Tag Archives: brand trust

Demise of Loyal Retail Customers in the Digital Age

Loyal retail customers have for long now given Bricks and Mortar (BM) retailers an advantage over their competitors. However, the advent of the internet and the subsequent development of the online shopping channel have changed the shopping behaviour of retail customers.

Although BM retailers have invested millions of dollars in customer loyalty programs, the convenience, speed and assortment of products customers enjoy online lured many loyal customers away. This is apparent with the closedown of thousands of retail stores, and the vanishing of well-known retail brands over the last couple of years.

The big challenge for BM retailers is to the get customers back to their stores. Thereafter, the retailers should have a strategy in place to keep them coming back. In other words, making their customers loyal again…

What are loyal retail customers?

Customer loyalty is according to PR Loyalty Marketing both an attitudinal and behavioral tendency to favor one brand over all others. This may be due to satisfaction with the product or service, its convenience or performance, or simply familiarity and comfort with the brand.

Loyalty is formed in four stages 1 – cognitive, affective, conative, and action.

  1. Cognitive loyalty – in the first loyalty stage, consumers develop value expectations and preference for one brand relative to other available alternatives.
  2. Affective loyalty – here the consumers begins to develop a liking or attitude towards the brand based on an increasingly satisfying experience with the brand.
  3. Connotative loyalty – the third stage, which is confined to consumer’s behavioral intention. The consumer has deeply held commitment to buy the brand.
  4. Action loyalty – is where the desire and intention in the previous loyalty state has translated into realistic loyalty actions or behaviour.

It takes time, money and commitment from retailers to get loyal retail customers. This process, mostly took place at the BM retailer’s store in the local shopping center. However, retail customers in the digital age can shop anywhere, at any time, at the best price.

So, BM retailers need to rethink their customer loyalty programs. They need to find out what “delights” their customers. How has the internet and the online retail channel affected their shopping behaviour in the retail stores?

Loyal retail customers in multi-channel retail

Retailers can nowadays rely only on more than one channel to do business with. As a result, most BM retailers adopted eCommerce to become Bricks and Clicks retailers. Online retailers, on the other hand, started to open physical stores to serve as showrooms for their products. Indeed, loyal retail customers need to be found outside the traditional retail channels.

“In the digital age, your customers have apps that let them search for products, compare products, review products, check prices, compare prices, and even buy the product without ever stepping foot in your store “says Tiffany Marshall. So what must retailers do to get their loyal retail customers back?

Media Genesis suggests that retailers do the following to get back loyal retail customers:

  • Build an emotional connection – whether it’s through exclusive content or rewards, making your consumer feel special is an important part of brand loyalty.
  • Personalize – you have your customer’s data; use it to your advantage! Make your content relevant and engaging by making sure that it is (almost) custom-made for your consumer.
  • Use your data – use data, analytics, and your digital business capabilities to go beyond just rewards. Use the information you’ve gathered to really analyse how your consumers want to engage with your brand and build a strategy to do it.
  • Create an active online presence – forgoing a good website and a strong online presence is essentially a death sentence in today’s digital marketplace. Most consumers prefer to shop online and not having an easy to use website is like excluding your brand from the conversation. It’s not enough to just post on social media. Create conversations, respond to customers, and help make customer service a 360° experience.
  • Merge your worlds – make the online to offline experience completely complimentary by identifying all of the crucial touch points you may have with your consumers. You might even see a return in foot traffic if the consumer consistently sees your brand attached to good prices online. When they need something in a pinch, your brand will be at the top of their mind.
  • Make it easy – as a business, you now have to prioritize delivering quality, enjoyable interactions with your consumers. This is the best way to build a lasting customer relationship in the digital age. If your web presence does some of the heavy lifting for your consumer, making it easier for them to reach their end goal, the quality of the experience will resonate and they’ll be back for more.

Concluding

Online shopping caters to the busy lifestyle of modern people, and its prevalence manifests the rise of the stay-at-home economy 2. Also, the internet, big data, the internet of things and social media has revolutionized the way customers interact with their retailers. I wonder, however, how loyal retail customers can be towards a chatbot?

Lastly, has the demise of the loyal retail customer started?

Read also: Personalization of Marketing Communication – not just for your Customer’s sake

Have look at this video: “The role of customer loyalty in the small business”

Notes

1 Kursunluoglu, E. 2014. Shopping centre customer service: creating customer satisfaction and loyalty, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 32(4):528-548.

2 Wu, M.Y. and Tseng, L.H. 2015. Customer satisfaction and loyalty in an online shop: an experiential marketing perspective, International Journal of Business and Management, 10(1):104.

Image and video

Flickr.comlynda.com

Offering Value to Your Customers

Many companies still believe that their customers exchange money for products that they offer. You rather should offer value to your customers…

What value means to your customers

Customers want value before they spend their money on your products or services. The common definition of value relies on the price-quality ratio of a product or the difference between perceived benefits and perceived costs.

