Supermarket loyalty cards held by nearly 10 million Australians

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th November 2013

Half of Australians aged 14 years or older now have a FlyBuys or Everyday Rewards card, according to recent findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths now have at least 9.5 million Australian consumers — and potentially their contact information, visitation patterns, spending habits and product preferences — on file between them, according to Roy Morgan Research.

Despite relaunching and receiving a big jump in the past year, Coles’ FlyBuys still trails its rival, with 33 per cent of total consumers compared with 36 per cent who have an Everyday Rewards card with Woolworths.

After just three years in the field, in 2010 Everyday Rewards overtook the older FlyBuys as the most widely held loyalty card. FlyBuys remained on a popularity plateau until April 2012 when Coles increased the points-per-dollar and trialled the ‘my5’ promotion which—although criticised for its complexity—clearly helped stimulate recruitment: from June 2012 to June 2013, the proportion of Australians with FlyBuys jumped from just over 1 in 4 (26 per cent) to 1 in 3 (33 per cent).

However, Everyday Rewards has maintained the lead with a smaller, but still significant, rise from 32 per cent to 36 per cent over the same period.

“Although FlyBuys made some significant changes to their loyalty program in 2012 and was rewarded with a sharp increase in cardholder numbers, Everyday Rewards remains the more common scheme among consumers,” said Warren Reid, Group Account Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.

“Flybuys and Everyday Rewards provide the supermarkets with important information about purchase behaviour,” Mr Reid said. “Clearly, most consumers are happy to make this trade, providing personal data in exchange for tangible benefits via a convenient and easy to manage process,” he said.

‘Big data’ limited unless linked to consumer profiling

But Roy Morgan Research said the data collected by loyalty cards has limited use unless combined with broader consumer profiling.

“These loyalty cards can only provide information when scanned, and even then only about in-store consumer activity,” Mr Reid said.

According to Roy Morgan Research, people in its ‘Today’s Families’ category (young families in outer suburbs) are the most likely to have a FlyBuys card. These Australians are on relatively high incomes, but also feel the stresses of mortgages, childrearing costs and everyaday household expenses.

Woolworths Everday Rewards card growing in popularity