The 5 Big Predictions for Customer Loyalty in 2022

Here at White Label Loyalty, we’ve been reflecting on the consumer trends we have seen in 2021. Last year, we made some predictions – watch our video below to see us look back at how accurate we were, and continue reading to find out our new predictions for 2022…


As we discuss in the above video, the pandemic brought some things to the surface that are going to stick around for a while. We hope it’s a temporary situation, but covid has impacted the loyalty industry in a way that we all need to pay attention to…

Welcome in 2022: a year that will see trends that started back in 2020 continue, but with additional exciting developments that could influence consumer behaviour like never before. Whilst we’re all mapping out our budgets, plans, and strategies for next year, make sure you take time to reflect on what’s happened this year and what the future could look like. Here are the 5 big predictions for Customer Loyalty in 2022 that businesses should prepare for now: 



Emotional loyalty is not a trend, but a shift that is here to stay


A good loyalty experience has two sides: rational and emotional. The rational aspect is all about the transactional experience. During the pandemic, transactions slowed down significantly for a lot of businesses, leaving only the emotional side of loyalty. The businesses that proved successful during the pandemic are those that already established emotional loyalty (or were able to pivot towards emotional loyalty during this time). For example, brands in the travel and hospitality industry showed compassion and emotional connection by extending points expiration dates and looking after their highest value customers - even though these customers were no longer purchasing as often. It is these small but significant actions that create a deeper connection between business and consumer. To learn more about rational vs emotional loyalty, read our blog post here


Key Takeaway: make sure you look for ways to connect with your customers on a deeper level next year and foster a relationship based on emotional loyalty. 


Gamification is on the rise


We have already started to see the potential of gamification in loyalty. Using game mechanics in your loyalty program can initiate a behaviour change: turning quiet and detached customers into engaged consumers who regularly interact with your brand. There’s a big opportunity to focus on this in 2022. Younger generations are also being raised with gamified experiences and brands need to keep up with this. We may see that gamification doesn’t stay a trend but in fact becomes mainstream. 


Key Takeaway: explore different types of game mechanics and think about how you can integrate them into your customer’s experience. To get started, take a look at these loyalty gamification examples. 


Customer experience needs to be better than ever


Customer expectations have heightened over the past few years. A ‘good customer experience’ is no longer enough to establish brand loyalty. Experiences need to be frictionless, personalised, and give consumers a reason to come back to you again and again. 


Key Takeaway: Consider how your business is going to meet heightened expectations in customer experience next year. You may want to do an audit of your current customer experience and make sure the journey is optimized from start to finish. 


AI will drive strategy in 2022


According to Gartner, the global AI software revenue will reach $62.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 21.3% from 2021. Many businesses are starting to adopt AI to improve their marketing campaigns and customer retention strategies. 


Key Takeaway: Use AI next year to help you make data-driven decisions in your key departments. Take a look at our page here to understand how AI can help your business. 


Data and personalization are imperative


This year we’ve seen an increased focus on D2C and first-party customer data. We’ve also seen the importance of integrating personalisation into the entire customer experience. With 80% of consumers more likely to interact with brands that offer them personalised experiences, the companies that are collecting valuable customer data will stay ahead next year. 


Key Takeaway: Blending technology with customer data and AI can help you understand and predict your customer’s wants and needs. You can then create experiences that meet these needs. 


Whilst predictions help us prepare for the future, it’s hard to say which trends will transpire. One thing the loyalty industry can bet on: the trends that we see in 2022 are likely to be affected by unexpected changes. But for the businesses that take time to reflect on past and future consumer trends and integrate them into their 2022 plans and strategies, a successful new year lies just around the corner…

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Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Senior Content Marketing Executive

Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...

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