To put it practically – if your competitor can offer the same value for a product or service as you do, but at a lower price, you’re going to lose customers.

What do customers perceive as value?

Perceived value comprises two complementary concepts, namely perceived benefits and perceived costs.

In today’s digital market place, there are numerous identical products on offer (e.g. cosmetics), with many at the same price. What will make a customer to buy from you instead of the others? Your products or services should provide superior benefits to the customers.

Customers may perceive benefits in the following ways:

  • Product features,
  • Product design,
  • Timing,
  • Location,
  • Reputation, and
  • Service and support.

Value is created when the perceived benefits that a company offers meets the needs of its customers.

Planning to deliver superior value to your customers

Companies that strive to survive and grow should know what the value offer of their competitors are to customers in the market as well as what the customer’s needs are.

A differentiation strategy with a customer focus will go long way to ensure that the company enjoy a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Visit www.ebizplan.co.za for more information as well as help with business plans and marketing plans.

Image: eBizplan

What are the Best Products to Sell Online?

There are thousands of products to sell online – but which ones are the best to sell? Here are some tips and suggestions about how to choose the best products to sell in your online shop:

Choose products to sell online that are different

Sell useful products that are not commonly offered by other online shops (your competitors). The best way to find products that you shouldn’t sell is to see what products are offered on eBay!

Be the first to market new, extraordinary products to beat your competitors to the post.

Sell only well-known brands

People are more likely to buy a familiar brand of product than an obscure product of unknown origin. A company supplying branded products will most probably offer better after sale service and product warranties.

Sell products or services that interest you

If you are passionate about the products or services, you will open your online shop much easier. Therefore, make your favorite hobby into a profitable business.  As result, people will support you better once they’ve recognized your passion and knowledge when visiting your website.

Sell products on price

Selling products online that are generally available in traditional retail shops and/or established online shops is very difficult. The consumers of those products have a wide range to choose from; they will pay the cheapest price, and collect them at their own convenience.

To open and run your online shop profitably, a lot of planning needs to be done.  Visit the eBizplan website for more information.

Image: pixabay.com

 

It Pays For Retailers To Please Their Customers

Retailers need to be outstanding in order to please their customers.

Overall, retailers succeed to please their customers

The Wise Marketer reports that the overall satisfaction of retail customers has grown 23% over the past six years.  They ascribed this growth to the increasing use of digital technology by Brick and Mortar retailers.

The onset of digital technology and the internet has given retailers the opportunity  they want. Retailers can now satisfy the need of each individual customer in a personalize manner.

Why are retail customers more satisfied?

Retail customers are nowadays more satisfied because:

  • They have more choices how to buy their products – in the store, online or both.
  • They have a larger variety of products to choose from, and can easily compare product prices on the internet.
  • Customers can either visit a retail store to touch, feel and try the product, If they are not sure about a product. However, they can get more information online about the product.
  • They are eager to join social websites such as Facebook and are not afraid to share their experience with a retail store or products with their virtual communities.
  • The outstanding retailers will be complimented and even may even enjoy positive reviews by their satisfied customers on social media sites.

Why should retail customers be satisfied?

Customer satisfaction refers to the degree a customer is happy about a retailer’s products and service.  As customers satisfaction increase, they become more loyal to the retailer and also advocate its brands.

The retailers are making more successful use of the internet and the interactivity that it offers to get more of their customers satisfied and eventually loyal to them…

Image: flickr.com

Online Retailers – Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

Online retailers that make promises that they can’t deliver are in danger to sacrifice the trust that their customers have in their brands…

The peril of online retail competition

Although the online retail industry is still young, retailers are already fiercely competing with each other to get the attention of online customers. Online retailers strive therefore to achieve a competitive advantage in their market by being more visible, accessible, faster, friendlier, and by offering the lowest prices.

Many online retailers, however, will find that to be better than their competitors come at a price.

Retailers that make promises they cant deliver may erode trust in their brands

A  report in the Wall Street Journal showed online shoppers were disappointed this holiday season by  retailers breaking promises to deliver packages by Christmas. A lot of disappointing customers – how will they react?

Online customers are changing – according to Chaffey and Smith they are quick to let retailers know if brands can’t their promises. Online retailers should take care to deliver the benefits they’d promised.

Retailers that do not deliver their promised benefits,may damage their brand’s reputations through negative word of mouth. The result may be a decreases in sales.

How should online retailers keep their promises?

Online retailers should know who their online customers are. Also what they want to buy, how much they are going to buy and when they want to buy.

Instead of promising next day delivery, rather add a couple of days for unforeseen happenings. Also, online retailers should communicate any problems regarding their customer’s orders and inquiries ahead of time. Doing this will help to reinforce your brand.

image: pixabay.com