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The Customer Loyalty Landscape

Loyalty, Trends, Personalization, Data

by Terri MacKay March 12, 2014

RevTrax Loyalty DogWhat really drives customer loyalty in today’s retail ecosystems? Is it the ability to provide a customer-centric experience? The practice of seamlessly integrating a loyalty program across channels and points of sale? Or could it simply be the delivery of quality service?

Loyalty marketers are on a constant quest in search of these answers to better understand where their customer’s loyalty lies. As our RevTrax team prepares for Loyalty Expo, we thought we’d provide some interesting facts and figures on the current loyalty landscape.

Omnichannel: Today’s customer expects a consistent experience across all communication channels at each interaction with a company or brand. However, it appears as though retailers have been unable to deliver such an experience. A survey by Zendesk has found only 7 percent of consumers to be satisfied with the ability of most brands to offer a high-quality omnichannel experience.

Big Data: Raw data collected through omnichannel marketing efforts delivers value only once analytics are applied to transform the data into applicable insights. Data-driven analytics are what will allow loyalty marketers to better understand their customers, leading to more targeted and personalized promotional campaigns.

  • Retailers who are using big data could increase their operating margins by more than 60 percent [McKinsey & Company].

Customer Relationship Management: The acquisition of new customers can be an expensive process for retailers. It’s important to ensure customer acquisition programs don’t overlook the nurturing component of current customer relationships.

  • It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one [Bain & Company].

Customer Experience: There is a strong correlation between customer experience and loyalty. Loyalty is based on an emotional connection that develops between a consumer and a brand.

  • According to a McKinsey study, about 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.

Mobile: As covered in a recent blog post, mobile promotions are an increasingly important element to a fully integrated promotional campaign. An AisleBuyer survey concluded that 75 percent of consumers would switch brands if offered real-time promotions delivered to their smartphones while shopping, and 73 percent of smartphone users are interested in interacting with their loyalty programs through a mobile device.

As active U.S. loyalty program memberships have fallen since 2010, and only a small percentage (12% - 15%) of customers claim to be loyal to a single retailer, it’s increasingly important for loyalty programs to keep customers regularly engaged across all platforms in order to boost customer retention and loyalty.