The ability to keep your customers coming back is crucial for your bottom line. After all, it’s cheaper to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one.
According to a Bain and Company study, increasing customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can lead to a 25 percent to 95 percent increase in profit.
Despite this evidence, only 18 percent of companies make retention a top priority.
Brand loyalty was common several decades ago. Upon having a good experience with a product, consumers tended to stick with the same brand with the assumption that they would have a good experience with another product from the same brand.
But fast-forward to the information age, is brand loyalty dying?
The internet has given rise to an over-saturated market where consumers are spoilt with choice. Shoppers simply have to head over to one of many price comparison websites to discover where they can find a desired product for the cheapest price.
Adding to this is the availability of user reviews and social media. Now, if you want to find out if a new phone model is any good you can watch product reviews on YouTube from real people with real experiences with the product. Consumers no longer need the brand name as a guarantor of quality.
Is technology the key to brand loyalty?
In the constantly evolving consumer market, technology can be a key differentiator for businesses wanting to enhance brand loyalty.
While many companies have already established technology as the perfect answer to decreasing brand loyalty, many others are still sitting on the fence, waiting to see how their competitors fare.
But, in order to raise their profile against competition and ensure customers come back, businesses simply can’t afford to wait around.
Here are three ways marketers can leverage technology to help build brand loyalty.
Providing your customer with a personalized experience
Many brands are using artificial intelligence (AI) to extract valuable insights about a customers behavior from data. Such insights allow brands to deliver personalized, targeted messaging to each individual customer.
Research has shown that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers some kind of personalization.
Thus, the need for companies to gather insights from their customer behavior in order to deliver a more value to customers in a crucial need in the development of brand loyalty.
It’s all about understanding the current needs and wants of your customers, and being able to respond to them as quickly as possible.
Creating a memorable experience
A key to ensuring customers come back is to create a memorable experience for them. And to do this, businesses can leverage the latest technologies.
Many brands are looking to raise customer engagement through the use of VR technology. It is being used in multiple ways to improve the customer journey both instore and out.
On Singles Day, one of China’s biggest shopping holidays, e-commerce giant Alibaba allowed consumers to virtually shop through a VR headset.
In the comfort of their own homes, shoppers could wander the aisles of Macy’s virtual store, take a close look at products, and make a purchase simply by looking.
The e-commerce giant is also leading the way in creating AR experiences. For example, last year Alibaba teamed up with Starbucks to create its first-ever in-store AR experience. Using an app, customers can walk around the store and point at different features to learn more information.
Today’s customers want convenience. Companys who wish to build strong brand loyalty seek to provide services that effortlessly fit into the lives of customers, instead of simply creating offerings and expecting consumers to seek them out when needed.
Businesses must offer consumers convenience when it comes to payment, speed, and options.
Alibaba epitomizes convenience, which is what has led to its immense success. The e-commerce behemoth has a growing chain of cashless supermarkets named Hema. The theme? Convenience.
So, is brand loyalty actually dying? While it has definitely declined in recent years, it is unlikely to disappear any time soon.
Rather, the way in which businesses must approach brand loyalty has definitely changed. But with the right understanding of what your customers truly want, along with the help of technological solutions, any business can secure loyalty from its customers.