If retailers really want to use their loyalty programs to drive up sales in 2017 and beyond, then they better give their customers the wheel. Asking for directions and understanding how to use the data map were among five crucial requirements that retail and loyalty experts provided when asked to identify the least-known or -understood aspects of retail reward programs today. From early customer input to assortment optimization, these observations might sound head-scratchingly obvious. However, resolving them could be a complex undertaking, which is why so many loyalty programs fail to retain member interest. Of the 29 loyalty programs in which the average U.S. household is enrolled, they tend to participate in just 12, according to the 2015 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census. That’s a 42% participation rate. Once that rewards app or card is relegated to the mental dustbin, it is likely to continue collecting dust, much like porcelain collectibles on the retail shelf. Ready to dust off your loyalty playbook? Read more at Forbes.