Clicks, FNB, Shoprite and Capitec rule the loyalty rewards space
Loyalty programmes date as far back as 1793 when American retailers would hand out copper coins to customers after a purchase, and these coins were then redeemed on the next purchase.
Of course, in the more than 200 years since, loyalty programmes have grown in leaps and bounds. Retailers now make extensive use of them to mine valuable consumer data while rewarding consumers with much-needed discounts and savings.
Most recently, the 2022 South African Loyalty Awards, hosted by Truth loyalty consultancy, recognised some of the leading loyalty programmes in the country, including the oldest — Clicks ClubCard — and the best long-term programme, FNB’s eBucks.
According to the Truth & Brandmapp Loyalty Whitepaper published a year ago, 74% of economically active South Africans use loyalty programmes, and each consumer uses eight to nine programmes to maximise their economic benefits.
The loyalty awards recognised programmes across 14 categories. The Shoprite group took top prize in the retail category with its Xtra Savings loyalty programme, which saved more than nine million members a whopping R9.4-billion in the year to July, with more than 1,800 swipes per minute.
Launched in October 2019, the loyalty programme has seen remarkable success which, perhaps, can be attributed to its simplicity — the card is free and you swipe it when you purchase. There are no hoops for customers to jump through, no minimum spend required and, once you have used the card for a period of time, you receive personalised vouchers, based on your spending patterns. Savings or discounts are applied automatically at the till point.
On the financial services side, Capitec took the top prize with its Live Better programme, which has 9.5 million registered active users and a target to save customers R1-billion by the end of the current financial year.
Chief executive of Live Better, Kelly Goldsworthy, says the programme’s biggest goal is to grow a strong savings culture in South Africa while combating the rising cost of living.
“Since launching our banking rewards in March 2022, we have seen a distinct shift in card spend, with qualifying clients increasing their card transactions by 34%, with a further move into digital payments which have increased by 50%.
“In addition, both recurring payments and products per client have increased in the same period,” she says.
Looking ahead, Capitec’s key focus areas will include an integrated gamified digital journey that is driven by the consumer’s behaviour.
Launched in June 2021, the Live Better savings account saw more than seven million clients earn savings of R639-million by the following June. This breaks down as follows:
- Client’s own savings (Save Better tools): R482-million.
- Partner cashback (Spend Better partners): R71.5-million.
- Banking cashback (Bank Better rewards): R43.8-million.
- In addition, partner discounts accumulated to R31-million.
Staying in the banking sector, First National Bank’s popular eBucks programme was named the best long-term programme of the year and won the award for the most innovative use of technology for the fourth consecutive year.
Johan Moolman, eBucks Rewards chief executive, says the accolades are a testament to the bank’s pioneering efforts to provide customers with meaningful rewards to help their money go further.
“We have demonstrated the impact of our programme on the lives of our customers over the last 20 years, and we continue to evolve our approach to align with customer needs and our behavioural objectives,” he says.
Since inception, eBucks has paid out more than R17-billion in rewards and is playing a crucial role in helping customers with high costs for fuel, groceries and travel by providing additional benefits.
The oldest retail loyalty programme in the country, Clicks ClubCard, was awarded “Best short-term loyalty marketing campaign” and “Best use of multichannel loyalty communication”.
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It remains one of the most used loyalty programmes, with more than 9.7 million members, growing by 600,000 new members in the past year alone. Since inception, Clicks ClubCard members have received more than R5.5-billion in cashback rewards.
The reason for the programme’s sustained growth and longevity is its transparency, simplicity and easily redeemable rewards, says Clicks head of marketing, Melanie van Rooy.
The programme’s wide range of affinity partners include Engen, Discovery Vitality, eBucks, Sorbet, ARC Store and Specsavers.
Recent innovations on the Clicks ClubCard journey include personalised digital and online experiences, personalised ClubCard deals on the Clicks app, the ability to obtain a digital card via WhatsApp and a vertical digital card for better visibility on smartphones.
Interestingly, the availability of digital channels has resulted in almost 10% digital enrolment. BM/DM