The face of customer loyalty in an omnichannel world

The face of customer loyalty in an omnichannel world

As the battle for consumer loyalty continues, retailers resting on their laurels in 2016 risk falling at the first hurdle in this retail year.

Advances in mobile have altered consumer demands and the way they communicate with retailers. They expect the brand to know who they are, what they’ve purchased and how they like to interact.

According to an IMRG report from February 2015, visits to ecommerce sites via smartphone and tablet devices accounted for 45% of all ecommerce traffic in the UK, hence consumers are now shopping on more than one device.

For this reason, retailers must make it their New Year’s resolution to re-evaluate their current customer loyalty offering and ensure it satisfies consumer demand to encourage in-store sales and footfall.

The necessity for omnichannel loyalty schemes

Research from Zendesk recently revealed that 87% of consumers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience.

This is also backed up by Accenture’s 2015 Retail Research Survey which showed that 30% of consumers felt that the ‘seamless’ shopping experience still required significant improvement.

But what is ‘seamless’?

To create real brand value and customer loyalty, retailers must look closely at the way in which they engage with consumers. They expect the shopping experience to be dependable whether they shop via a mobile, a computer or in store.

In terms of customer loyalty, omnichannel has given consumers the ability to browse, shop and interact across a variety of platforms. Consequently, they expect their rewards or loyalty schemes to have the same flexibility and integration.

As discussed, the proliferation of instore technologies, such as iBeacons and geo-locational targeting, presents retailers with new ways to target their consumers. In short, there are no excuses. In the same way as they browse via any channel, they also want to redeem via any channel.

Making it personal

2016 promises to be the year of hyper-personalisation. Rewarding customers for repeat purchases with BOGOF (buy one get one free) deals isn’t sufficient for an omnichannel offering.

Consumers want a personal experience. This is supported by research from Planet Retail which shows that 32% of shoppers’ choice of retailer is influenced by the provision of tailored, personalised experiences that are relevant to their needs.

Retailers must be proactive and innovative if they want to stand out. According to new Accenture research, just one well-executed initiative might help them to increase online and in-store sales.

For instance, by utilising the available instore technologies retailers can start the New Year with targeted bespoke offers for their consumers – reinvigorating the brand/consumer relationship and attracting them in to store.

Data is vital

Data is crucial in enabling retailers to provide this. Data captured at the point of sale such as frequency, time and value of redemptions allows businesses to know more about their customers. These insights enable retailers to develop detailed customer segmentation models and profiles.

Small but significant

Retailers should not be overwhelmed by the transition of a customer loyalty program to an omichannel paradigm. Rather than a complete overhaul of an existing programme, it’s about making small but significant changes which will ultimately result in substantial gains.

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