Qantas points are back and Woolworths is beginning its roll out of the long awaited (and missed) points scheme. A decision that previously saw the supermarket lose a chunk of customers could now reverse that cycle, or so Woolworths hope. Customers who used to enjoy saving money on flights by shopping at their local supermarket became disgruntled when the chain stopped offering Qantas points last year. In December however, the food retailer decided to bring the scheme back under a new three-year deal.
Customers will now have the choice to convert 10 Woolworths Dollars earned via the purchase of orange-ticketed items, into 870 Qantas points. This information was sent out to a select number of the supermarket’s rewards program mailing list over the weekend, but how will this change affect the chain's struggling market position?
At the moment a select number of Rewards members have been offered targeted discounts and the opportunity to earn bonus dollars from their shop with Woolworths Dollars or Qantas Frequent Flyer Points. If you have collected a large number of Woolworths Dollars then you will soon be able to convert those dollars into Qantas points within the coming months.
Market research has suggested that points-based reward schemes could die out within the next 5 years due to customers preferring instant discounts at the checkout. However, despite there being research out there suggesting that points schemes are becoming dated, that certainly wasn’t the reaction Woolworths received when it axed the Qantas Frequent Flyer points last year in favour of Woolworths Dollars.
It seems as if Woolworths now wants to give customers the pleasure of having both to choose from which could be a smart move from the supermarket. Rather than limit customers to one form of reward, Woolworths offers both instant in-store discounts to customers who prefer that and points to the others. This could help position the company more within its customer’s good books which would be a nice change.
A few of the reasons that many people are getting excited about the return of the Qantas Frequent Flyer points, according to Steve Hui (founder of rewards point management firm iFlyFlat) is "because it will be the first rewards program in the world to allow customers to earn the experience of having a shower at 30,000 feet, flying Emirates first class Sydney to Auckland for just $621 Woolworths dollars (to earn 54,000 Qantas points).”
When Woolworths announced the re-introduction of Qantas Frequent Flyer points, Lesley Grant, chief executive at Qantas said that for customers this would be, “a very popular choice for a lot of people, particularly those who are earning them in several ways”.
We Australians live on an island; fair enough it’s an incredibly large one, but an island all the same. Flying abroad is important to many of us who have family overseas and the ability to earn Frequent Flyer points can make all the difference to being able to see family some years and not seeing them at all. The fact that we spend so much money at supermarkets should mean that we have the option to reward ourselves with flying points to tackle this very issue. This is testament to the amount of flights that Qantas sold via its points scheme. Ms Lesley Grant said that within the first 6 years of the Woolworths Qantas relationship over 9.4 million flights were redeemed through the use of points.
We would like to know your thoughts on the matter. Did you leave Woolworths when they stopped using Qantas points, do you prefer that they now offer their own dollars or have you always been a Coles fan an this hasn’t affected you one bit? Leave your comments below.