Study

Top 10 Loyalty Programs in Canada in 2023

Par 12 December 2023 Aucuns Commentaires
Une dame échange sa carte de fidélité à un commerçant

The 6th edition of the LoyalT¹ study, presented by R3 and Adviso in the fall of 2023, evaluated more than 80 programs with the responses of 10,000 Canadians. Discover the top 10 best loyalty programs in Canada in 2023.

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Table of Contents
LoyalT Score
2023 Top Loyalty Programs
Small Businesses, Big Love
Quebec and English Canada Are Not Similar
Missing Business Sectors
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LoyalT Score

As in previous editions, the LoyalT study uses a proprietary methodology: the LoyalT Score. Composed of three key indices – behavior, engagement and attachment – this unique score serves as a performance rate assigned to each program. It makes it possible to measure changes in members’ behaviour without setting aside the engagement and global appreciation of the program.

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2023 Top Loyalty Programs

All 2023 top programs have been on the leaderboard for at least two years. Loblaw and Starbucks have been at the top of the LoyalT for five years², since the launch of LoyalT in 2017.

LoyalT 2023 ranking, the best loyalty programs in Canada

The continuing presence of some companies tells us that they consider their program at the very heart of their activities. They perceive the program as a real investment instead of a cost center. This vision improves the performance of the top programs, thus increasing the polarization of the loyalty industry. While the best programs are optimizing their program, some will never rank in the top 10, or even in the top 20.

Today, top-performing programs performs A/B testing, optimize their mobile experience, try new features, improve their email marketing strategies and increasingly customize offers and contents. Every detail is important when you want to create a successful customer experience.

Ranking by LoyalT indices

Analyzing loyalty programs based on key indices helps identify their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it allows us to identify a player that was not part of the overall ranking, lululemon.

Behaviour
  1. Proxi Extra (Harnois Énergies)
  2. Chipotle Rewards (Chipotle)
  3. Domino’s Rewards (Domino’s Pizza)
Engagement
  1. Inspire (SAQ)
  2. Cuddle Club (Mondou)
  3. PC Optimum (Loblaws Companies)
Attachment
  1. Chipotle Rewards (Chipotle)
  2. Proxi Extra (Harnois Énergies)
  3. lululemon Membership (lululemon)

Communications score

Newly introduced this year, the communication score includes the following four variables:

  • Optimal frequency of communications
  • Regular consultation of program offerss
  • High assessment of content
  • High level of personalized contents and offers

The best programs on this score are:

  1. Proxi Extra (Harnois Énergies)
  2. Chipotle Rewards (Chipotle)
  3. Inspire (SAQ)
  4. Explore+ (SAIL)
  5. My V.I.PENN Rewards (Penningtons)

Small Businesses, Big Love

The presence of the Proxi Extra (Harnois Énergies) and Mondou (Cuddle Club) in the top 10 of loyalty programs in 2023 proves that consumer loyalty is no longer reserved exclusively to large companies. The smallest companies or the ones occupying a particular niche have the most chance to create a successful program because of the member attachment to the program and the brand of the company, which in turn lead to behaviour changes.

“Emotion is not an equation. You cannot buy it with points” – Simon Éthier, Adviso

Proxi Extra

Despite being of modest size (75+ locations mostly in Quebec), Proxi Extra convenience stores are at the top of the list. It also stands out in the key indices of attachment and behaviour, as well in the new communication score. Harnois Énergies was able to preserve its family, regional and community personality while evolving towards loyalty best practices and customer experience. Among other things, the company put together a team of data analytics experts that focuses on customizing offers, contents and emails.

Cuddle Club

With nearly 80 stores, Mondou managed to reach the third place in addition to standing out in the Engagement Index. In terms of member satisfaction, Cuddle Club program ranks first in Canada. Interesting fact: Cuddle Club is standing out while competition is strong among programs in its category.

Quebec and English Canada Are Not Similar

If we exclude the 4,000 Quebec respondents, the ranking shows some interesting variations.

LoyalT 2023 rankings in English Canada, the best loyalty programs

Already in the overall ranking, Starbucks Rewards is in second position, just behind Chipotle Rewards and ahead of PC Optimum (Loblaws Companies), which is third. Walmart Rewards is going up 4 ranks and is now in fourth place. This new position highlights Walmart’s retail concept as a discount retailer, which is particularly important in this inflationary period.

PC Optimum also has one of its banners performing very well: Shoppers Drug Mart is in sixth place. According to our experts, the high performance of the PC Optimum program and its banners is explained by the fact that in English Canada, the premium program and credit cards are more popular than in Quebec.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider and McDonald’s McMcDo Rewards programs are ranking at 8 and 9 respectively. Interesting fact: McDonald’s program is relatively new, with two years of operation and is constantly boosted by unique promotions.

Recently launched, the Scene+ coalition program ranks 16th in English Canada, while it ranks 25th in the overall ranking. However, Scene+ is ranked lower than its competitor Air Miles (12th) while it is ranked higher when respondents from Quebec are included.

Coalition program: A coalition program groups different banners from multiple sectors that have no connection with the program sponsor.

Missing Business Sectors

No sector of activity clearly dominates the top 10 best loyalty programs of 2023. While the high frequency of shopping visit can potentially improve some programs’ performance, especially in the food and gasoline sectors, the presence of Mondou, Chipotle, Domino’s, SAQ and lululemon proves that frequency is not the only factor in a program’s success.

In any case, we can observe some missing business sectors.

Pictogramme d'un cintre et d'un linge, symbolisant l'industrie mode et beautéFashion retailers

Despite the number of retailers that exist in this sector, the performance of loyalty fashion programs in Canada remains weak. All LoyalT indices indicate a low score. And yet this business sector has a great potential in terms of loyalty.

Pictogramme d'un couteau et cuillère illustrant l'industrie de la restaurationRestaurants

Except Chipotle (2nd), Domino’s (7th) and McDonald’s (13th), restaurants in Quebec and Canada seem reluctant to invest in loyalty programs. This situation strongly differs with the United States where restaurant loyalty programs are widespread in addition to being offer unique proposals to their members.

Hardware

RONA has left the Air Miles coalition program a while ago. Could this retailer return to loyalty with a new program or an already existing one? Our experts wonder why home renovators do not have access to any program while expenses to carry out their renovation projects are sensibly large.

In closing, it is important to emphasize that the quality of a program depends on its strategy and its development and that the business sector to which a company belongs to has limited influence.

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If you have a program and would like to know its LoyalT score, please contact us.

 

LoyalT Study, Top 10 loyalty programs in Canada and latest trends


1  Data collection conducted by Leger from June 27 to July 25, 2023 among Canadians aged 18+, selected from the Leger LEO panel
The LoyalT ranking has only seen five editions, although the study is in its 6th year
Hans Laroche

Hans Laroche

With over 35 years of experience in relationship marketing, loyalty program management, and development, Hans Laroche contributes to the relationship strategies of numerous companies, including Nespresso, The Royal Canadian Mint, Fido, belairdirect, Cirque du Soleil, Énergir, McKesson, and Desjardins. He has also been sharing his passion with master's students at ESG UQAM and the University of Sherbrooke for 30 years.

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