PAYBACK witnesses shift in customer redemption patterns due to Covid

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on August 28, 2020

Ramakant Khandelwal, Chief Marketing Officer, PAYBACK India

Customers opting for e-vouchers or digital offerings due to lockdown, other restrictions

PAYBACK, the country’s largest multi-brand loyalty programme, is witnessing a shift in customer redemption patterns during the Covid period. Redemptions are mostly towards e- vouchers and fuel-refilling.

Interestingly, redemptions levels are at 80-85 per cent of pre-Covid ones and are expected to improve as buying patterns change over time.

On the other hand, earning of loyalty points is still strong backed by the usage of credit & debit cards and (mobile) wallets, while other options through discretionary purchases continue to remain slow.

According to Ramakant Khandelwal, Chief Marketing Officer, PAYBACK India, the change in customer redemption patters were visible since March.

From redeeming loyalty points at stores, customers opted for e-vouchers or digital offerings, due to lockdowns and other restrictions. The trend started becoming evident since May-end and was more pronounced during the July-August period. Digital redemptions (e-vouchers), at present, are “better than their pre-Covid levels”.

The other segment that has gained traction is redemptions during fuel re-filling. This, incidentally, is the primary redemption happening in the offline space.

“There have been some changes with people shifting to digital vouchers of e-tailing sites. Fuel refilling redemption continues to be popular. But, it is too early to say if these are long term behavioural changes,” he told BusinessLine.

New categories

PAYBACK, with a consumer base of over 100 million, has tie-ups with more than 100 brands. Some like ICICI Bank, HPCL, BigBazaar, CENTRAL, BookMyShow, ClearTrip and Mobikwik are its “anchor partners” — driving the loyalty point additions and engaging customers on redemptions.

It recently entered into a tie-up with Thomas Cook (India) Ltd where customers earn loyalty points for every booking made through the travel company.

PAYBACK India also plans tie-ups with OTT (over the top) players. Market sources say OTT consumption has seen a spike with an 80 per cent increase in viewing; subscription plans are gaining popularity too.

Some of the offline stores are working on hybrid delivery platforms (omni-channel presence) which should help PAYBACK. The company is also eyeing tie-ups with cab-hailing apps.

Published on August 28, 2020

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