4 Ways Rebates Can Stimulate Loyalty


Retailers have been using rebate programs for decades. Over the last handful of years, programs have evolved to adapt to today's always-connected shopper and rebates have remained a preferred promotion among today’s deal-seeking consumers.

In the current economic climate-inflation, possible recession and a lingering pandemic-these programs have continued to evolve. This flexibility is one feature that makes them so popular.

Need numbers? According to research conducted by Blackhawk Network, 83% of consumers surveyed said they found online rebates to be attractive offers, and the same percentage said they like to find rebates when shopping in person.1 Similarly, separate research we conducted found that across 13 retail categories, respondents said they preferred a larger rebate over an instant discount by roughly 2:1 margins.2

Many businesses use rebates to stimulate sales or bring in new customers, but may not think of them as long-term loyalty drivers. However, rebates can give you the best of both worlds—attractive promotions that drive sales, and the beginning of the customer conversation that leads to loyalty.

Here are four ways you can use modern rebate programs to support consumer loyalty:

1. It's a great way to get clean data

Rebate programs give retail you the ability to collect significant amounts of customer data through shopper demographics, purchase information, customer satisfaction scores and/or product reviews. Our research found that 71% of customers surveyed will opt in during the rebate process for more product marketing, and 80% will opt in for more rebate offers.1 This is beneficial for both you and your customers, as the data can be stored and used for future marketing campaigns to intelligently inform and market. Good data powers great loyalty.

2. Get loyalty registration during the rebate process

 Allowing customers to automatically enroll in a loyalty program while providing information required for the rebate redemption can significantly reduce your cost per loyalty acquisition. It also makes the process quicker and more seamless for your customer.

3. Rebates create an elevated brand interaction

Rebate payout has largely moved to prepaid cards or gift cards, offering branding possibilities. The fully branded reward comes with messaging reflecting back to your business, serving as a “billboard in the wallet” and offering the opportunity for spendback.

4. Online or mobile rebate redemption improves the customer experience

Instead of the traditional rebate redemption process of cutting out UPC codes, filling out paperwork and mailing it all in, modernized rebate submission processes allow shoppers to redeem easily, sometimes with just a few thumb swipes on a smartphone. Digital innovations in rebate redemption are making the promotions more valuable for consumers and businesses alike. This allows you to connect a brick-and-mortar customer with your dotcom, by simply leveraging the rebate experience.

Rebates can provide data, opt-ins and brand interaction, all while driving dollars back in the store. Together, these look like the components to drive your loyalty success.

Loyalty starts at Blackhawk Network

The best thing you can do to help fine-tune your rebate or loyalty program is talk to Blackhawk Network. We’re pioneers and global leaders in incentives, rewards and payments. Just click here to get started or call 866.219.7533.


1. Let's Make a Deal Study, Blackhawk Network, 2013

2. Where It's At Study, Blackhawk Network, 2016

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