Loyalty Programs; Inequality; Privacy; Sustainability; Big Data
Big data and technological change have enabled loyalty programs to become more prevalent and complex. How these developments influence society has been overlooked, both in academic research and in practice. The authors argue why this issue is important and propose a framework to refocus loyalty programs in the era of big data through a societal lens. They focus on three aspects of the societal lens—inequality, privacy, and sustainability. They discuss how loyalty programs in the big data era impact each of these societal factors, and then illustrate how, by adopting this societal lens paradigm, researchers and practitioners can generate insights and ideas that address the challenges and opportunities that arise from the interaction between loyalty programs and society. The authors' goal is to broaden the perspectives of researchers and managers so they can enhance loyalty programs to address evolving societal needs.