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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : April 22, 2020

How to build brand loyalty across devices

With more and more ways for consumers to interact - and buy - from brands it may seem simple enough to improve product ROI. The problem is that many brands either don't have the capability to or the knowledge to track consumers across their disparate devices. Here are a few strategies to increase consumer loyalty across devices.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: With consumers' ability to buy 24/7 and from a variety of sellers, what is this doing to traditional brand loyalty?

Nicole Amsler, VP of Marketing, Formation: Consumers are now in the driver's seat when it comes to deciding where to shop, and it's up to brands to keep up in order to maintain customer engagement and loyalty. A brand's most loyal customers generate more than their fair share of revenue, so brands should focus on fostering strong relationships with these important customers. This means understanding what motivates individual customers to take action, whether they prefer convenience in the form of free two-day shipping, or they value rewards points and exclusive access, for example. Gathering and using this data effectively is the first step to building brand loyalty. Then brands need to prioritize personalization and leave behind the traditional, blanket approach to discounts and loyalty if they really want to solidify a strong loyal following.

Kristina: With the different online and traditional options, how can merchants begin to build not just a better loyalty program but a stronger overall base of loyal shoppers?

Nicole: With so many commerce touchpoints available, merchants have a number of opportunities to reach their customers; the key is making these interactions effective. Merchants looking to build a base of loyal shoppers should create a personalized experience across channels and prioritize customer-centricity. Brands that understand the individual motivations of shoppers and leverage them to provide the right offer through the touchpoint they prefer, will be able to lock in stronger relationships that foster a loyal customer base.

Kristina: We began to hear rumblings a few years ago that traditional loyalty programs - things like punch cards and BOGO offers - weren't working as well -- why is that, in your opinion?

Nicole: Consumers today expect personalized offers designed specifically for them, and traditional loyalty programs just don't cut it. Gone are the days of massive catalogues and product-centric marketing that offer customers punch cards or BOGO discounts. These generic solutions fail to treat customers as individuals and don't cater to the motivations of shoppers, leading to only short-term engagement. An approach that tailors the experience to each customer builds lasting loyalty and maintains brand equity over time. 

Kristina: What role is price playing in overall loyalty?

Nicole: Price is definitely a motivator for some customers, but relevance is even more important in building loyalty. Loyalty isn't just about purchase frequency, but about the relationship that a brand forms with its customers. Discounts only temporarily encourage customers to take action. If a brand offers a one-size-fits-all discount, it neglects the opportunity to increase purchase frequency over a customer's lifetime rather than short-term. 

Kristina: What are your top three tips to build a stronger loyalty base?

Nicole: Because long-term loyalty rests on offering relevant customer experiences, brands can build a stronger loyalty base by focusing on personalization in three ways:

Brands can encourage long-term customer engagement through a system that rewards spending. These benefits should be personalized and somewhat challenging so that the more a customer spends, the more they benefit, leading to repeated engagement.

Reinforce brand goals through rewards. These can be anywhere from purchase frequency goals to goals unrelated to purchases, but a rewards program that inspires action central to these goals will help build a base of loyal customers that supports the business.

Finally, make sure these rewards are relevant. Customers are more likely to become loyal to a brand if its offerings align with their individual values. Rather than offer blanket coupons that shoppers often dismiss, brands should personalize rewards to inspire customers to return.

Tags: advertising, cross-device strategy, ecommerce, Formation, loyalty marketing, loyalty marketing strategy, mobile commerce, mobile marketing

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