Part 2 – Creating Loyalty with Customer Experience and Location
Go to Part 1
Cross-channel Customer Experiences and Product Shopability
In 2016, major brands like Walmart, REI, Belk and Target announced that omni-channel customers – or those that shopped across multiple channels – spent on average 2-4 times more than the average customer. Reports such as these indicate that brands are making strides by investing in Customer Experience initiatives that provide a more elegant and personalized way to purchase their goods.
However, brands are beginning to realize that creating an improved purchase experience rarely guarantees loyalty…and may just increase shopability. McKinsey points out how elusive loyalty is today reporting that a full 89% of people shopped around with 69% of the people switching loyalties to another brand. Capturing enough mindshare to ‘stick’ early in a purchase process seems to be the key. Leading brands are learning that consistently knowing a customer’s history, intent and desires and applying that knowledge across all channels early in the purchase process is critical to maintaining stickiness and ultimately growth over time.
Robert Wollan from Accenture Strategy added “Every consumer has a natural instinct around what makes them ‘stick’ to a brand.” For most brands, this is the new holy grail…identifying what it takes to deliver brand stickiness and consistently delivering that experience across all channels, all the time.
Loyalty and the influence of Location
To add to Loyalty’s stickiness challenge, mobile devices have inserted a new dimension to the equation…enter the customer’s Location.
Consumers are getting more and more comfortable using location to enhance the value proposition of the products and services they consume. And it makes sense; I know that the travel circles around where I live and where I work is pretty tight and those stores or brands in my circles, definitely benefit. If you recall my example from the prior post, I have found stickiness to the two brands because of the convenience of location and the product offering. Further, I engage with each in several ways across numerous stores, including: the drive thru, dining in-store, take out and on rare occasion, purchasing through their app. Yet, in the end, neither brand really knows me for the loyal customer I am.
There are a few emerging examples where brands have successfully used location to drive customer behavior. For six years running Dunkin Donuts has reigned atop loyalty offerings with a program that sends offers to nearby customers to drive loyalty and immediate gratification. Their program works beautifully for loyal coffee drinkers in need of their morning fix. But what about other location examples, like:
- sending an offer to a soccer mom as you have determined she spends 2 hours at a nearby field every Tuesday, or
- the woman who makes several repeat visits shoe department of a store one evening following several nights of browsing the website for a particular brand of shoes, or
- the frequent traveler, sitting at a bar in his favorite hotel after a work out in the fitness room and using the brands app to search for his next place to stay, leaves the hotel to have dinner elsewhere.
Yes, these examples all require location – whether you are seeing visit patterns on-site in a physical venue or travel patterns off-site, yet nearby. With the right location information, each of these customer journeys creates an opportunity for a brand to influence the customer to drive action and perhaps create stickiness. Without a doubt, location of all types has emerged as a new cornerstone to brand loyalty.
So, if the old way doesn’t work and new experiences encourage shopping around, where do we go from here? Next weeks conclusion, Part 3 in the series, explores how to building stickiness into your digital brand.