Retailers are now faced with a new type of customer – fickle, informed and connected – who will turn to a competitor if lured with what they perceive as a better offer. So, what can retailers do to preserve a loyal customer base?
First and foremost, price alone is no longer enough, except for certain highly commoditised items. The consumer of today wants convenience, whichever channel these chose to shop via, along with the guarantee of a competitive price. They expect items to be readily available and to be able to purchase a desired product in-store or online.
Therefore, retailers need to guarantee consistency across their sales channels and regularly engage with customers to better promote new product lines, offers and sales across the retail estate. But what is the most effective way for retailers to reach the new customer and keep engaging with them across channels to build a rapport and ultimately loyalty?
With mobile technology used across sales channels and over 30 million people owning a smartphone in the UK, it’s the easiest, most instantaneous and effective vehicle available on the market for retailers to reach out to customers. Offering convenience of service for the consumer and delivering immediate results for the retailer.
Some retailers are already capitalising on these opportunities, offering mobile vouchers that can be redeemed in-store or/ and are considering mobile payments, but there is so much more that can be done to better connect to the customer on their journey.
Retailers need to bring their loyalty programmes into the mobile era, using NFC or geo-location technology, rewarding customers with vouchers for visiting the physical or online store, using mobile payments or simply for being a loyal customer.
With the lines between online and in-store becoming increasingly blurred, eventually, loyalty cards will be delivered as a mobile wallet as opposed to a physical card – so all points, vouchers, offers etc from multiple channels are stored in the one place. Pizza Express already offers a similar mobile application, allowing customers to receive and redeem vouchers on their mobile in restaurants.
This type of mobile loyalty scheme will deliver a level of convenience across multiple channels that a physical card cannot; providing the flexibility required in today’s ever evolving retail environment for loyalty across the retail estate.