Customer Brand Loyalty Increases in 2019

Our second annual Retail Customer Loyalty Study reveals how consumer shopping behavior and preferences have changed since 2018.

By Sandra Gudat, President/CEO

Customer Brand Loyalty Increases in 2019

Finally some good news for retailers! Customer brand loyalty has notably improved in 2019, with more customers than ever reporting that they prefer to consistently shop with the same retailer rather than shop around. This is according to customer.com’s 2019 Retail Customer Loyalty Study. Here, we share highlights from the study.

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Background on the 2019 Retail Customer Loyalty Study

To gather the 2019 customer loyalty statistics, the survey probed 1,054 consumers about their loyalty to retailers and which factors drive them to shop exclusively with any given brand. It addressed these critical questions:

  • When all things are equal, which factors drive customers to shop exclusively with a particular retailer?
  • Which factors are most important to “super loyal” customers versus consumers who always shop around?
  • Which factors influence a non-loyal customer to shop exclusively at a particular retailer — in other words, what would make them more loyal?
  • Do consumers show tendencies to be more or less loyal based on demographics?
  • Which retailers make loyal customers out of customers whose style it is to shop around?

Customer Brand Loyalty Grows

Back to the good news. In our 2019 Retail Customer Loyalty Study, we found that 37% of customers prefer to consistently shop with the same retailer — up from 35% in 2018. This is the group we’ve dubbed Loyalists, and their gain came at the expense of Roamers — consumers who routinely shop around before making a purchase. Roamer numbers dropped from 35% in 2018 to 33% in 2019, supporting the concept that loyalty tendencies are growing.

Defining 3 Consumer Shopping Personalities

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Interestingly,  the 2019 loyalty statistics also showed that customers markedly increased naming niche retailers — both pure play online and bricks-and-mortar — as the retailer they prefer to shop exclusively. With data collected on nearly 500 retailers, customers also pinpointed some of the big names you might expect: Walmart, Amazon and Target topped the list of retailers named most frequently as preferred shopping spots.

Factors Driving Customer Brand Loyalty

Looking across shopping personalities, we discovered specific factors that induce consumers to shop exclusively with certain retailers. Understanding these factors can give you crucial insights into how to position your organization in relation to those global competitors like Walmart and Amazon, as well as in relation to direct competitors. It can help your organization determine how best to target and prioritize resources and budget. And, of course, it can give you important information to guide your customer retention and loyalty efforts.

In 2019, our customer loyalty study showed that price remains a critical factor. However, receiving a good value and ease in making purchases actually have greater impact for the majority of consumers.

Furthermore, when you remove price, product and access from the equation, the factors that would encourage consumers in 2019 to select one retailer over another remain closely aligned with last year’s preferences.

Differentiating Loyalty Factors

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Interestingly, the factors that drive loyalty and engagement show variations across the three shopping personalities and based on demographic differences.

Use Loyalty Statistics Across the Organization

One critical point that our customer loyalty study drives home is this: While retail loyalty programs influence retention, there are many other compelling factors driving customer devotion to particular stores. Much to the dismay of retail organizations struggling with customer retention, loyalty programs alone cannot fix sales and traffic issues related to a poor product offering, customer experience or any other myriad business issues.

Building customer brand loyalty requires that you understand and act on those influential loyalty factors in a way that will resonate with all shopping personalities. This requires enterprise-wide support from all aspects of your business — from customer-facing personnel and technologies to the back-office people and processes that support them. A broad-based effort like this is absolutely key to meeting your retail loyalty and retention goals.

For deeper insights and year-over-year comparisons on the factors driving customer loyalty, get a free download of the first report from customer.com’s 2019 Retail Customer Loyalty Study.

Digging into the “why behind the buy” and creating strategies to build and maintain customer loyalty is what we’ve been doing at CCG for the past 40 years. Learn more about the retail marketing solutions we offer and how our retail marketing consultants can help you reach your goals. Schedule a free consultation today or call us at 303.986.3000.

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