In times of online trading, strengthening customer loyalty is an increasingly important aspect. Retailers have to stretch out – but the customer also wants to be enticed.
Do you collect loyalty points? No? But you certainly have a loyalty card? And if you don’t have a loyalty card, then you like to use the discount promotions and buy three for two, don’t you? In German retail, advertising for customers is in full swing. Three quarters of all shoppers use at least one loyalty programme. And according to a study by Acquisa, this is higher than the European average. But how can the customer be made really “happy”? Are bonus programs and discounts really the secret of customer loyalty?
In order to get to the bottom of the question, various studies have examined and evaluated various purchasing factors in more detail. This has resulted in many interesting results:
For example, the experience culture plays an immense role for customers. Shopping is no longer just about paying for goods and taking them home. Customers want to experience something. According to a Walker study, 86 percent of shoppers are willing to pay more for a product if they have a special shopping experience. The way leads through the senses to the customer’s heart and is thus memorized in the mind.
And if the customer is initially convinced of the company, then he is, in most cases, also a loyal companion. He is the best critic the retailer can wish for. The customer delivers improvement requests one-to-one to the retailer and the retailer can therefore react promptly. If the wishes or suggestions are taken seriously, the relationship between the customer and the retailer is strengthened enormously.
Thus another point is found to the “Happy customer”: Service. Most customers are annoyed by telephone consultations or chat contacts. Waiting for hours in the telephone loop is perceived as annoying. If a problem occurs, professional help is needed and this should take place best in person. Those who know the contact person and feel they are in good hands will always return to their trusted retailer.
The retailer‘s interaction with the customer seems to be the key to success. If the retailer takes the customer seriously, knows his wishes and can respond to them, an optimal symbiosis is created. The customer feels comfortable because he is noticed and the retailer has a good feeling because he can also tailor his actions completely to the customer. The most beautiful marketing campaign is of little use if it leads past the shopper.
In summary, this means: customer loyalty is not = collect loyalty points! The real connection happens on many deeper levels. The ability to put oneself in the customer’s shoes and to take his wishes and criticism seriously is of far greater benefit than a pure marketing campaign. If the customer feels comfortable, the decision for a company is an easy matter. And the well-being feeling atmosphere does not necessarily mean that there must be a “lounge” or a “quiet area” in every company. Optimum visibility and easy access to the products on the shelf, no out-of-stock situations, easy removal and also an overview of the market are the simple tips that make both the customer and the retailer “happy” in the end.
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