Changing consumer trends have bid good-bye to customer loyalty. How can your business respond? Find emotional connections, ensure transparency and foster loyalty post-pandemic, in customers. Many communities sparked huge local support for small businesses. Now that the pandemic deaths have subsided, it’s time to review the situation. Many customer shopping trends have disappeared for good. Curb-side pickups, digital customer experiences and e-commerce, are here to stay. But customer loyalty for small businesses remaining at the high level reached during the pandemic, is doubtful. The question remains: how has customer loyalty changed?
Customer loyalty needs emotional connection
The pandemic shattered daily life, creating an environment for consumers to test new shopping behaviors. A McKinsey report stated 75% of consumers tried out various shopping systems, from e-commerce, to shopping local and curb-side pickups. Customers sought safety, convenience, value, and brands reflecting values. An opportunity exists for businesses to build new customer loyalty. As consumers leave trusted brands, capture higher market shares by understanding new trends. Covid fatigue has affected everyone and consumers are tired as the pandemic has taken a heavy toll. Customers need shopping to be simple, convenient, and satisfying, with focus on building deeper, emotional connections. This means targeting incentives to retain customers, rather than purchase frequency with same-day delivery, free shipping, and volume discounts will be appreciated by retaining customers. Customers expect personalized service for remaining loyal to brands.
Understand channel preferences of customers
Online shopping increased during the pandemic, with a 20% surge in online purchases since January 2020. E-commerce enabled social distancing norms and the choice endured for most customers. Over 90% of consumers who tried, became converts to online shopping, as per McKinsey reports. The digital experience is incorporated by brands to maintain customer loyalty. Small businesses must build an easy, intuitive online store. After nailing e-commerce, expand into social commerce, by volume-sales on the social media platforms.
Personalize the customer experience
Advanced analytics will help extract data from your customers database and make something called a “micro-segment,” or small target customers group based on some unique traits like personality type, financial status or family relationship. Customers expect to be treated with personalized service when they continue to stay loyal to one brand. When used in combination with zero-party data, that customers contribute willingly in response to open surveys, marketers now can create accurately targeted marketing campaigns which will make customers feel truly valued. Personalized messaging is only the tip of a giant iceberg when it comes to maintaining customer loyalty.
Customers are aware that business owners face diverse challenges, as the pandemic rages. Supply chain issues and a fickle economy continues to thwart the “back to normal” process whenever the economy moves forward. The more transparency you show your customers, it is likely that they stick with you. Own up to product faults, marketing errors, and corporate blunders. Apologise for out-of-stock items, extended delivery times and delayed shipments. Your store policies must be understood and well-publicized. Be clear about your stance on social issues and transparent with the employees. They represent your brand every single day. If team members are loyal to your business, that feeling rubs onto your customers.