When it comes to loyalty program registration, signup strategies are a mixed bag. Fifty-six percent of brands automatically enroll users in their loyalty programs at account signup, while 39% require additional information to enroll, putting the onus on consumers to take the next step for membership.

The remaining 5% have associated signup fees. While 62% of consumers would join a fee-based loyalty program if their favorite retailer offered one, these fees create a significant obstacle to signup and a barrier to reach.

In order to encourage signup, fee-based programs must articulate clear benefits beyond what free programs offer. For example, while REI charges a one-time $20 fee, the retailer goes beyond traditional loyalty offerings: REI Co-Op members are essentially co-owners of the retailer; they vote in company decisions and have access to members-only garage sales, excursion discounts, and an annual dividend based on spending. Another example is Amazon Prime, which operates on a subscription model that provides users with convenient shopping perks like free expedited shipping, early sale access, and exclusive products, as well as non-commerce perks like Amazon Prime Video, Music, and select Kindle Books. Amazon Prime’s success is evidenced by its 65 million members.


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