The blocker effect is related to switching costs. The blocker effect works this way: The personal value equation of a loyalty program member is enhanced because he or she doesn’t need to spend any time and effort shopping around. And because there is no shopping around, there is no need for the member to be perceptive to competitors’ marketing communications. In other words, the member of the program “blocks” them out. Furthermore, the member is less deal-prone, or willing to succumb to a special offer or lower price from a competitor.
The blocker effect can be a function of switching costs—the costs of shopping around as well as the hassles of having to start a new program over. However, the effect can also be a function of relevance. Because the loyalty marketer has both information on whom the buyer is and data on what the buyer has already responded to, more relevant communications can be created and aimed at the buyer. In addition, because belonging to the program has value, any communication related to the program are already more relevant to the buyer.