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Flybuys loyalty program to stop

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Flybuys, a popular loyalty program since 1996, is set to close on October 31. Despite efforts to update its image, the program could not keep up with the evolving preferences of shoppers who found other loyalty programs more rewarding and easier to use. Flybuys, once boasting 2.7 million members in 2020, now has about 1.8 million active members.

The program, known for giving rewards like toasters, faced criticism for taking too long to accumulate points unless members spent a lot. Younger consumers saw it as outdated, and despite a 2020 relaunch aimed at offering more flexible rewards, many of these issues persisted. Retail experts note that other programs simplified their offerings and tailored rewards more effectively.

In 2020, New World, a major Flybuys partner, allowed customers to collect New World dollars on their Clubcards instead of Flybuys points. This shift reflected a broader trend of retailers creating their own in-house loyalty schemes rather than participating in third-party programs like Flybuys.

Advances in technology have made it easier for retailers to develop their own loyalty programs, which can collect and use data more efficiently. Flybuys’ model of sharing data for a fee has become less appealing as retailers can now gather this information independently.

University of Auckland’s Laszlo Sajtos pointed out that people are now using digital wallets instead of carrying physical loyalty cards. Modern consumers prefer instant rewards, which Flybuys did not provide, leading to a decline in its appeal.

New World will continue to offer New World dollars through its Clubcard scheme after Flybuys ends. This change ensures that customers can still earn rewards when shopping at New World, reflecting the shift towards more immediate and flexible loyalty program offerings.

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