As a retailer you often find yourself focusing on acquisition. And why wouldn’t you? Your customers are what make the success of the brand (the more the better, right?). But with brands spending so much of their resources focusing on getting customers in, they often lose focus when it comes to keeping them around.
Repeat customers are essential for growth; this is because repeat purchase is more predictable and help boost return of investment. The study of this brand loyal customer relationship often borrows from what we understand about our own relationships. Brands and consumers enter real, long-lasting relationships with each other, which need to be reciprocal and consistent in communication and value to survive.
For a marketer, there are so many solution options available, each promising to help secure customers and ensure their loyalty. And while they may work great individually having a series of platforms that don’t not talk to one another when ‘bolted’ together is far from ideal. This means that data is siloed and has to be interpreted by either an agency or by an in-house data analyst (and considering everyone is time poor, both options are not only time-consuming and reliant on other people, when you have tight deadlines, but can be very expensive). This also may require batch work and often means the transitional period between first post-purchase and second purchase campaigns is so long that it allows for the customer to become disengaged. This leads to a lack of efficiency and limitations in, not only how you hit your target but also how you win over new customers and keep them loyal.
“So...what are we?”
A brand consumer relationship, much like dating, involves courtship, a desire to impress, a desire to be desired and, arguably the most important, faithfulness.
With so many other brands out there and consumers spoilt for choice, how do we achieve the ultimate commitment; how does a marketer ensure that their customer is married to the brand? And in keeping with the analogy, while the first date is important, the second and third are essential in determining the direction of the relationship, and significantly if it‘s destined to be long-term. So how many of your customers are making it to that second date with your site? . Our stats show that after a consumer makes their first purchase, there is a 22% likelihood that they will make a second, and then after that there is a 43% likelihood of them making a third, and a 53% likelihood of them making a fourth. These stats increase with the number of orders, also increasing order value, reflecting the customers’ growing trust in the brand.There are 6 qualities you should be identifying lf to make sure you truly understand your database, communicate with them effectively and transform customers from fleeting first-purchase to longstanding loyal customer - and not sending them content that’ll swiping (and not sending them deadweight content that will have your customers swiping through retail’s answer to tinder (Instagram)).
Four steps down the commitment aisle: articles to help you succeed
- Have a clear brand story
- Advanced automated campaigns
- Recognising loyalty
Have a clear brand story
Customers want to be reminded of the value you add to their day-to-day over you competitors. By having a clear brand story, shoppers can continue to align with you, finding affinity in your branding or chosen tone. Although a more abstract element of marketing, understanding how you are positioned in comparison to your competitors empowers you to create more cohesive campaigns, regardless of your chosen channel. Learn more:
- 4 retailers proving welcome emails are still a smart way to tell your brand story
- The ever-growing importance of storytelling, (eve Sleep #Lifecycle18)
- 10 examples of great storytelling in ecommerce
Advanced automated campaigns
An understanding of the different aims each customer may have, will correctly arm you with the perfect campaign for specific customer journeys. By serving shoppers with messages that feel relevant to them, you increase the chance they’ll stay, spend and return time and time again. Learn more:
- 3 elements of an advanced automated strategy
- 8 automated campaigns every marketer should be sending throughout the customer journey
- A guide to sending brilliant welcome campaigns
- How to send a great win-back campaign
- A guide to browse abandonment emails in ecommerce
Not a term alien to any marketers, although knowing how to apply insight to truly personalise content beyond the basics still remains a hurdle for those without a suitable marketing stack and limited resources. Without the right platform it can be tough to know where to start, what and advanced campaign looks like and how to take marketing to 1:1 personalisation levels. Learn more:
- Personalisation at scale: how and where to start
- The power of personalisation: an email expert’s perspective
- 4 reasons you should be using retail-specific tech
- 3 examples of how to easily innovate and personalise your newsletters
- Personalisation versus segmentation: which and when?
Over half of customers are frustrated their loyalty is not being recognised. This leads to customer dissatisfaction and a higher chance of them lapsing. So before having to activate a win-back - or lapse - campaign, it’s important to know how you define your loyalest customers, acknowledge them and craft marketing messages with them in mind - even if you don’t have a loyalty scheme.
- How to recognise loyalty (even when you don’t have a loyalty scheme)
- What 16-24 year olds tell us about the future of marketing
- How to be better at recognising loyalty in your marketing campaigns
Conclusion: the key to customer matrimony
With so many businesses focusing their resources on customer acquisition, it’s very easy to not match the attention on retaining your current existing customers. With your existing customers providing the most value, via their loyalty, it’s imperative to make sure they continually feel valued. A true challenge is creating a consistent memorable experience that they see value in and want to align with. This, however, is possible to achieve if focus is given to four particular areas
- The brand story
- Advanced automated campaigns
- Recognising loyalty
Each of these four elements, in action, are the key to creating happy and loyal customers. Much like any relationship, without clarity, expressed value and an added personal touch - the coupling will be a challenge.