The average Australian consumer is missing out on more than Aus$4,000 worth of loyalty rewards and programme benefits every year, according to a survey by the recently launched Australian loyalty rewards aggregator, Perkler.
Despite 82% of Australians being members of loyalty programmes, only 31% was found to be using them regularly to redeem their discounts or claim their rewards. And, among those who are member of loyalty programmes, 56% said they save less than Aus$100 each year as a result.
A typical family (two parents and two children) who are members of standard loyalty programmes (e.g. Woolworths Everyday Rewards, a local coffee shop, McDonalds, Qantas Frequent Flyer, and so on) stand to save, on average, some Aus$4,100 a year simply by remembering to show their loyalty card with each purchase, and then redeeming their rewards.
Interestingly, although existing statistics suggest that most Australian consumers are members of about 16 loyalty programmes, the study found that the average Australian woman could recall only 5 loyalty memberships.
Moreover, over half of the women surveyed (52%) said they rarely cash in their perks or rewards, with only 32% redeeming them on a regular basis and only 15% of these taking care to schedule where and what they're going to spend their money on based on offers from loyalty programmes.
Australian men were found to be even less engaged with loyalty programmes, with the average man recalling being a member of only 3 programmes, and 55% of these said they rarely claim their discounts or rewards.
The key to this apparent lack of consumer engagement appears to lie with the ease of use of the programmes concerned, as 97% of respondents said they would use loyalty programmes more if it was easier to earn discounts and rewards, while 33% added that it is "too hard to keep track of the programmes they're a member of, and what the perks are".
When it comes to the perks that loyalty programme members actually do redeem, retailer discounts (such as supermarket, clothing and furniture offers) are the most commonly claimed (54%), followed by petrol (48%) and coffee shops (39%). Supermarket and retailer loyalty programmes are by far the most popular, with 75% of Australians being members of at least one such programme.
At the same time, 68% said they redeem points more now as a result of the current economic climate, but only 5% said they save more than Aus$500 a year by actively using their loyalty programme memberships.
Perkler was developed in response to this program, providing an online community that allows members of various loyalty programmes to organise their memberships and benefits in a single place, making it easier to identify and claim perks, earn points, and ultimately save money.
Perkler users can track more than 1,800 loyalty programmes and over 280,000 individual perks through the web site, ranging from airline frequent flyer programmes (FFPs) and restaurant discounts to retailer rewards and coffee shop programmes. The service provides details of loyalty rewards and benefits from national and local companies such as Qantas, Coles, Myer, KFC and Cinebuzz, among others.
Users of the service can sign up to receive personally tailored updates about perks that match their interests and location, reminding them of offers they might have forgotten or simply not heard about otherwise.
From the loyalty marketer's point of view, the programme offers an unexpected benefit, because it brings attention to the lists of brands participating in each loyalty programme or coalition, offering wider brand exposure and awareness than may otherwise be achieved.
Developed by two friends from Canberra, Dan Bisa and Justin Barrie, the idea for Perkler was conceived on a business trip when Barrie realised how many potential offers and discounts he was missing out on because the market was so difficult to navigate: "It was only after I thought about the thousands of retailers that offer perks, I realised there are so many offers that most people aren't even aware they're entitled to."