Loyalty is retail gold
Loyalty is the ‘golden snitch’ of retailing – elusive and hard to catch, but once it is in your hands, you’re a certain winner. Retailers tell me that loyalty is one of the greatest drivers of revenue and profit that they have, and research confirms that loyal customers not only spend 14% more every time they enter a store, but they also become advocates for a brand. That means that they tell their family, friends and anyone who cares to read their social media reviews just how good the brand is and how much they love it. The same research also confirms that no matter what a retailer says about themselves, it is nowhere near as influential as the feedback from other shoppers, even if the reader doesn’t know them. Consumers in the age of social media are far more likely to be swayed – for or against – by a review than an ad.
We give our loyalty to those who know us best
The long and the short of it is that customer loyalty is absolutely key to a successful retail business. If we think for a minute about loyalty, in a more general context than just retail, we don’t offer it to just anyone. We offer loyalty to the people we know and trust, and the people that we believe know us well and care about what we want.
How to win friends and influence people
Many years ago, I came across Dale Carnegie’s seminal book, ‘How to win friends and influence people’ and the section that stood out the most was one called ‘Six ways to make people like you’. I went back and took another look after a recent conversation with a retailer about generating loyalty. There it was in black and white – the number one point in that section; Become genuinely interested in other people. Carnegie says “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.”
I think that this is just as true for retailers wanting to build a base of loyal customers as it is in the one-to-one relationships that Carnegie was talking about. Customers are far more likely to feel advocacy and loyalty to a brand that genuinely understands what they like, what they want from their shopping experience and puts that information into practice.
The power of retail business analytics
And the fastest way for a retailer to get to know their customers? By using retail store analytics. A good business intelligence system will give the retailer an in-depth view of customer buying patterns and behaviours, spotting trends, identifying market segments and shopper preferences.
iVend’s retail store analytics solution offers these insights, presented in an intuitive business intelligence dashboards, to help drive timely and appropriate business decisions. Decision that will enhance the customer experience, retain existing loyal customers and turn occasional buyers into repeat customers and loyal advocates.
Once you truly understand your customers, you have taken a big step on the path to them liking you and staying loyal.
Oh, and if you’re interested, the other five ‘ways to make people like you’ are just as relevant to retail:
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. To be a good listener, we must actually care about what people have to say.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
To find out more about iVend’s retail analytics solution, please click here