In its 2018 Loyalty Forecast, Fresh Relevance, the real-time personalisation platform, identified the four pieces of the loyalty puzzle, breaking down the touchpoints that create repeat customers, including: Convenience, Experience, Services and Communications. The survey of over 1,000 consumers was commissioned by third party research firm YouGov; the full report can be found here.
With an oversaturation of online and in-store options that can satisfy their every need, any slight inconvenience can prompt a shopper to turn to a competitor. According to the survey, 60 per cent would stop buying from an online store if the website was difficult to navigate and nearly half (46%) said a frustrating online experience hurts their opinion of a brand overall. More than a third (38%) are unlikely to purchase from a retailer if their mobile site doesn’t function well.
The Age of the Experience Store
Despite the prevalence of ecommerce, physical spaces to ‘try before you buy’ are crucial to a satisfactory customer experience. Nearly half (43%) of consumers want to physically try products in-store before they buy online.
Ease of Services
One way of attracting loyal customers is as easy as simplifying services like shopping and returns. Consumers chose the services most important to them when considering a retailer to regularly engage with, including:
- Free returns (69%)
- Free two-day shipping (68%)
- Free pickup for returns (65%)
- In-store returns at any location for online purchases (55%)
- Same-day shipping (42%)
To ensure consumers are happy with the content and frequency of marketing communications, marketers should consider bucking spray-and-pray email marketing strategies, considering over one in four (28%) are more likely to be loyal to a brand that sends messages that are tailored to them. However, calling consumers by their first names isn’t an effective personalisation strategy, as more than a third (35%) of consumers don’t find it important.
Effective targeting is key, as two in five consumers (41%) would consider not shopping with a retailer that regularly emailed them with irrelevant information. One in four consumers (25%) want to be sent product recommendations based on items they’ve viewed or purchased. A similar percentage of shoppers (26%) also want retailers to notice when they buy something for someone else, so they don’t send promotions or product recommendations for irrelevant items.
Mike Austin, co-founder and CEO of Fresh Relevance said, “today’s consumers – namely millennials and Gen X – have reached ‘peak stuff’ because they have everything they need and can access anything they want with the click of a button, shoppers quickly turn to a competitor if a retailer is difficult to do business with or treats them just like one in a crowd. Personalisation is the secret to forging repeat, long-term relationships – the key to profitability. Effectively using customer data to build out a tailored marketing strategy around the four pillars of loyalty (convenience, experiences, services and communications) will ensure that shoppers feel valued and satisfied at every touchpoint - resulting in repeat, long-term customers.”