Marketing

Woolworths brings back Qantas Frequent Flyer points to rewards program following customer backlash

Broede Carmody /

 

Woolworths has re-introduced Qantas Frequent Flyer points to its loyalty program, after originally moving away from the points scheme in favour of offering discounts for in-store purchases.

Woolworths shoppers will continue to earn Woolworths Dollars when they buy selected items but in coming months, the supermarket giant will allow shoppers to convert $10 in Woolworths Dollars to 870 Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

From January 1, Woolworths shoppers will also have the option to earn either bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer points or bonus Woolworths Dollars via special offers contained in emails.

Last week, the Woolworths Dollars program was labelled “pointless” and a “waste of time” by furious social media users.

At the time, Woolworths said it was looking at ways to “increase the earn rate” for less typical shoppers and improve the rewards program.

Woolworths customers were emailed early this morning about the changes to the rewards program.

“If Qantas Points are your preferred reward, down the track you’ll have the option to get 870 Qantas Points for every $10 Woolworths Dollars you earn,” the company said.

“This will be one of many ways to trade in your Woolworths Dollars. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.”

Nicole Reaney, director of InsideOut Public Relations, told SmartCompany listening to customers should always be at the forefront of a company’s brand strategy.

“Woolies reintroducing Qantas Frequent Flyer points is a positive step forward for a brand that received a barrage of complaints from the public last week,” Reaney says.

“Consumers always have a soft spot for brands that are humble and can admit faults – and I think it’s always wise for brands to consider that in the way they communicate initiatives.”

Reaney says this announcement is an opportunity for Woolies to show it is listening to its customers.

“However big brands will always attract pockets of troll or hate communities – it’s just human nature to go after the big brands,” Reaney says.

A spokesperson for Woolworths told SmartCompany the supermarket “always wanted” Woolworths Dollars to be the centre of its rewards program, but has been in discussions with Qantas for some time given its old contract ended this month. 

 

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Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody is a former senior SmartCompany reporter. Before this, he was a co-editor of RMIT University's student magazine Catalyst.

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