Bakkt study finds shift in loyalty and rewards preferences toward crypto

Rick Steves

Crypto buyers and those with income of more than $100k are more likely to report greater loyalty enrollment in 10 programs or more.

Institutional digital asset platform Bakkt has released findings from its study of 1,000 U.S. consumers who are members of three or more loyalty programs, having uncovered the evolving nature of crypto preferences within the loyalty and rewards landscape.

The report, “Bakkt Loyalty and Rewards 2022 Outlook Study”, identifies aspects that attract and influence behaviors and demands.

The results of the study signal a new challenger to earning cash back among average U.S. consumers, the study found as cryptocurrencies are shifting consumer behavior:

-72% of those who purchased crypto at least one time in the past six months, are likely to redeem loyalty points for cryptocurrency;

– About half of crypto buyers are interested in earning cryptocurrency instead of points.

Consumer perceptions of crypto rewards appear to be favorably influenced by their relationship to cryptocurrency. Those who said they have bought crypto see greater appeal in crypto rewards.

Income level was also found to be a driver of crypto interest, with 58% of consumers with income over $100,000 saying they are likely to redeem points for cryptocurrency.

High earners are more likely to use loyalty programs

Nancy Gordon, Chief Product Officer of Loyalty & Rewards at Bakkt, said: “We’re witnessing in real-time the prominence of cryptocurrency in transforming customer experiences, including a rise in the demand for more flexible options such as redeeming points for cryptocurrency or instead earning cryptocurrency as an option. The ecosystem is growing expeditiously, and brands can be on the cutting-edge of loyalty innovation by introducing crypto rewards that offer the richer experiences consumers are craving.”

The survey, which was commissioned by Bakkt and conducted via an online survey tool in December 2021, found that crypto-buyers and those with incomes over $100k are more likely to use loyalty programs across major categories, over-indexing the average U.S. consumer in hotel, gas, travel, and finance.

Crypto buyers and those with income of more than $100k are more likely to report greater loyalty enrollment in 10 programs or more.

As for the appeal to crypto, 43% of U.S. consumers trading crypto do it for the long-term returns, while 35% see it as almost a “get-rich-quick-scheme”. The majority, 51%, also sees the value of earning cryptocurrency in addition to loyalty points.

Crypto buyer respondents cite multiple options for redemption, unlocking special loyalty statuses by achieving milestones across multiple programs, and earning cryptocurrency instead of points as their top loyalty program needs.

“Of the consumers who said they are not likely to redeem points for crypto, 44% responded that the biggest barrier to redeeming cryptocurrency is understanding what can be bought with crypto. Financial literacy and consumer understanding is the gap that separates consumers from trading cryptocurrency and taking advantage of the new ways to monetize and spend digital assets”, said the Bakkt report.

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