Updated: Jul 20, 2019
Brand loyalty is evolving, and the emphasis is squarely on the consumers rather than the brands these days.
Customers expect you to know them better than they know themselves and to treat them like the unique individuals they are. This can be harder than it seems in today’s fast-paced world — gone are the days of shopping the local corner store where they know your name.
We now buy things from online stores where we have probably never met a single person working there.
Can customer loyalty happen within e-commerce?
It’s so easy to go from website to website that customer loyalty online almost seems impossible. However, there are certain incentives that keep people shopping at the same sites over and over again — things like memberships that give you free next day delivery, cross-channel customer experiences, and even just name recognition keep customers clicking back.
Today, loyal shoppers visit their favourite websites far more frequently than they would any brick-and-mortar store.
This surprising degree of customer loyalty can have an enormous impact on website profitability. We simulated the long-term economics of websites in various industries, and customer loyalty proved to be a crucial factor in profitability, even more so than for offline companies.
Small changes in loyalty alone, especially among the most profitable customers, can account for the long-term divergence of initially comparable online companies, with some rising to exceptional returns and others sinking to lasting unprofitability.
And the longer a customer is loyal to your online store, the more they will spend on future purchases.
Repeat customers create a snowball effect.
Not only do loyal customers spend more with each transaction, they also make more referrals than first-time or one-time customers. The longer they are loyal, the more referrals they will give your company.
So, what about the younger generations? Are they any different?
Millennials still report that they are as brand loyal as their parents, but their brand loyalty is often based on different criteria. Brands like YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are some of the top brands for Millennials, but they are also loyal to things like cell phone carriers and health and beauty products.
But retailers beware — Millennials care much more about your business practices and how you treat the environment than previous generations did.
How can you stand out online?
Today, 79% of customers say they want brands that understand and care about them as individuals. Customers assume you have detailed information about them from past transactions and searches as well as complaints and questions. The thing is, retailers probably have this information, but they just don’t know what to do with it.
Big data saves the day
Just having the data isn’t enough. You have to be able to know what to do with the data, how to sort through it and make sense of it. Then, most important, you have to know how to act on the data you have.
Keeping track of your customers transactions means you have an opportunity to brighten someone’s day — and gain a customer for life.
Your call to action
Start looking at your customer as individuals and tracking how they interact with you as a brand, from communications, replies, purchases, social media engagements, etc. Build your picture and how you wish to engage them to create loyal customers and their repeat business.
If you would like to know how, please contact us to discuss in more detail to get you on the right path.