Retailers are facing some real challenges, but customer marketing can play a major role in helping retailers thrive despite the challenges. Learn how to usher in a bright future with effective customer marketing programs.
The retail industry has been scrambling as it faces some unprecedented challenges. Staffing difficulties coupled with supply chain struggles have forced retailers to get creative with their marketing. In addition, monthly department store revenue has been declining for years, prompting many of the largest retailers to close stores across the country.
This downward trend certainly isn’t because people aren’t shopping. E-commerce sales are soaring, with revenue from these sales in the U.S. expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2023! The world is evolving, and so is the modern consumer and their shopping habits.
For far too long, retail’s C-suite has misread the signs and symptoms of a sluggish market. Economic factors are only a part of the problem. The root is a shifting customer—and retail has failed to adapt and adjust to their customers’ wants and needs. The same store layouts, experiences, and product offerings that worked well a decade or two ago are likely to fall flat with modern consumers.
Is all lost? It may look bleak, but it’s not time to throw in the towel—it’s time to make a pivot to better engage modern customers. The answer is a powerful customer marketing strategy.
The brands that succeed today are the ones making an effort to truly understand and cater to their customer’s needs. That’s exactly what a customer marketing program can help you do. Customer marketing programs are a major win for shoppers because they get better shopping experiences that are tailored to their preferences.
One of the chief ways to deliver these experiences is through a loyalty program. Amazingly, 78 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand with a loyalty program.
These programs aren’t just a win for customers—they come with major benefits for retailers. Customer loyalty programs encourage brand loyalty, which is hard to come by these days because modern shoppers tend to jump frequently between brands. Loyal customers make more repeat purchases, spend more, and can even serve as brand advocates to help your acquisition efforts.
A great customer loyalty program could make all the difference in your retail brand’s success, but not all loyalty programs are equally effective. To really make an impact, make sure you follow these three tips.
Make sure you tailor your rewards and loyalty program structure to what appeals to your customers. For instance, a punch card system with a freebie after a certain number of visits may fail to motivate your customers. Maybe they need more frequent incentives like weekly sales promotions. Or maybe VIP experiences would be most effective at encouraging their loyalty.
How can you know what appeals to your customers? Start with a solid database of customer analytics to learn about your customers. A marketing partner can help you distill this data to create customer personas, so you can get a real picture of each customer segment and what makes them tick.
Modern consumers don’t want a cookie-cutter shopping experience. Nearly two-thirds of consumers say that discounts or promotions not being personalized is a top frustration with physical retail stores. No wonder customers are gravitating to online shopping where they’re more likely to receive personalized recommendations and offers.
A customer loyalty program can help you connect with each customer in a more personal way, regardless of whether they’re shopping online or in-person. For example, you can use data on past purchases to recommend new products, you can alert shoppers when an item they looked at goes on sale, or you can send a promo to re-engage a customer who hasn’t shopped in a while. The possibilities are endless!
If you have an e-commerce component to your retail business, find ways to create a cohesive customer experience across shopping environments. Creating a seamless experience across platforms (whether that’s in store, in a loyalty app, or on your website) reinforces a customer’s relationship with your brand.
That doesn’t mean in-store and online shopping experiences need to be exactly the same. You can encourage foot traffic in stores, for example, by making some promotions in store only. Ideally, both your e-commerce and retail stores should play a vital role in the success of your business.
The retail world is facing some very real challenges. But with the right customer marketing strategies in place, retailers can connect with modern consumers and embrace a bright future. Baesman is a customer marketing partner you can trust for innovative and effective solutions.
We also provide a wealth of resources to help brands succeed. Want to learn more about creating a winning customer loyalty program? Download our eBook, Customer Loyalty Programs: What You Need to Know!