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CRM / Loyalty

Retail CRM provides insights from leading retailers and industry experts that help improve the customer experience at every touch point and across all channels. Some topics covered in CRM articles include customer loyalty, email marketing and promotion optimization. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Emotional Loyalty As A Growth Driver

Historically, having the best product or service on the market was the key to receiving and maintaining undying loyalty from consumers. Today, this strategy won’t cut it. The proliferation of the Internet has created a global economy where consumer choices are abundant. It no longer makes sense for consumers to maintain loyalty to brands. Instead, many base purchasing decisions on factors such as price and convenience; however, customer engagement is quickly emerging as the leading factor. Rather than only rely on customer loyalty programs like reward cards and frequent flyer miles, brands need to go one step further by developing emotional loyalty. This type of loyalty achieves a deep connection with customers that makes them feel valued and respected at every action, input and communication with a brand.

Forge Emotional Bonds With Customers To Achieve Loyalty Program Success

The desire to increase customer loyalty is a prime motivator not only in the retail industry but throughout the business world: 72% of companies across 12 industries said that optimizing customer loyalty is a top-five priority of senior management at their organization this year, according to the Beyond Rewards: Raising The Bar On Customer Loyalty study by Harvard Business Review and Mastercard. Companies are devoting more resources to loyalty rewards in large part because they are asking loyalty programs to do more than just boost sales: 57% of respondents said that forging emotional connections is a primary reason for investing in customer loyalty initiatives. "A lot of it is really wanting to transmit to the consumer that they mean something to you as a brand,” said Francis Hondal, President of Loyalty & Engagement at Mastercard in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “That sense of personalization we all talk about is created by those small gestures and small areas of recognition that make the consumer feel special and recognized for their loyalty." Points programs and birthday gifts are a starting point, but the most effective loyalty programs are about creating a sense of exclusivity and making shoppers feel like they’re being…

Building Better Customer Relationships Through Buyer Personas

The buying process is rarely linear. It’s hard enough to gauge market trends or supply and demand, much less the personalities of the individual prospects being sold to. Many of today’s companies that sell to enterprises have even launched Account-Based Marketing (ABM) programs to build relationships with buying organizations’ multiple influencers and decision makers, in an attempt to streamline the process. However, according to SiriusDecisions, 71% of sales representatives polled stated that their inability to close deals is due to a lack of knowledge. To help inform and fuel the personalized, one-to-one buyer/seller relationships today’s connected and empowered buyers expect, persona development is becoming increasingly sophisticated as more organizations are making it a standard procedure.

CARMA19: Overcoming Fashion And Beauty’s Steep Customer Loyalty Challenges

While maintaining customer loyalty is a challenge that spans the retail industry, ever-shifting trends in the fashion and beauty verticals make it a particular concern for these brands. Retailers shared strategies for staying ahead of rapid changes — by harnessing data in ways that go beyond simple personalization — at the CARMA19 retail marketing forum hosted by Custora. "Beauty is a super competitive category,” said Natalie Mackey, CEO of Glow Concept, parent company of Winky Lux. “The customer jumps from brand to brand to brand. No woman in this entire room has one bag full of one brand; everybody has competing brands in their beauty bag. So how do we keep that customer coming back over and over again?" Winky Lux was created in 2015 to meet customer demands for affordable makeup from a brand that keeps up with trends and generates an authentic connection with shoppers. However, these 16-to 29-year-old customers, who shop almost exclusively on their phones (mobile accounts for 82% of Winky Lux sales), can be fickle: only 35% of men and 19% of women in this category are loyal to name brands, according to a study by daVinci Payments. These shoppers are often attracted through paid…

#RSP19 Webinar Series Preview: How One-Time Consumers Become Full-Time Shoppers

From Monday, Sept. 16 through Friday, Sept. 20, Retail TouchPoints will present the 2019 Retail Strategy & Planning Series, a 13-webinar series dedicated to uncovering the new ways shoppers are assessing, selecting and connecting with the brands they buy from. The #RSP19 sessions will specifically address the new tools and tactics retailers should embrace to better understand this new wave of shoppers; nurture relationships with them; and transform one-time engagement into recurring revenue.

Securing Customer Loyalty Programs With Blockchain For Retail

In today’s on-demand retail market, customer loyalty is a highly prized commodity that is hotly sought after and easily lost. With increasingly aggressive competition between retailers — and a variety of interaction models available (mobile, web site, app, in-store) — just one mediocre customer experience can result in brand abandonment. An effective loyalty program is an important component of not just retaining and rewarding customers, but keeping the brand top-of-mind and relevant.

Loyalty Program Study: 70% Of Shoppers Prefer Gift Card Rewards From Online Retailers

The average consumer belongs to approximately six different loyalty programs, but only actively participates in about four of them, according to a survey by Blackhawk Network. Retailers that want their programs to be among those that receive active participation — and that will consistently make customers choose them over the competition — need to offer the right balance of intriguing rewards, correctly timed incentives and personalization. “The closer you are to understanding your customer, the better chance you have of launching a successful customer loyalty program,” said Alex Barseghian, Group VP of Sales and Marketing Retail at Blackhawk Network in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “It's not one-size-fits-all. There's no points program that works for everybody, no cash back program or fuel program that works for everybody. Driving loyalty and engagement and getting closer to customer is the more important part — it creates the foundation.”

