New Upside Report Unveils Gap Between Loyalty Membership and Consumer Shopping Behavior

February 22, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 22, 2024 – Upside, the digital marketplace dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses financially, today released the first report in a two-part series on loyalty programs and their impact on consumer behavior. Drawing insights from a comprehensive survey of nearly 2,000 consumers, the report found surprising gaps between loyalty membership and the desired behavioral shifts that retailers anticipate from those programs.

"Consumers are actively seeking value, and retailers are wise to use tools like loyalty programs that don't cannibalize existing profits to address that need," said Alex Kinnier, co-founder and CEO of Upside. "These survey findings indicate that today’s loyalty offerings have become table stakes for customers, and retailers have an opportunity to do things differently to get more out of their existing investment.”

The survey uncovered encouraging insights regarding loyalty programs. For instance, more than half of consumers enrolled in a loyalty program base their shopping decisions—including where to shop, which items to purchase, and how much to buy—on those programs. Furthermore, nearly 40% of loyalty members indicated that they would stop shopping at a specific location if the store terminated its loyalty program.

However, certain findings from the survey shine light on unexpected loyalty shortcomings for grocery, restaurant, fuel, and convenience store retailers. Varying based on buying category, insights from Upside’s data indicate that:

  • As many as half (41-51%) of respondents do not factor in a loyalty program when choosing where to buy.
  • More than a third (33-46%) of respondents have not increased their purchasing frequency since joining a loyalty program.
  • Almost two-thirds (58-63%) stated that the absence of a loyalty program at a store would not affect their shopping habits.

These findings may seem counterintuitive, but Upside’s findings on consumer indifference may stem from various factors, including: 

  • Loyalty proliferation: Comparing data from the 2015 and 2023 Bond Loyalty Reports, the average shopper has nearly doubled the number of loyalty memberships in their wallet over the past decade. 
  • Lack of differentiation: Loyalty programs have become increasingly similar to one another, hindering retailers from distinguishing themselves among customers

Read and download Upside’s full “Loyalty Membership and Behavior” report and be on the lookout for part two of Upside’s two-part Loyalty series, which will dive deeper into the data on how to make loyalty programs more impactful. 

For more information on how you can partner with Upside to enhance your loyalty programs, positively influence customer behavior and increase your program’s ROI, visit


Upside is a digital marketplace that connects millions of consumers with brick and mortar retailers nationwide. Since 2016, Upside's personalized offers have empowered individuals to gain greater purchasing power for their essential needs and helped businesses achieve measurable profits. Billions of dollars in commerce run through the Upside platform every year, and that value goes directly back to our retailers, the consumers they serve, and towards important sustainability initiatives. For more:

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