As the new financial year begins, and with the spring Budget recently announced, it’s an important time to reflect on what the changing economic picture means for the retail space and its consumers. And, after coming out the other end of a tight 2023, in 2024 the promise of a gradual recovery in living standards paints a more hopeful picture for the economy.

Probably the biggest driver behind our sense of improving financial health is the gradual fall in the rate of inflation, and a corresponding increase in average wages. For the first time in a long time, pay rises have been consistently outpacing price increases, meaning that people’s salaries are stretching a little further.*

While economic forecasts may point to a tentative upswing, the scars of the past linger in consumers’ minds, spending could be slow to bounce back and the quest for value will continue to play a huge role in customer missions. Retailers, however, have levers they can pull: by leveraging loyalty programs and innovation in digital experience, they can capitalise on the shifting consumer landscape and further foster long-term loyalty and engagement

Being there for our customers

Whatever the economic conditions

Even amid last year’s inflationary caution, loyalty and customer engagement represented a constant beacon of trust and support for consumers. Nectar’s coalition loyalty model, now 22 years old, has stood the test of time, consistently empowering its members to earn and redeem value across their household spend. Over the last eighteen months, as customers have doubled down on value, this has never been more true. The Nectar customer base has seen double-digit growth through 2023 and into 2024, with the number of customers engaging with our Coalition partners growing, and as a result, a further increase in the number of points earned, as customers engaged with a greater number and variety of partners than they did on average in 2022.

Some of our partners have seen their highest participation yet. With customers continuing to enjoy the scale and ease of our redemption proposition, we’ve seen good growth in the number of customers redeeming with our non-grocery redemption partners, including British Airways, Esso, eBay, Caffe Nero and others, with an underlying shift towards smaller more frequent redemptions, as customers use the savings accumulated to manage day to day spend whilst also being able to enjoy little treats as they go. 

Digital experience is crucial for customers to access relevant value whatever their mission

With a similar growth trajectory in our digitally engaged customers, a key focus has been to improve our eShops platform, which further amplifies this value proposition for Nectar customers, with a significant expansion in the number of brands available, through our digital properties, from 350 to 650 and counting. This range of brands, in categories like Travel, Food to Go, DIY and Fashion, deepens the value customers can earn on discretionary spend, as well as everyday essentials.

Performance speaks for itself:

  • The first three months saw engagement with the entire portfolio of brands, and transactions across over 600 brands, representing approximately 90% of all onboarded merchants.
  • The revamped Nectar eShops has delivered three times as many points in the first five months as in the whole of the previous year, highlighting the platform’s growing appeal and value proposition.
  • We’ve prioritised speed of value delivery, ensuring that points land in customers’ balances within two weeks across an increasing number of brands, enhancing the overall customer experience.


With further economic turbulence likely and customer confidence rocky as a result, one thing will always remain the same: Nectar is always there for its customers. 

No matter the economic backdrop, we remain customer-first by adapting and moulding ourselves to the needs of our customers and providing value (with offers, rewards and, most importantly, loyalty) on every transaction, 365 days of the year.







*The Office for National Statistics states that, from November 2023 to January 2024, “Annual growth in regular earnings (excluding bonuses) was 6.1%, and annual growth in employees’ average total earnings (including bonuses) was 5.6%” however this may be expected to slow throughout the rest of the year. The average salary or self employed worker will benefit from reduced national insurance contributions. 


James Rickard
Group Partner Director at Nectar360

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