Lessons from Australian Loyalty Landscape
A study by Mastercard – Achieving Advocacy and Influence in a Changing Loyalty Landscape, that surveyed 7,000 loyalty program members, across the Asia Pacific region, reports that Australia is one of the more mature markets in the loyalty space. With 9 out of 10 Australians actively participating in one or more loyalty programs, the continent has cracked the code when it comes to engaging customers with loyalty offerings. In 2020, 89% of Australians participated in at least one loyalty program and the average number of memberships was 4.4. The statistics are impressive, but how do Australian brands successfully engage their customers with a loyalty program?
The report ‘For Love or Money 2020’ surveyed more than 1000 Australians. As per the report, most customers still find discounts appealing and it emerged as the most popular kind of reward. 92% of the customers said that loyalty programs enable them to earn relevant rewards that help to reduce the overall cost of living.
Australian brands design loyalty programs based on conclusive studies and hence the efficacy rate of their programs is quite high. ‘For Love or Money 2020’ also found that customers want rewards that improve the ‘quality of life.’ 80% of customers want rewards that can be recycled and 71% want to be rewarded for ‘healthy behavior’. 68% of the customers said that the loyalty program they belonged to enhanced their brand experience which is perhaps the key finding of the study.
Let’s delve into some of the most successful and inspiring loyalty programs in Australia along with top loyalty tactics published by the Australian Loyalty Association.
Lessons from Successful Loyalty Programs in Australia
- Forever New – The fashion retailer offers a free subscription to 18+ members, within the country. Along with the usual birthday rewards and exclusive offers, the program also allows its members to ‘Choose Your Sale Day’ wherein members can enjoy 20% off (online or offline) on a day of their choosing. The program also gives VIP access to members on special events hosted by the brand.
- Country Road – The brand designed a loyalty program especially to improve their connection with their loyal customers. Country Road’s Channels Manager, Paul Conti, says, “We wanted to find a way to better connect with our membership base that is responsible for about 70%-80% of our revenue.” The tiered program was conceptualized to take the customer-brand interaction beyond email communication. The loyalty program diversified the mediums and channels of engagement. The brand was able to engage its customers in a mutually lucrative barter.
- Mecca – With the entry of giant beauty retailer Sephora in Australia, other companies needed to offer more than just top-quality products to keep their audience engaged. Mecca’s loyalty program–The Beauty Loop–is like Sephora’s The Beauty Pass wherein members who spend $300 or more get specific rewards. While Sephora offers points, Mecca offers quarterly boxes of beauty samples, birthday gifts, as well as additional rewards for higher spenders. The program has been successful in capturing the attention of its audience and keeping them engaged.
- Comm Bank – Comm Bank has by far the largest credit card rewards program in Australia. The best part is that there is no expiration of points earned. They also offer over a thousand items that can be redeemed on their ‘Award Site’. The rewards include electronic gadgets, gift cards, appliances, and even cashback. Here, the members are spoiled because. for choice and if the gifts don’t appeal to their sensibilities, they can request a cashback.
- Michael Hill – A jeweler with a loyalty program is not something you often hear of. The Michael Hill Brilliance program has no subscription fee and is pretty straightforward. It also gives its customers an incentive to join the program by offering every new member a $20 voucher. Members get an exclusive discount, VIP access, and gifts on birthdays and anniversaries.
- Qantas – Like all other countries, Australia also has its version of a Frequent Fliers Club. With Qantas Frequent Flyer, there are many options to earn and redeem your points. Members can also earn privileged services after accumulating a large number of points, making the program all the more engaging in relationships as a business, competitive in the market with others in the same line, and rewarding to the consumer.
Top Loyalty Tactics by Australian Loyalty Association
In 2020, the Australian Loyalty Association released a list of top loyalty tactics for various industries. These tactics have a universal appeal and can help businesses globally. Listed below are a few of those important tactics that you might want to adopt for your business practices.
- Identifying the MOST Loyal Customers – By means of your loyalty program you can successfully reward your customers but it is important to identify and acknowledge them. Customers that have been associated with or purchased from you repeatedly, count as your most loyal customers and they need to be acknowledged and rewarded accordingly.
- Surprise and Delight – You can also occasionally surprise your members with additional perks or rewards that are not part of your loyalty terms. Small gestures go a long way in improving brand affinity and may help you develop a deeper connection with your audience.
- Experiential Rewards – Multiple research studies have shown that rewarding customers with experiences rather than coupons or gifts have a positive impact. Customers associate the experience with the company and it helps in boosting brand affinity, brand credibility, and eventually brand loyalty.
- Creating an Omnichannel Experience – An omnichannel loyalty helps to improve the overall customer experience. With proactive service, consistent messaging, and relevant information, it is easier to create a better customer experience that has a direct impact on loyalty.
- Trust the Power of Referrals – Combining loyalty programs with referral rewards have proven to be highly lucrative. According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising and with referral rewards you can leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM).
- Make it User-Friendly and Convenient – Most customers leave a transaction mid-way or refrain from joining a loyalty program due to the many steps involved. Simplify the process for your customers, make your interface user-friendly, keep steps minimal, and refrain from asking for information that is irrelevant for a quicker process.