How can retailers maximise consumer loyalty?

Amber Hovious
10 June, 24

Retail sales figures were estimated to have rebounded by 3.4% in January this year, signalling the largest monthly rise since April 2021. In order for retailers to capitalise on this increase in sales, they must prioritise boosting consumer loyalty. Not only does this help retailers ensure stability in the long-term, but it can also play a significant role in driving revenue, with BIA/Kelsey finding that loyal customers spend an average of 67% more per transaction.

Whether by delivering convenient and seamless shopping experiences or by offering personalised discounts, there are a number of strategies that retailers can use to retain customers and increase their loyalty. However, to ensure these strategies are seamlessly implemented, retailers should consider the importance of technology in facilitating the delivery of a top-tier customer experience.

The Need to Deliver Unified Shopping Experiences

Customers have unique and diverse shopping preferences, ranging from online, in-store and a hybrid mix of both. In order to deliver convenience to an array of consumers with varying expectations, and provide high-quality experiences that encourage shoppers to return, retailers must ensure they are delivering a well-balanced, omnichannel environment that integrates and caters to various shopper demands.

Consumers today want to shop on their preferred terms – through whichever sales channel they prefer. As a result, all channels a retailer sells through must be able to operate and communicate seamlessly in real-time in order to meet these expectations. Otherwise, retailers run the risk of creating delays in online orders, customer collections and wider stock distribution across all locations. Ultimately, this creates a fractured operation that only serves to frustrate customers.

In order to deliver an omnichannel experience, retailers must invest in a strategy that integrates online platforms with brick-and-mortar stores. From here they can deliver a diverse experience that caters to individual preferences and enhances overall brand loyalty.

Whether stepping in-store to browse and try clothes on, or buying online and picking up in-store when they have space in their busy schedule, shoppers value purchasing options that provide flexibility and enable high-quality experiences. An omnichannel strategy that delivers convenience can play a key role in creating customer satisfaction, and satisfied customers are more likely to return for another great experience.

How an Integrated CRM Can Facilitate Meaningful Interactions

Today, personalisation needs to be accurate and up-to-date. Something that was of interest to the customer in the past may not necessarily hold the same importance today. An integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system can facilitate the view of real-time data about evolving customer behaviour – from their purchase history through to their dog’s name. Personalisation is a key driver of customer loyalty, with consumers gravitating towards brands that understand their preferences and needs.

Having the ability to approach customers and immediately begin to tailor their shopping experience creates significant value. Drawing on previous interactions such as purchase and returns history, favoured items and shopping patterns, in-store assistants are able to customise their approach and make accurate and informed recommendations, all while making in-store visitors feel important to the retailer.

Installing an integrated customer management system allows retailers to set themselves apart from competition and show customers their dedication to providing a unique, tailored experience. Establishing an environment where consumers feel a level of dedicated service can assist retailers in building up their loyal customer base.

Streamlining the Checkout to Bust Long Queues

From self-checkout solutions to mobile Point of Sale (POS), there are many innovative technologies that retailers can deploy to streamline their checkout processes. This, in turn creates a hassle-free shopping experience for customers by reducing the time they spend waiting in checkout queues, which can be a significant barrier to consumer satisfaction and often leave customers abandoning purchases.

Leveraging the right technology to create a fast and convenient service is essential to retaining and building a loyal customer base. In a time where customers are driven by demand and instant gratification, they want to shop and purchase their items as quickly as possible. Adopting mobile POS technology can revolutionise the checkout process by allowing sales associates to complete transactions from anywhere on the shop floor, eliminating the need for fixed POS systems, and reducing wait times.

Alternatively, retailers have been adopting self-checkout solutions for years, allowing customers to scan and bag their own items for convenience. However, one technology transforming this experience is RFID-powered self-checkout. Utilising the scanning capabilities of RFID tags, retailers can facilitate automatic scanning of items within seconds, as soon as their basket is placed in a designated bay. While this streamlines the process for customers, fewer in-store associates are also required to be physically fixed to stationary checkouts. Instead, they can allocate more time to delivering high-quality customer service across the shop floor.

Creating a better, faster and more efficient check-out process encourages shoppers to return. Streamlining operations and removing barriers that lead to frustration for customers, and replacing them with seamless checkout experiences that can be completed in seconds will transform an in-store visitor’s shopping experience. By perfecting the final touchpoint of the customer journey, retailers can ensure shoppers leave with a smile on their face, and are encouraged to repeat that experience in the future.

Customer Satisfaction is Key

The customer is central to the success of retail. To continue to stay competitive in a saturated market, retailers must ensure they are adapting their business model towards their customers. This will play a crucial role in helping them to achieve their long-term goals. By integrating the right technology to streamline sales, personalise customer interactions and deliver services across a multitude of platforms, retailers can deliver high-quality customer experiences that drive significant levels of satisfaction and encourage loyalty.

Working towards creating a base of loyal customers contributes to a positive brand reputation with customers not only returning to make purchases in the future, but also recommending the store to friends and family, and driving new customers to the business. Loyal customers also provide vital insight and valuable feedback that retailers can use in order to improve their operations and overall experience. Overall, a loyal customer helps create sustainable growth and value from continuous spending, and technology plays a pivotal role in delivering that. 

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