FREE | Read the 2020 edition of Sunday Times Loyalty & Rewards SA

Explore different types of loyalty programmes and see how some of the country's oldest loyalty schemes have evolved

04 December 2020 - 14:45
Read the full edition below.
Read the full edition below.
Image: 123RF/karandaev/Sunday Times

There’s rarely been a more testing year than this one for consumers, businesses or the relationship between the two. By now we’re almost used to reading or hearing about the impact of Covid-19 on our economy, but the figures remain appalling.

A United Nations Development Programme study projected GDP decline of between 5.1% and 7.9%, with 34% of households expected to move from middle class to economically vulnerable, and that recovery would take five years. Some predictions have been even less optimistic.

While it may be tempting to focus only on essentials at a time like this, for businesses, customer loyalty has never been more important than now. Because every cent those customers spend is important to them, they need to have a pretty good reason to keep going back to a particular business – be that discounts, special offers, the promise of meaningful rewards down the line, or even just the occasional moment of surprise and delight to brighten their day.

In this issue of Loyalty & Rewards, we examine the real value of different types of programmes (page 8), and chat to a cross-section of people to find out what they like and dislike about those they belong to (page 24).

We look at SA’s oldest loyalty schemes and how they’ve evolved (page 13), and how the smart application of new technologies can improve them (page 14). We ask if insurance schemes are missing the mark in how they reward loyalty, and what the alternatives are (page 27).

The hospitality and airlines industries have suffered hugely under Covid-19, so we probe how they can retain consumer loyalty and leverage this to get back on their feet (page 23 and page 20 respectively). As people return to work, business is improving for the taxi industry, which now has its own loyalty programme (page 19).

We also look at the success of the recently launched Checkers Xtra Savings and Wimpy Rewards schemes, which demonstrate the power of simple, meaningful rewards (page 28).

Ultimately, perhaps, that’s what it boils down to in trying times like these: keep it simple, keep it meaningful.

– Anthony Sharpe, editor

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