South African Loyalty Landscape Transforms as Participation in Shopper Savings Programs Skyrockets Across Demographics

South African Loyalty Landscape Transforms as Participation in Shopper Savings Programs Skyrockets Across Demographics

The utilization of loyalty programs in South Africa, encompassing shopper savings cards, has seen a notable surge from 67% in 2015 to 76% in 2023/2024, reflecting a growing trend across various demographics and income brackets.

A recent “South African Loyalty Landscape Whitepaper” conducted by loyalty consultancy Truth & BrandMapp highlights a significant milestone, indicating equal participation of both men and women in loyalty programs for the first time.

Demographic Insights and Participation Rates

The report sheds light on the demographic distribution of loyalty program users, revealing that 55% of economically-active individuals under 25 engage with these programs, with a substantial 72% of less-wealthy individuals within the same age group participating.

This data underscores the widespread adoption of loyalty programs among younger and economically diverse segments of the population, as reported by BusinessLive.

Top Shopper Loyalty Programs

Checkers Xtra Savings emerges as the leading loyalty program among affluent consumers, closely trailed by the Clicks ClubCard, according to the findings of the report.

For mass-market consumers, the preferred program is Shoprite Xtra Savings. Additionally, Capitec Live Better stands out as the second most favored loyalty program among mass-market consumers, despite not being directly associated with a retailer.

Preferred Rewards and Consumer Behavior

Cashback rewards remain the favored choice among economically-active consumers, while mass-market consumers also value airtime or data rewards.

The research reveals a divergence in consumer preferences regarding reward redemption, with some opting for immediate benefits and others opting to accumulate rewards over time.

Notably, 47% of consumers express a preference for a combination of both approaches, reflecting a nuanced understanding of loyalty program dynamics.

Insights into South African Shopper Behavior

Wealthier consumers exhibit a propensity to engage with a higher number of loyalty programs compared to their mass-market counterparts.

Motivations for participation vary between demographic segments, with economically-active consumers emphasizing instant rewards, accumulation of points for substantial rewards, and maximizing rewards through increased spending.

Conversely, mass-market consumers prioritize the desire to earn more rewards, accumulate points for significant rewards, and prevent points from expiring.

Author’s Perspective and Recommendations

Amanda Cromhout, the author of the whitepaper, underscores the importance of understanding consumer preferences and behavior, particularly concerning point expiry policies, which can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Cromhout emphasizes the need for program managers to tailor loyalty initiatives based on consumer insights to avoid potential disenchantment among their most loyal customers.


The evolving landscape of loyalty programs in South Africa reflects changing consumer preferences and expectations, with a notable increase in adoption across diverse demographic groups.

As consumer behavior continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly vital for businesses to adapt their loyalty strategies to align with shifting consumer dynamics and preferences, ensuring sustained engagement and loyalty among their customer base.

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