Sixty per cent of Australians prefer to shop with retailers that they have a loyalty program with over the Christmas period, revealed new findings from Worldpay by FIS’ Generation Pay Report.

The research is a good thing to keep in mind for retailers looking to differentiate themselves from competitors this Christmas.

The best feature to attract new sign-ups to a loyalty program are non-expiring points, with 62 per cent of Australians viewing this as important, especially Boomers at 74 per cent.

Phil Pomford, General Manager for Global eCommerce, APAC, Worldplay from FIS, said loyalty programs have evolved tremendously.

“Gone are the days of the ‘punch card loyalty program’ where consumers need to shop at the same store several times to be rewarded. The biggest shift has to do with the immediacy and convenience of the rewards-redemption experience. Today’s consumers expect to be rewarded instantly for shopping at their favorite brands and to be able to redeem rewards immediately at point-of-sale or online.”

Features that consumers list as important are the ability to earn rewards automatically at 47 per cent, to track their rewards at 38 per cent, and being able to use their rewards at multiple retailers, also at 38 per cent.

Offering a loyalty program can now entail a wide variety of benefits including giving the consumer the ability to donate to a charity, which 20 per cent of Gen Zs believe is important.

“A brand’s loyalty program also cannot be a ‘one size fits all’. Different generations want different types of rewards and to receive those rewards through a different variety of channels. A personalised experience is key to attracting and retaining loyal customers,” said Pomford.

The major channels consumers are looking for loyalty programs are groceries at 75 per cent, travel at 51 per cent, and health and wellbeing services at 50 per cent.

As well as loyalty programs, 70 per cent of Australians look for retailers who offer a good returns policy.