“Now is the Time”: Customer Loyalty in India

“Now is the Time”: Customer Loyalty in India
Mr. Akash Sahai, Country Manager, AIMIA.


  • 85% of smartphone and social network users are below  the age of 35
  • 45% of online consumers access the internet only through their mobile devices
  • 40% of India’s urban internet users report that their online activities influence what they buy, whether online or offline
  • Up to 8% of India’s retail market expected to be online by 2020
  • In India, Kirana and traditional retailing still continues to be the single largest outlet for sale of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG
  • 60% of urban internet users surf the net for entertainment, networking, business, education and shopping


The foundations of customer loyalty are created by the core drivers of:

  • Quality
  • Cleanliness
  • Trust
  • Service
  •  Value
  • Information

Nature of young, urban, Indian consumer; his and her attitude to life and their relationship with technology

  • Self-investment
  • Cleanliness
  • Trust
  • Born better connected
  • Value
  • Information

Reasons for discrepancy between awareness and customer participation

Keeping in contact: The lagging internet infrastructure makes it challenging for Indians to access

Tangible value: Millenials believe that they should be able to earn rewards in less than three months. This is a long way from the current reality.

Meaningful rewards: Loyalty programs need to better answer the “What’s in it for me?”  Question. Thirty-five percent of our Millenials and 40 percent of our Non-Millennials reported that relevant rewards would encourage them to join a loyalty program.

Multiple opportunities to earn:  A robust loyalty program proposition includes the ability to earn across multiple purchase points with multiple types of payment.

Working together: One way of closing the gap, is through the introduction of coalitions and partnerships — where multiple complementary businesses work together so the sum of the parts offer greater benefits than individual businesses can deliver in isolation.

Loyalty programs: for registration or account checking purposes to see adequate value from them.

Based on the findings of study, the following is an advisory on program development:

  • Keep it simple
  • Facilitate early redemption
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Be sensitive to privacy
  • Be open to partnership

About the Study

  • Aimia partnered with IMRB International to conduct quantitative consumer research in India.
  • Both online and face-to-face methodologies to provide a more robust set of data
  • In total 1,516 quantitative interviews were conducted by IMRB — 706 online and 810 face-to-face.
  • Fieldwork took place in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Guwahati.
  • The surveys were randomly administered to individuals aged 19 years and above, SEC A, B & C across urban India.
  • There were no specific quotas set for various age bands within the Millennials (19-29 years) and Non‑Millennials (30-55 years).
  • Online participants were drawn from IMRB International’s online panel of 150,000+ verified panelists.
  • The face-to-face also used the same questionnaire, converted into a Computer   Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) format.

“Now is the Time”: Customer Loyalty in India, Mr. Akash Sahai, Country Manager, AIMIA.


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Retailers Association of India (RAI) is the unified voice of Indian retailers. RAI is a not for profit organization (registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956), works with all the stakeholders for creating the right environment for the growth of the modern retail industry in India. RAI is the body that encourages, develops, facilitates and supports retailers to become modern and adopt best practices that will delight customers. RAI has a three charter aim of Retail Development, Facilitation and Propagation.