3 Ways to Drive Loyalty in 2019 so you can Stop Relying on Holiday Shoppers

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As 20% of yearly shopping can be attributed to the last few months of the year, it’s understandable why retailers ramp up promotions to drive conversion with holiday shoppers.

However, for long-term sustainable growth, businesses should be focused on turning first-time, holiday shoppers into loyal, repeat customers that contribute to the other 80% of sales for the year. Now, that would be a gift that keeps on giving.

In order to accomplish this successfully, merchants should implement these 3 long-term goals for 2019.

 

1. Cater to omnichannel customers – not just holiday shoppers

It’s no secret that today’s consumers are multi-channeled. In a recent Mckinsey study, only 7% of shoppers identified as online-only shoppers, 20% were store-only shoppers, and the remaining 73% used multiple channels during their shopping journey.

These multi-channel customers are also more profitable and loyal than other customer segments. Compared to single-channel customers, omnichannel shoppers spend an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in-store and 10% more online. As if we need more of a reason to adorn multichannel shoppers, six months after an omnichannel experience these customers had logged 23% more repeat shopping trips and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.

So, how should businesses forge long-term loyalty with multi-channel customers in 2019? Merchants need to connect touchpoints to initiate a seamless customer experience.

While this has proven to be easier said than done, implementing omnichannel technology is a good first step to bridge cross-channel data and give all employees a holistic view of the customer.

Once customer data is stitched together, establishing customer-centric Key Performance Indicators (KPI) should be retailers next initiative in 2019. For example, KPI’s like cross-channel conversion and customer loyalty will encourage and reward client-facing employees to reach across channels to provide a fluid CX.

The more seamless the customer experience, the deeper the customer loyalty will run. Trust us on this.  

 

2. Provide a deeply personalized experience – in-store and online

Whether you’re aiming to create a self-service experience or a high-touch, white-glove experience, personalization can help achieve both objectives.

More importantly, personalized experiences provide the very qualities that shoppers expect when interacting with brands in today’s market. Personalized experiences are efficient, customized and in real-time. In fact, by 2020 51% of consumers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they even make contact.

Since 2020 is merely a year away (yikes), it’s probably a good idea to put personalization at the top of your to-do list for the coming year.

Online

Online recommendations are the most traditional way to implement personalization. Using historical sales data and real-time consumer behavior, recommendations display product and content that’s specifically attuned to each shoppers purchase history and real-time behavior.

To fuel fervent customer loyalty, however, merchants need to take online personalization to the next level. 4-Tell’s Your Store, for example, is a microsite that is dedicated to the unique preferences of each customer. Here’s how it works: our expert machine-learning system uses real-time consumer behavior to surface personalized product and content recommendations. We combine this with the transparency of shopper activity (recent views, purchase history, items in cart) and Inline Search to support a seamless experience that is completely tailored to the individual.  

An online experience that is dedicated to the individual will set you apart from competitors and have customers coming back for more all year long.

In-store

Given the right tools, in-store sales associates can be the ultimate brick-and-mortar personalization engine while also acting as a bridge between the online and in-store experience.

Technology, like 4-Tell’s Smart Commerce℠ Platform, connects online customer data to the in-store experience. Our platform visually displays shopper’s purchase history, real-time online behavior and predictive product recommendations to in-store sales associates. This level of customer transparency allows sales associates to guide every customer to the products that are directly aligned with their unique history and tastes.

Ultimately, it’s these kinds of personalized experiences online and offline that will drive loyalty. Just ask the 75% of consumers who are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases or knows their purchase history.

 

3. Add a human touch

For apparel and high-end brands especially, adding a human touch to the CX is essential to providing the white glove treatment consumers increasingly expect.

While the “white glove treatment” has traditionally been thought of as knowledgeable storefront associates who remembers you by name, the human-touch can and should also permeate the ecommerce experience. If the human element comes into play in-store AND online, it will create a fluid, consistent experience that allows brands to continue forging relationships as shoppers move online.

For example, through 4-Tell’s Your Store, customer service or sales teams can curate product boards for every individual customer. These boards can then be published and made visible to consumers on their personalized microsite (check out the video below to see Your Store in action).

Capitalize on loyal customers – Not just holiday shoppers

Customer loyalty WILL define the future market winners. Now is the time to implement the technology and strategies to forge long-term, sustainable loyalty that will last all of 2019 and beyond.

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