How do you convince consumers you’re worth more than just a one-night stand?
In 2018, eCommerce retailers are more than aware of the growing decline in brand loyalty. Fast fashion is thriving, cross-border eCommerce is on the rise and online shopping has never been bigger. However, with the perpetual growth of eCommerce comes a serious dive in customer lifetime value and brand allegiance.
Because consumers are no longer limited by choice.
Most online consumers consider themselves internet-savvy or tech-wizards, and the majority are more than happy to spend hours crawling search engines to find the cheapest price or best value for money rather than remain loyal to your brand.
Many brands still fail to encourage brand loyalty because they rarely strategise beyond the initial purchase. Retailers must understand how to use marketing strategies to convert one-time buyers into recurring customers.
So, how can retailers and marketers harness brand loyalty?
Enhance Customer Experience
Consumers shop online based on four key factors:
And most importantly…
- Customer experience
In 2017, it was reported that 89% of businesses compete solely on customer experience.
Monogamy is dead. As a business, you can be in denial about it all you want but the truth is, consumers just do not care about you in that way. They can and will hop on any opportunity to shop elsewhere. However, by making sure you’re the best they’ve ever had, you may just be able to trick them into coming back.
You can do this by including clear and effective CTA buttons, and chatbots that appear as soon as a customer has landed on your site. LivePerson states that 71% of online customers expect help within five minutes.
You can also make sure your site is mobile friendly (in 2018, this is a must) as Google reports, 52% of customers state they are less likely to purchase from a retailer due to a poor mobile experience. The mobile device also offers other customised opportunities that the computer can’t i.e. location-based integration as well as social media, SMS interaction and push notifications.
Provide Total Transparency
95% of unhappy customers share their bad experience (Zendesk). It’s almost impossible to avoid negative reviews entirely. However, brands do have greater ability to control them. Be the first to reach out to your customers to ask them for feedback. Then reward those customers who respond. If they leave a negative review, respond to them publicly and acknowledge a resolution.
Acquiring customer reviews and promoting them throughout your online channels fosters greater trust and transparency, which in turn will aid brand loyalty. Customer feedback is also priceless to your ongoing marketing strategies, as that rich data can greatly inform future decisions and enhance your overall awareness of your brand’s target audience.
Provide Discounts & Loyalty Programs
Don’t be naive. Perform rigorous and constant research on your competitors. Find out exactly what they’re offering and what their differentiators are.
Beyond that, offer exclusive perks to your consumers that will encourage brand loyalty.
A proven method involves utilising loyalty programs. Give your customers free shipping or access to monthly promotions if they create an account or opt-in to receive emails. Enhance the VIP treatment by providing exclusive access to new products, then capitalise on this by requesting feedback.
These programs don’t need to be designed as a one-size-fits-all, either. Deliver appropriate awards proportionately i.e. according to purchase volume and frequency.
Retailers can also increase brand loyalty by offering points to consumers beyond the purchase point; reward them for simply making it to the checkout page by sending them an abandoned cart email. Slip in a little discount (that only they can access). In 2018, this should be a tactic that all eCommerce stores utilise. In fact, consumers are smart enough to expect it.
Dotmailer reports that both UK (13%) and US (15%) consumers will abandon their shopping carts purely in the hope that retailers will offer a last-attempt discount to win the customer. Even more than that, around a fifth of consumers abandon their carts on multiple websites in order to find the best deal. Though it doesn’t guarantee your cart abandoner will return to complete the purchase, it does mean they’re less likely to go to a competitor because they found a lower price elsewhere.
Know how to exploit the customer lifecycle; it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.
Greater Personalisation Tactics
Make them feel special. Give them an intimate experience they won’t forget by providing personalised content. More than half of millennial consumers rate personalisation as one of the most important factors when deciding which brand to purchase goods from. This is just another way online stores can encourage brand loyalty; Virtual Incentives suggests that brands who personalise their customer experience are recognised by consumers as smart, unique and caring.
Brands can strengthen their personalisation strategies by implementing marketing automation tools e.g. utilising email marketing personalisation tags that can be added to both the subject line and email body. Promote offers using friendly, informal language:
- “You might also like…”
- “We recommend…”
- “People who bought this, also bought…”
According to Dotmailer, personal touches don’t just incrementally increase open rates, they also result in up to 6x more online conversions.
Implementing A Brand Loyalty-Centric Strategy
To be successful in 2018, retailers need to take an unabridged approach to marketing and focus on the entire customer journey. Brands must rise simultaneously with consumer expectations in order to meet demands and consumer requisites. According to Bain & Co, increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% could boost overall profit anywhere from 25% to 95%.
If you’re overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, acidgreen are your reliable, full service digital agency and eCommerce professionals. We use our own comprehensive business intelligence and analytics tools to identify our clients’ most valuable consumers and turn raw data into actionable insights. These insights then help us enhance the customer experience and consequently increase your brand loyalty.
acidgreen is an award winning eCommerce agency specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.