Monday, April 14, 2008

Loyalty: inside the shoppers purse

Vogue Australia's website forum provides an often fascinating insight into the hearts and minds of a interesting slice of Australian heartland.And a thread I came across recently gives us a sly peek inside the purses of what I suspect is probably a hard-core shopping sisterhood.For those seeking insights into the each of loyalty programs and discount cards, it's some interesting research that comes for free!

When prompted to empty their purses and handbags for their favourite or most-used cards, three were heavily mentioned - FlyBuys, Myer One and Priceline. No surprises there I suppose. For me, it shows that the Myer program has come a long way in relatively short time. And for Priceline, an affirmation of its place in Oz loyalty land despite my misgivings. What came next, or didn't come next, was of more interest. Clothing retailer cards are dime-a-dozen, and Country Road, Cue and Portmans stood out from the pack. But food-related cards were surprisingly prevalent, with the Boost Juice card the 4th most cited overall. The Dymocks booklover program got a few mentions, but after that it was the ones not mentioned much that was of interest.

The ubiquitous Qantas frequent flyer program rated only a handful of mentions. Is it not regarded by shoppers as a loyalty program? Is the overlap of heavy shoppers with frequent flyers that small? That had me guessing. Also, the various pharmacy programs were rarely mentioned. Amcal Club, with its million-plus members, barely hit the radar. Is visiting the pharmacy seen as drudgery, to the point that its hard for these programs to engage? The comparison of supermarket / petrol purchasing and FlyBuys perhaps suggests something else is at play? Has Priceline moved into Amcal's space?

Bulletin boards and forums aren't immune from bias and even viral marketing, although there's not much evident in this thread. Readers of Vogue may not perfectly match middle Australia, but their news and views do provide loyalty food for thought.