Is There a Real Value In Using Loyalty Programs in UAE?

Published September 22nd, 2020 - 03:00 GMT
Is There a Real Value In Using Loyalty Programs in UAE?
There are tens of loyalty programs in the UAE and they vary in terms of services offered and the brands they are connected to. (Shutterstock: Sergey Zaykov)

In a country known for its vibrant business scene and the availability of numerous brands and offers like the UAE, it's hard for a business to stop customers from trying the services and products of other competitors, which is one of the main reasons loyalty programs and reward cards are very popular in the country.

While most corporations work very hard to offer the highest quality of services or products to gain customers' trust, in a hypercompetitive environment of business like that of the UAE, customers are often tempted to try some other service, making the task of building customer loyalty more and more challenging.

For this reason, loyalty cards have gained special importance in the country, as retailers rush to present their "loyal" customers with the best offers and greatest discounts all year long, which boosts their sales and encourages happy customers to recommend their services to their friends and acquaintances. 

While some customers might feel a little suspicious to whether such programs are of true value to them or not, one can't deny that such cards are only useful in the long run, which means that only those who will be using their cards regularly will be able to benefit from the rewards offered.

For example, customers making repeated purchases such as routine grocery shopping trips, or individuals who travel frequently from or to the UAE can greatly benefit from such programs, as the points they regularly earn can be redeemed as discounts or special offers every now and then, helping them save money.

There are tens of loyalty programs in the UAE and they vary in terms of services offered and the brands they are connected to. According to many shopping enthusiasts, they would rather join programs that offer digital cards that can be accessed through their phones. They also prefer cards that are not linked to bank accounts because they feel safer about using them.

According to a survey conducted and published by KPMG in February 2020, when a UAE-based customer is offered a loyalty card they are 79% more likely to buy new or different products connected to the service. Additionally, 45% of customers with loyalty cards will not switch to a competitor even if they had a bad experience, while 69% of them will feel a personal connection to the brand from which they can shop using the card.

Amongst the UAE's most popular loyalty programs is the Shukran card which is owned by the Landmark Group offering points in more than 400 stores across the country, varying from the hotel, food, fashion, and electronics retailers, such as Centerpoint, Fitness First, and Max.

Moreover, Club Apparel gives customers the chance to earn and redeem points following their purchases from over 600 brand stores such as Aldo accessories, Inglot, Calvin Klien, Levi's, Tommy Hilfiger, and many others. According to many customers, Club Apparel remains one of the most convenient options as it doesn't require a physical card to register points, but uses the phone number instead.

Similarly, SnappCard and Bebuzzed are managed using smartphone applications, eliminating the need for actual cards to be shown following each purchase.

In addition to airlines and hotel chains, customers who shop at supermarkets such as Carrefour and Lulu hypermarkets are offered points cards, 

Do you have a loyalty card? How often do you redeem your points? Which offers are you usually most excited about?

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