This is according to a new Directivity and Citrus report, in partnership with First Point Research and Consulting.

In the report, the team surveyed 1367 Australian consumers (18 years +) and asked them a variety of questions on this topic, such as whether they purchase items they don’t need because of a loyalty program. 

Here are some of the highlights from the report…

Changes in the Australian loyalty scheme landscape

84% of Australians are currently enrolled in a loyalty program vs. 88% in 2013. But 59% of members say they are active in all of the programs they are enrolled in, a 31% increase since 2013. 

In terms of behaviour, 88% of members tend to buy more from companies whose loyalty programs they belong to and 55% say they tend to buy from companies with a program.

26% however believe that loyalty programs don’t understand how to communicate appropriately with consumers. 

What benefits do consumers want?

When it comes to specific benefits, people prefer either immediate discounts or a points-based system that allows them to redeem vouchers, products or other rewards. 

The chart below illustrates the difference between the 2013 and 2015 responses for these two points. 

Loyalty program benefits

Tiered programs that provide varying levels of reward based on different levels of spending (eg. Gold, Silver and Bronze memberships) are the least preferred benefit, with only 36% of members choosing this method.

Cards vs. Apps

Despite the increasingly digital world we live in, 67% of members say they would prefer a traditional card, a 10% increase since last year. 

Cards vs. apps in loyalty programs

There has also been a drop since last year in the number of members interested in using a mobile app to interact with a loyalty program: only 10% vs. 12% last year. 

Impact on brand loyalty

58% of Australian loyalty program members believe that brands need a loyalty program to keep their customers loyal. This figure increases to 71% when looking at those under 34. 

Results from the report appear to support this view, particularly when it comes to impulse purchases. 

16% of members say they have purchased items they didn’t need in order to earn or maintain loyalty program benefits and this figure increases to 26% for men under 45.