Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The retail fad of customer loyalty programmes has died, a global survey by Accenture found.

Accenture said its poll of 25,426 consumers around the world, including 366 South Africans, found "organisations are wasting billions each year on customer loyalty programmes that don’t work like they used to".

Of the South Africans surveyed by Accenture Strategy, 81% had switched provider in the past year, and 40% said their views on brand loyalty had completely changed.

"With millions of loyalty points sitting dormant and 79% of South African consumers retracting loyalty at profit-crushing rates, organisations must pay attention to the new factors driving customer loyalty in the digital age or risk losing customers for good," Dunja Kartte, senior manager for Accenture Strategy in SA, said on Wednesday.

Accenture outlined a five-point plan for retailers to win back their customers:

1. Tokens of affection: 67% of South African consumers feel loyal to brands that present them with small tokens of affection, such as personalised discounts, gift cards and special offers to reward their loyalty.

2. Get to know me: 55% of South African consumers are loyal to brands that offer them the opportunity to personalise products to create something that is bespoke to them. Furthermore, 88% are loyal to brands that safeguard and protect the privacy of their personal information.

3. Thrill-seeker: 57% of South Africans are loyal to organisations that present them with new experiences, products or services.

4. If you like it, I like it: just more a quarter of South African consumers are loyal to brands that partner with celebrities. Furthermore, 52% show loyalty to brands that actively support shared causes, such as charities or public campaigns.

5. Hook me up: 61% of South African consumers feel loyal to brands that connect them with other providers, giving them the ability to exchange loyalty points or rewards.

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