3Cinteractive (3c.com), a provider of mobile marketing services, has unveiled its 2017 Mobile Loyalty Progress Report, providing an update on how brands are bridging the technology gap in offering mobile-enabled loyalty programs to consumers.

Last year, 3C surveyed brand marketers and consumers on the landscape of mobile-enabled loyalty program offerings, and the report uncovered a distinct gap in what brands were offering versus consumer expectations. This year, 3C again presented its mobile loyalty online survey to more than 2,300 consumers and over 500 brand marketers, finding improvements in some key areas. In fact, 64% of brands reported an increase in loyalty program membership over the last year—and the majority cited the addition of mobile components as the biggest contributor to this increase. Other key findings:

° Mobile-enabled loyalty programs continue to influence purchase behavior: 59% in 2016 vs. 62% in 2017.

° Too much information required to deter consumers from signing up: 67% in 2016 vs. 62% in 2017.

°  Consumers want the sign-up process for mobile loyalty programs to be simplified: 72% in 2016 vs. 66% in 2017.

° The addition of mobile functionality means brands have seen an increase in memberships: 34% in 2016 vs. 64% in 2017.

° Consumers said they prefer to receive loyalty program communications via SMS, and brands have increased usage of that channel: 21% in 2016 vs. 27% in 2017.

° Brands that lack IT infrastructure to implement a mobile loyalty program are still struggling: 71% in 2016 vs. 81% in 2017.

Additionally, the report discusses consumer demand for mobile-enabled loyalty programs to be more integrated with chatbots and intelligent assistants such as Siri and Alexa, as well as more custom features like personalized content and offers.

“We saw distinct evidence last year that brands should be more aggressive in their march toward offering mobile-enabled loyalty programs, and we see even more reason to do so in this year’s report,” said Margie Kupfer, vice president of Marketing at 3Cinteractive. “It’s clear that brands without the willingness and needed skillsets to build these programs will see a significant competitive disadvantage going forward. Consumers today expect a seamless online to offline experience and to use their loyalty benefits via their smartphone.”