Interview: Paul Smitton talks to CMO about Supermarket Loyalty

Interview with Nadia Cameron, Editor CMO magazine

Australian membership of supermarket loyalty programs is the second highest in a global survey of 11 countries, according to research from Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM), a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company.

Seventy-three percent of Italians participate in a supermarket loyalty program closely followed by the U.K. and Australia both with 72 percent of the population. Australians top the nations surveyed in their airline loyalty membership with 39% compared to 11% in the U.K., 23% in the U.S. and 10% in Germany.

“Our global research confirms that Australia is a mature market when it comes to loyalty programs,” said Paul Smitton, Managing Director, Australia and N.Z., Aimia. “With such high levels of participation, businesses must use these loyalty programs to build meaningful relationships with their customers and deliver personalized communications and offers based on the information that their customers have shared with them.”

Other findings from Aimia’s Global Loyalty Lens research include:

• 87% of Australians are members of at least one loyalty program compared to the global average of 85%.

• The most popular sectors for loyalty membership in Australia after supermarkets and airlines are: department stores (30%); pharmacies (24%); and credit cards (22%)

• Eighty percent of Australians are willing to share personal information such as their email address, name (78%) and nationality (73%) with brands. Australians are less comfortable sharing web history (20%).

Smitton, who recently spoke on a panel at the Retail Leaders Forum in Sydney, moved to Aimia from Qantas, where he held the post of Executive Manager, Customer Engagement and Loyalty Solutions. With more than 25 years of experience in loyalty marketing, Paul has held a variety of positions across the globe including tenures in London, Zurich, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Auckland. Additionally he has an impressive track record of driving growth in new and competitive markets.

“As businesses try to maintain relevance with their most valued customers, loyalty management has moved from being a marketing tool to a key part of the relationship between retailers and their customers. Aimia provides its clients with new and innovative ways to create this personalized customer experience, and I am very excited to help them achieve this goal,” Smitton said.



The 2015 Global Loyalty Lens study surveyed more than 20,000 consumers across 11 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. While allowances were made for those markets where the samples were not nationally representative (India, Brazil, United Arab Emirates) due to demographic bias in internet penetration, care was taken to ensure the samples in all countries were comparable to previous years so that year-over-year comparisons could be made accurately.

Read more on the global loyalty market, coupon usage and softening attitudes toward digital wallets on our website: