If you were wondering where South African consumers stand with loyalty programmes, rest assured that the number of people signing up for loyalty programmes has continued to increase since 2015. The weak rand together with the political instability of the country has lead consumers to be very thrifty with their money and selective about where they choose to spend.

We have seen demand for loyalty grow, with 8% more customers using loyalty programmes in 2017. This emphasizes the need for companies to evolve and differentiate their loyalty offering to retain their existing customer base.

2017 Loyalty Trends

In the 2017 edition of our Truth Loyalty Whitepaper, we explored the expansion of loyalty programmes, both internationally and within the South African consumer landscape. Interestingly, this surge in available loyalty programmes has resulted in a more discerning customer reaction, with customers using loyalty more, yet joining fewer programmes than in previous years.

Loyalty programme participation and consumer behaviour

The Truth Loyalty whitepaper discusses customers’ attitudes and perceptions regarding loyalty programmes and explores the factors which influence their loyalty programme participation and behaviour.

Insights derived about the current state of loyalty in South Africa were derived using results from WhyFive’s BrandMapp 2017 survey. BrandMapp is South Africa’s largest independent annual survey created using the responses of 28 273 people, answering 270 questions relating to product usage, loyalty programmes, shopping habits and media consumption, across 820 brands and 130 categories.

Tracking loyalty usage data

BrandMapp focuses on profiling, describing and identifying the needs, perceptions and behaviour of respondents, whilst Truth examines and unpacks the insights from a loyalty perspective.

Through exploring this year’s data, it has become evident that businesses need to sharpen their loyalty offering, as customers seek simplicity in a cluttered loyalty environment.

To compare changes year-on-year we look at metrics such as overall loyalty usage (across age and gender), as well as views on the importance of loyalty, attitudes towards loyalty and the number of loyalty programmes to which consumers belong. In addition, we explore customers’ perceptions towards loyalty and how they engage with loyalty programmes. Any changes year-on-year tell a story about customers’ feelings towards loyalty and how this has affected their behaviour.

The good news for companies that currently have loyalty programmes, or those looking to enter the loyalty market, is that:

Overall loyalty usage in South Africa increased by 8% points from 2016 to 2017.

This makes the new percentage of consumers using loyalty programmes, a significant, 79%.

Read our whitepaper South African Loyalty Landscape to gain a more comprehensive understanding of our research and how it affects your company’s loyalty programme going forward.