Loyalty at the core of retailBY Australian Retailers Association
How retailers can grow their customer base and increase consumer loyalty
The role of retailers has shifted dramatically compared to only a decade ago. Consumers now browse, shop and transact across multiple touch-points and locations, meaning retailers must be on the pulse at all times. Indeed, some of the biggest challenges and opportunities for retailers today is the ability to ‘know’ their customer, empower their purchasing habits, and importantly, retain them in more thoughtful ways than ever before.
Digital platforms have played a pivotal role in linking online and offline retail experiences, with data intelligence filling the gap and enabling highly personalised and omni-present retail experiences across online, mobile, and bricks-and-mortar stores. Through the intelligent use of data, retailers can offer customers a highly personalised experience. Websites can be individually personalised to each user based on algorithms and predictive analytics, while online data can create compelling cross-channel experiences.
Mobile apps with built-in location intelligence can generate huge amounts of valuable data including online shopping behaviour and closed loop attribution in-store. This provides retailers with significant leverage for engaging customers in real-time and with relevant content. When considering that 64% of Australians own a smartphone, and a quarter of Australians use their smartphone for a retail transaction, the smart technology of mobile platforms provides a powerful portal for seamless and integrated shopping experiences.
Mobile-based loyalty apps like Stocard are also proving to be an asset in nurturing customer loyalty. The advent of digital wallets has replaced the need for multiple plastic cards, and with a high level of in-app transparency, consumers now have more control and visibility over their rewards, including the ability to shop for exclusive deals – and according to Nielsen, 48% of consumers said they are likely to spend more if they are going to be rewarded.
Australian retailer and iconic lifestyle brand, Country Road, have implemented a successful loyalty and mobile marketing strategy. Country Road wanted to better connect with existing loyalty members to drive incremental store visits and sales. By applying predictive analytics and location intelligence through the Stocard app, Country Road engaged customers with tailored offers through geo-push notifications when customers were within the radius of a store. Country Road were also able to showcase the brand’s fashion and lifestyle products specific to a customer’s profile.
When building brand loyalty, retailers can also benefit by shifting their mindset from simply offering loyalty programs to becoming a loyalty business at the core. Loyal customers are looking for more than a discount – they want a seamless, value-driven experience that is intuitive and personalised, convenient and instant. Additionally, retailers can offer cash back, flexible redeemable points, affiliated partner rewards, and loyalty mileage – where points earned don’t take several years or hundreds of dollars of spending to accumulate.
Three tips for retailers to help boost customer engagement and loyalty through mobile marketing
Turn on mobile payments
Mobile is an important extension of a retailer’s storefront, and with consumers now more smartphone dependent, it makes sense that mobile transactions are enabled. Beyond convenience, an important element to consider is the functionality and design of the mobile interface, as well as the user-friendliness of the transaction gateway.
Activate location intelligence
Geo-location, combined with the smart technology of mobile-app integration with physical stores, offers another pathway to engage customers in close proximity. There is a fine line with this approach – as this is an invitation for the customer, therefore you must be wary not to bombard them and step over into creepy territory.
Improve your service by providing a feedback system
To get to know your customers and ensure the services you provide meets their needs and expectations, ask customers what they think about the purchasing and transaction experience, as well as customer service. This feedback loop can easily be added to your mobile or online site, customers can rate their experience and receive an in-store incentive.
Radinck van Vollenhoven is the Country Manager of Stocard Australia and New Zealand, helping retailers close the loop between mobile and offline. With more than 25 million global users, Stocard is the leading wallet app for loyalty. Learn more at www.stocardapp.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Australian Retailers Association
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.