Over the last decade, loyalty programmes became a norm in South Africa. Local banks and select retail stores have a variety of loyalty offerings.
The loyalty programmes are used to encourage certain behaviours among customers and to encourage them to remain loyal to a particular retailer. Banks have also been using loyalty programmes to encourage clients to use safer banking channels, thus limiting the risks associated with handling cash.
How your business can benefit
According to Sanjeev Orie, CEO of FNB Business Value-Adds, loyalty programmes are among the most useful solutions to help SMEs curb the cost of month-to-month variable expenses such as stationery supplies, travel costs and many other basic necessities by paying using accumulated points instead of money or by taking advantage of discount.
Here are Orie’s tips for SMEs who want to maximise loyalty programmes:
- Understand the mechanics of each loyalty programme – It is important to understand the mechanics of every loyalty programme you are part of, because some will give you value in the form of cash and others offer discounts or points. Find out what benefits you get on your current loyalty programmes.
- Adopt disciplined financial behaviour – In banking, disciplined financial behaviour is crucial because that is what banks incentivise. The same principle applies to most loyalty programmes. Why withdraw cash when you could be using your card at a fraction of the withdrawal cost, and still earn rewards.
- Use it or lose it – What is the point of stocking up on loyalty cards or signing up for a loyalty programme if you are not going to use it? Use every Rand or maximise every point you get in order to realise the true value of the offering.
- Behave like an ordinary consumer – The rise in cost of living has influenced the way in which people treat loyalty programmes and SMEs need to follow similar principles to those of consumers, who are starting to ensure that every Rand goes a long way.