A new Juniper Research study has found the number of digital loyalty programme memberships will exceed 32 billion globally by 2026, up from 24 billion in 2022; representing growth of 33%.
Juniper Research defines a digital loyalty programme as a solution comprising traditional customer satisfaction aspects, combined with digital technologies; utilising personalisation and proactive engagement.
Critical to Customer Retention
The research identified digital loyalty programmes as critical to customer retention within highly competitive verticals, in particular in the grocery and QSR (Quick Service Restaurants) areas. To date, innovation has been constrained to the largest vendors in these verticals. However, the proliferation of digital loyalty vendors means that smaller businesses now have access to digital loyalty platforms. To take advantage of this opportunity to improve customer loyalty, the report recommends that digital loyalty vendors must provide the ability to customise and personalise all aspects of the communication and checkout processes.
Traditional Loyalty Cards Stagnate
The research estimates that growth is slowing in the loyalty cards market, as loyalty programmes switch to be digital focused. It forecasts that the loyalty cards market will stagnate, with growth in the number of cards in circulation of only 5% between 2022 and 2026; reaching 7.6 billion in 2026 globally.
Research co-author Nick Maynard explained: “Digital engagement and personalisation using AI means that traditional loyalty cards are no longer wholly necessary. Traditional loyalty card vendors must pivot towards digital solutions as an urgent priority, or they will lose out.”
Partnerships Key to Differentiation
In a highly competitive market such as digital loyalty, technology is fairly standard at this stage of market development. Accordingly, partnerships are coming to the fore as differentiators. Platform providers must focus on identifying and agreeing the most valuable partnerships, in order to make their ecosystems appealing.
IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected
The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.
Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.
IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.
Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.
Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.
The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.
While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.
Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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