don’t want?

Not only are points proving to just not be compelling enough to consumers anymore, but the lack of user engagement opens up ripe opportunities for hackers to commit loyalty fraud on these inactive accounts. In this day and age, the potential for a hacked data leak can be significantly damaging to any brand– breaking loyalty and trust for many customers permanently. To continue investing in a stale reward currency that simultaneously poses security risks simply may not be worth it.

Cash-Back Rewards

“Cash-back is king” some still may say, until the pennies on the dollar stop feeling valuable. While survey respondents considered traditional economic rewards such as cash-back to be a top determinant of a loyalty programs’ success five years ago, those rewards now rank a fourth in importance, and are expected to fall to eighth in rank by 2025 (Financial Brand, 2020).

To the modern consumer, cash-back doesn’t feel significant or valuable. In comparison to stock rewards, one Bumped user reflected: “Cash-back has always been king. But the opportunity to buy into brands I love with the opportunity to participate in their growth resonates on a deeper level. It is less about finding a way to cash out and more about seeing my behaviors build over time into a profile of where I assign my loyalty.”

This sentiment was echoed by 73 percent of the Bumped user base, all of which cited they would rather receive stock rewards than cash-back. In a 2020 internal study, a top 20 U.S. bank found stock rewards resulted in a 348 percent increase in spend versus cash-back or points.

Simply put, cash-back isn’t exciting anymore due to its basic transactional engagement and its incapability to promote customer-brand emotional bonding. On top of inflation devaluing its worth, consumers have every reason to consider taking their loyalty to more prospective horizons.

The Power of Stock Rewards

In contrast, giving free fractional shares of stock as a reward has shown to be more exciting and valuable to consumers than traditional models. Let the studies speak for themselves:

  • 89 percent of Bumped users think ownership is more exciting than traditional rewards (e.g., points, cash-back).
  • The Columbia School of Business independently reviewed Bumped’s data and found a customer “spending response of 100 percent” in direct correlation to receiving stock rewards, pointing to increased customer loyalty.
  • Consumers who become shareholders increase their spending with the brands they own by 40 percent or more.
  • The Wise Marketer found 66 percent of survey respondents believe stock ownership increased the likelihood of buying an offering company’s product.

Reports show there is a collective win-win for both sides of the relationship with stock rewards; brands, banks and customers succeed when individuals become owners. Beyond cultivating authentically compelling loyalty, ownership ultimately can have a meaningful impact on organizations’ bottom lines.

Advanced emotionally-charged, lifetime customer loyalty in conjunction with increased consumer spending and ROI has made stock rewards a no-brainer for many brand and bank partners already. Without the stagnation of too-well-known reward currencies like points or cash-back, stock rewards pose a unique opportunity to offer a reward that matters– for both customers and the organizations that give them. Plus, being in a highly regulated industry means that customers’ data and rewards are protected by bank-level encryption. On top of the possibility of stock rewards’ values increasing over time, customers can relish in the feeling that their favorite brands and banks are looking out for their futures, too.

Bumped built the first B2B technology platform with an underlying brokerage focused on ownership to enable brands and banks to use our prebuilt set of technology tools specifically designed to reward in fractional shares of stock. Our Suite of APIs is strategically tailored to give organizations the ability to leverage our technology and services to reward their customers with fractional shares of stock. 

Empower your customers as shareholders by offering a reward that actually matters to them– and your business. Reach out to our team at hello@bumped.com to learn how building an ownership economy with Bumped can elevate your loyalty program to the next caliber.

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