Pick n Pay Smart Shopper regains the title of most used loyalty programme in South Africa, with 80% of South Africans using the Smart Shopper programme in 2021. 

It has shown the biggest increase across all retailers in the BrandMapp survey with 22% more SA consumers using the Pick n Pay Smart Shopper programme versus 2019.

Clicks ClubCard loyalty programme takes second place after three consecutive years in the top spot.

This is according to the latest findings of the comprehensive 2021 Truth & BrandMapp South African Loyalty Whitepaper

The whitepaper analyses the changing consumer attitudes towards loyalty programmes in South Africa and further deep dives into demographic differences, plus any other factors influencing loyalty usage. 

The BrandMapp’s consumer insights research has uniquely captured the opinions of over 33,000 South Africans, with a household income of more than R10,000 a month. 

Whilst this may be 30% of the South African population, it represents 100% of the country’s tax-paying base and 80% of all consumer spend.

“Historically, Smart Shopper has seen a sales participation of approximately 63% and we increased this to 75% during our last fiscal. 

“Smart Shopper had its most successful year ever last year and we believe we achieved this by giving our members what they really needed, when they needed it,” comments Pick n Pay’s head of loyalty and strategic partnerships, Melissa Hanley

“The intentional strategy of Smart Prices drove massive demand amongst our members and we consider this a significant gain on our value proposition.

“In addition, we continue to invest in key partnerships which provide further opportunities for Smart Shoppers to earn points and boost their cashback even further – again helping them save even more money and realise the value of the Smart Shopper offer.,” comments Pick n Pay’s head of loyalty and strategic partnerships, Melissa Hanley.

While Clicks Club Card & Pick n Pay Smart Shopper have occupied the top spot over the past 6 years, Dis-Chem Benefit finds itself in third position once again.

Loyalty newcomer, Checkers Xtra Savings has been in the market for less than 2 years and has confidently taken the 4th position of most used programmes, while Shoprite Xtra Savings, which is less than 1 year old, sees 25% of South Africans using its loyalty programme. 

FNB eBucks has always been the top non-retail loyalty brand in terms of usage over the past 6 years. When asked the million dollar question: ‘if you can only keep one loyalty programme, which one would you keep?’, SA consumers chose FNB eBucks as the one loyalty programme they cannot live without.

The majority of South Africans claim that their absolute preferred loyalty programme sits within the financial services sector as they value financial rewards/cash equivalent benefits

The dominance of financial services shows just how well they are integrating loyalty and rewards into their core businesses. 

Overall, the 2021 Truth & BrandMapp Loyalty Whitepaper reveals that 74% of South Africans are using loyalty programmes. This is a slight increase since 2019 of 2% points. What is significant is that the number of loyalty programmes which South Africans belong to has increased to 8.7 programmes on average. 

The whitepaper also shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has flattened the gender curve for loyalty programme usage as males are now using loyalty programmes more and at a higher rate than females in the country do to shared household purchases.

Cashback dominates as it has every year, as all ages, income and genders regard it as the number one loyalty benefit of choice

67% of South African consumers enjoying this as their number 1 loyalty benefit and 48% enjoying discount vouchers as their second favourite benefit. 

“Cash has never been more important than right now and throughout the past year in economically challenging times. Cash-strapped South Africans have used their loyalty programme benefits to survive,” notes Amanda Cromhout, whitepaper author, CEO of Truth.

With contactless ‘everything’ being the presumably preferred means to operate in a Covid-19 ‘new normal’ world, it was surprising that a total of 76% of consumers were found to prefer swiping a plastic loyalty card over identifying themselves via apps.

Cromhout concludes: “For loyalty brands, there is actually a very positive shift as consumers need loyalty programmes more and the winners are those brands which have deeply helped their consumers traverse the economic difficulties facing them.

“Like never before has the need to know and understand your customer been more of a strategic imperative. Loyalty programmes give a company permission to get to know its customers and to engage with its most valuable asset – i.e. its loyalty customer. 

“During the troubled months of the pandemic, it is undoubtedly loyal customers who have helped businesses survive.”