Loyalty program insights: Flybuys remains Australia’s favourite

Coles’ Flybuys loyalty program has increased its lead over Woolworths Everyday Rewards in the third annual research study commissioned by strategic loyalty consultancy Directivity and retention agency Citrus.

To an unprompted questionnaire asking which loyalty programs were “doing a very good job”, Coles Flybuys was mentioned by 33% of respondents, while Woolworths Everyday Rewards was mentioned 13% and Qantas Frequent Flyer remained in third place at 6%.

The ‘For Love or Money 2015’ study, conducted by First Point Research and Consulting in the first quarter of this year, gained both quantitative results and qualitative insights from a national online panel of 1367 men and women aged over 18 who are members of at least one loyalty program.

Key facts:

  • 84% of Australians are enrolled in at least one loyalty program (down from 88% in 2013),
  • the average number of memberships is 3.8 (down from 4 in 2013), and
  • 84% of members say they buy more from companies whose programs they are members of (down from 80% in 2013).

Australia’s top 10 most mentioned programs (unprompted) as ‘doing a very good job’

  1. Coles Flybuys,
  2. Woolworths Everyday Rewards,
  3. Qantas Frequent Flyer,
  4. Virgin Velocity,
  5. Myer one,
  6. Priceline Sisterclub,
  7. Millers,
  8. Westpac Altitude Rewards,
  9. Commbank Awards, and
  10. Hoyts Rewards.

ANZ Rewards and Westpac Altitude Rewards were the top two programs rated as ‘excellent’ in response to a separate question comparing 25 randomly selected loyalty programs, being favoured by 51% and 50% of respondents respectively.

Key findings of ‘For Love or Money 2015’

  • Active participation has increased: 59% of members are active in all of their loyalty programs, a 31% incremental increase from 2013,
  • loyalty programs boost incidental sales: 16% of members buy things they don’t need just to earn rewards. Men under 45 are particularly susceptible at 26%,
  • retention is improving: member defection has fallen to 22%, down from 26% in 2013,
  • younger people believe in loyalty programs: 71% of members under 34 believe brands need loyalty programs to keep customers loyal (compared to 58% of the general population),
  • perception is improving: 48% of members believe programs have improved, up from 41% in 2013,
  • usability is improving: 12% of people say programs are too confusing, down from 19% two years ago. But 26% believe programs “just don’t seem to understand how to communicate appropriately”,
  • traditional cards win over apps: 67% of members prefer a traditional loyalty card, while 10% prefer mobile apps,
  • cash-based rewards are best: 81% of members want cash-based rewards. 68% prefer higher value rewards that take longer to accumulate rather than immediate lower value rewards, and
  • members seek rewards for participation: 53% want to be rewarded for answering surveys and 46% for opening emails (and that figure jumps to 61% for under-35s).

Top three preferred program benefits

  1. Immediate price discounts,
  2. redeemable points-based programs, and
  3. exclusive offers (this moved up from fourth place last survey).

Report co-author and CEO of Directivity Adam Posner says the research results tell a good news story for loyalty marketers.

“While consumers are telling us they’re more selective with their programs, they’re also more active and engaged.

“Brands need to work hard to retain that purse position. Programs that are simple, keep cash-based rewards and exclusive offers in the mix and more opportunities to earn will continue to motivate members’ loyalty.”



Michelle Herbison
BY Michelle Herbison ON 27 August 2015
Assistant editor, Marketing Magazine.