How to retain customers in the age of Amazon
59 % of millennials go straight to Amazon when shopping online. So, what can be done to attract them to your brand instead?
The answer is to run an effective, easy-to-follow loyalty programme. We’ll come on to ways in which to achieve that shortly, but first, here’s a quick reminder of why customer loyalty is key to brand growth:
- 86% of loyal customers will recommend your brand to others
- 66% of loyal customers will leave a positive review following a good experience
- 46% of loyal customers will even stay loyal following a bad experience
Now, let’s explore the best ways of cultivating loyalty programmes that work.
Make loyalty programmes clear and transparent
If a loyalty programme is hard to unlock, complicated to redeem, or it’s simply unclear what the benefits are, the risk is that shoppers will simply move on to another brand.
One study found that 96% of customers agreed that customer loyalty programmes could be improved, with 75% of shoppers admitting that they would switch brands for a better loyalty programme.
So, don’t give your customers an excuse to go elsewhere. Ensure your loyalty programme is easy to understand, easy to use, and easy to redeem. This is particularly important for millennials and Gen Z customers for whom transparency strongly influences loyalty.
Provide instant access to rewards
Not only do Gen Z shoppers make up 40% of consumers, but 70% of parents consult Gen Z children when deciding what to buy.
So, with research showing that Gen Z shoppers want instant gratification from loyalty programmes, it’s a huge risk to offer anything less.
This can be as simple as giving customers an immediate discount at the point of sale or sending an automated (but personalised) message the second they join or make their first purchase. Little things can make a huge difference when it comes to building long-term brand loyalty.
Reward customers for more than just purchases
Traditional loyalty schemes reward customers for their spending habits. Expanding your loyalty scheme to benefit shoppers for interacting with your brand in other ways is a great way to strengthen the customer relationship. This could include:
- Social channels: Rewarding customers for following, liking, or commenting on your social media not only benefits them but also increases their engagement with your brand across multiple touchpoints
- Leave a review: 84% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends. Rewarding customers for leaving reviews will develop their allegiance to your brand and attract new customers
- Refer a friend: When existing customers refer their friends it not only increases your customer base, but it helps to build a sense of community around your brand that can help keep your business top of mind
- Birthday gifts: 80% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that offers a personalised experience. Personalised birthday offers or discounts could encourage them to spend their birthday money with you
- User-generated content: 90% of shoppers rely on user-generated content to make purchases. Rewarding customers for creating brand-related content could encourage them to become your greatest brand ambassadors
- Introduce loyalty tiers: Returning customers are responsible for 40% of revenue. Offering different levels of rewards is a great way to encourage customers to stick with a brand so they can ‘level up’ and earn more
Over the first three months of 2021, a staggering 98% of Amazon Prime members renewed their membership. Although this astronomical retention rate might seem out of reach, it’s reassuring to know that even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of more than 25%.
So, tailoring your loyalty programme to increase customer engagement could make a huge difference to your business’s bottom line.
Want to broaden your brand loyalty know-how?
We’re here to help. First, check out our guide to why the key to running a successful brand loyalty campaign is to get your whole business onboard. Then, cast your eyes over our handy guide to introducing brand loyalty with Shopify.
If you run an ecommerce store, we can help to create a clear and transparent loyalty rewards programme that offers customers a diverse experience and instant rewards. Get in touch to find out more.