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How can your brand unlock growth with the digital-first consumer?

Successfully retaining shoppers requires building lasting, meaningful relationships through establishing trust and enthusiasm in the brand’s purpose. Intense competition, a plethora of new inception points, and an increasingly fickle consumer makes nurturing emotional value difficult. Traditional programs based on discounts and points collection have lost their appeal, thanks in the main to demand for greater data-driven experiences tailored to the individual.

To appeal to the digital-first consumers, loyalty strategies are evolving to build stronger consumer connections and drive retention. Focus is beyond price and convenience, to prioritize more emotive and experiential features – like services and trust.

  • Shopper expectations of loyalty are shifting towards aspirations around a seamless process delivering real value across multiple brands and retailers. Time-poor shoppers need solutions requiring minimal effort for participation, but which deliver rewards with genuine substance.
  • The customer experience must be powered through data and consumer insights if it is to become highly personalized with profound relevance to today’s consumer.
  • To develop effective loyalty ecosystems, initiatives must be scalable across multiple touchpoints from physical to digital and resonate with an expanding series of shopper needs and values.

Effective loyalty engagement means shoppers are more likely to buy often and spend more per purchase. If rewarded correctly, members can provide honest and quality feedback, offering valuable insight into shopper behavior and deepening the brand-consumer relationship.

Marketing costs can benefit as members become brand advocates and share positive experiences on social platforms. Innovative programs can positively transform brand image and become a key competitive advantage.

Reward

A successful program provides more than an outdated points system by offering shoppers real value with tangible rewards and easy redemption. Successful incentives must be flexible and tailored to individuals. To avoid complex propositions, brands should focus on embedding simple, digital-first solutions.

Communities

Brand or retailer communities establish strong relationships around shared values and interests. This fuels the feedback flywheel, encouraging brand advocacy through social evangelism around common themes (environmentalism, fitness, style etc.). Networks allow brands and retailers to involve consumers in company decisions, furthering emotional ties.

Experience

Consistent, positive customer experiences are essential in building loyalty. High-quality customer service is a must, from providing memorable in-store experiences to exceeding on delivery. Satisfied shoppers will share positive moments with peers and return for more.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Feedback is vital in understanding shoppers needs and creating programs that resonate with target consumers and establish beneficial relationships. Listening to member communities, understanding what influences purchase decisions and being able to adapt to change will all enhance their experience and consequently, drive repeat custom.
  • Emotion is one of loyalty’s strongest drivers. Brands must fully understand specific shoppers’ beliefs and sentiment if they are to engage successfully across multiple touchpoints and elicit feelings of value for their shopper.
  • A genuine, lasting emotional connection can be built by providing a platform for a community of consumers that share company values and realize the true value in maintaining a relationship with that brand or retailer.
  • For long-term loyalty, trust must be established by providing consistent quality service and making shoppers feel understood and prized. This can be achieved by utilizing data within the retail ecosystem to enhance the holistic shopping experience and deliver personalized, meaningful rewards.

Key considerations

What is your experience strategy? Is it constantly changing and ever evolving? Are you allocating sufficient budget and resource to new ways to build and retain audiences? Are you extending the role of your brand, ensuring you’re able to influence the influencers in building advocates? Are you effectively leveraging data to empower your decision making? Do you know the new activations levers and influencers of loyalty? Are you able to identify where your loyal consumer is most active? What about your unlocking growth from your undecided or indifferent consumers? Our eCommerce expertise across brand, marketing, retail, sales, and shopper, means we’re ideally placed to help you confidently instigate initiatives that will drive loyalty.


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