C-Store Loyalty Basics: Leverage Fuel Rewards, Analyze Customer Data And Build Program Awareness

Nearly two-thirds (73%) of convenience stores have loyalty programs, but keeping up with the pace of change in this area poses a significant challenge for 55% of operators, according to the C-Store Shopper Report 2019: How to Fuel Customer Loyalty by PDI. Standout programs from retailers like Sheetz as well as adjacent retailers like Starbucks set high standards that other c-store retailers find hard to match. The good news for these retailers is that loyalty programs provide ongoing opportunities for improvement. The best-in-class loyalty programs didn’t just spring into being overnight; they are the result of years of iteration, optimization and a focus on what companies do best. "You're trying to launch a program that’s very large and very complex,” said Brandon Logsdon, SVP of Marketing Cloud Solutions at PDI. “It's very difficult to do, it's very difficult to put together the technology on the front end and it's very difficult to manage. Oftentimes the analog people are using programs that didn't launch with that much technology or much complexity of offer, but evolved and grew organically over time.” The first step for convenience store retailers is to start with a strong, compelling base offering that fits their needs and…

How AT&T Brought Game Of Thrones To Life In Flagship Stores

Retailers and Quick Service Restaurants often use pop culture tie-ins as a way to amplify consumer excitement about a blockbuster movie or TV show. The risk they face, particularly when it’s a QSR investing in toys for giveaway, is that the film will flop when it’s actually released. AT&T faced a different challenge when the retailer linked up with HBO’s Game of Thrones, a popular show that dominated consumer conversation even among those who didn’t watch it. In order to stand out and create unique brand interactions at four of its flagship stores, the retailer and experience design agency Twenty Four 7 had to “tease” the events of the final season without knowing the specific story lines, or which characters would survive. (Game of Thrones has a notoriously high mortality rate.)

The Connected Home: 6 Ways To Maintain And Increase Customer Loyalty

Over the past decade, IoT advancements have enabled mega tech platforms (i.e. Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.) and other industry leaders (i.e. Zigbee, Z-Wave, etc.) to radically transform the “connected home” as we now know it — challenging companies in the smart technology space to re-evaluate their products’ capabilities and the coinciding relationships each has with its respective users. The transition from single-use, battery-powered mechanical devices to more sophisticated ones with built-in WiFi “connectivity” components, like voice assistant and remote access features, has granted consumer electronics retailers and their partners alike the ability to create and/or distribute products that act as an extension of consumers’ everyday routines — offering a sense of control and peace of mind that was previously unimaginable.

How The Right Data Management Strategy Builds Customer Loyalty

Being a popular brand is no longer good enough. A new survey from Criteo puts numbers to a trend we’ve seen over the last few years: outside of luxury goods (or wine and spirits), consumers are no longer attached to specific brand names. Up to 72% of consumers are willing to try a new brand of apparel, while 61% are willing to reconsider their shoes, handbags and accessories. Amazon is not to blame. E-Commerce is generally getting more competitive with fast and free shipping, combined with (cheaper) access to more items than what’s seen in-store. As many as 66% of those surveyed ranked “best value for money” as their top reason for picking a brand, suggesting 1:1 relationships and memorable experiences are essential in gaining customer loyalty. Quality data is at the center of it all — and it can be your biggest competitive advantage.

3 Keys To Optimizing Your Premium Loyalty Program

It’s tougher for retailers to earn customer loyalty than ever before. With virtually limitless choices right at their fingertips, customers aren’t afraid to jump between brand loyalty programs in order to get the best price or discount. In fact, nearly 80% of U.S. consumers report switching their loyalty more often than they have in the past. Set yourself apart from the competition by adding premium loyalty. Unlike their traditional counterparts, premium loyalty programs allow customers to pay a monthly or annual membership fee in exchange for valuable rewards they can use right away. Considering how easy it is for customers to shift their loyalty, it’s crucial that your premium loyalty program offers a combination of 24/7 exclusive benefits and personalized experiences customers can’t find anywhere else.

Dia&Co Bridges Phone And Digital Customer Service To Combine Efficiency With The Human Touch

Reducing post-purchase friction is important for any retailer, but the stakes are even higher for subscription-based companies that need to keep abandonment rates at a minimum. Dia&Co, a plus-size apparel subscription retailer, has risen to the challenge by offering best-in-class customer service that ensures the brand understands and meets the specific needs of every customer. Dia&Co works with UJET, a voice and chat customer service solution provider, to offer a seamless customer service experience over the phone as well as through its web and mobile sites. The program has helped the retailer maintain customer satisfaction scores in the 90s, at a cost 28% lower than its previous system.

Securing Customer Loyalty Through Emotional Engineering And Personalization

Much has been written about how AI and personalization are transforming the way that retailers operate. The ability to understand a customer’s interests and purchase history gives retailers the opportunity to deliver valuable information that helps customers make more informed purchasing decisions. However, providing recommendations based on customer data is only part of the story. For retailers, it’s all about finding ways to create a unique user experience that increases brand loyalty. The question is…how can retailers make that connection with customers? The answer lies in the concept of emotional engineering as a method to create customer loyalty. The idea of incorporating emotional engineering into the design of mobile apps can help separate companies from their competitors. But first, let’s explain emotional engineering. The term was coined by professor emeritus Mitsuo Nagamachi of Hiroshima University, and it is defined as “the technology to design goods which appeal to emotion and sensibility by translating human sensibility and images into physical design factors.”

5 CX Trends To Consider In 2019

Brands are being inundated with talk about consumers’ increasing expectations when it comes to customer experience (CX). And as businesses deliver more creative and engaging experiences, forming impactful customer relationships becomes more difficult. The 2019 CX Trends Report conducted by InMoment suggests that despite evolving conversations around CX, companies are struggling to balance their own needs and changing customer preferences. While 50% of brands say they’re “definitely” doing better at delivering excellent customer experience, just 11% of customers agree.
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