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How to restore brand loyalty during a pandemic part 2

Loyal customers keep your sales flowing. In fact, loyal customers spend 67% more spending than non-regular customers, which is why focusing on repeat business is a necessity. But how?

According to Braun Research, fifty-seven percent of small business owners say having a relationship with their customers is what drives loyalty, according to Braun Research. Business owners are right. Relationship that inspires a customer to make a purchase, and another and another. In this earlier post I have presented part 1 of How to restore brand loyalty during a pandemic. And now, let’s explore part 2.

How to restore brand loyalty during a pandemic part 2

3. Physical attributes are still relevant for CPG shoppers, even when shopping online.

Check out How To Restore Brand Loyalty During A Pandemic (Part 1) so don’t miss any information. Necessity, presence, and price are certainly large factors in retaining customer loyalty at this time.

But the fact that a larger share of total commerce is now online means there’s another challenge to address, and that’s how consumers make purchase decisions on these channels.

If choosing one product over another once largely depended on physical attributes like packaging, size, and general look and feel, moving online means these factors become less influential – at least that’s the general assumption.

In reality, physical attributes are still very relevant to shoppers – even online.

Two of the factors that most stand out for online grocery shoppers when purchasing everyday household brands are the look/feel of a brand’s packaging, and the materials/ingredients used.

Online channels will need to go the extra mile to provide this information at consumers’ fingertips. While doing this will improve the customer experience online, eCommerce players can entice consumers further by incorporating other key factors.

For example, when it comes to groceries and everyday household items, loyalty schemes are looked upon favorably. Online grocery shoppers are 26% more likely than average to say loyalty schemes are important when purchasing a new household brand.

We shouldn’t forget that groceries are recurring purchases, meaning loyalty is easier to foster if consumers see a long-term monetary benefit from repeatedly buying from a brand.

We see much less enthusiasm for loyalty programmes in the U.S., however, where only 7% of online grocery shoppers say it’s important, compared to 22% in the UK. This could be because retailers in the U.S. are ahead of the UK for attaining loyalty via subscription-based services instead.

Interestingly, food and grocery subscription services are the second most popular category U.S. consumers are interested in subscribing to in the next 3-6 months, just behind TV streaming subscriptions.

What brands should do: With online grocery shopping gaining popularity, a subscription business model will take brand loyalty to the next level.

Walmart in the U.S. and Tesco in the UK have both launched a “Plus” subscription service, with the latter reporting an almost £9 average increase per shop during the trial. Those quick to experiment with these offerings will be well-placed to foster shopper loyalty during the pandemic.

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4. Now is the time to up your interactive game.

Another challenge brands are faced with when selling primarily online is the ability to communicate the value of their products effectively on these channels.

AR (augmented reality) has, so far, been slow on the uptake. But with 5G adoption gathering momentum and in-store shopping taking a back seat due to the pandemic, AR shopping experiences have a unique window of opportunity to scale up.

User demand for the tech is higher than ever too.

Around two-thirds of UK and U.S. consumers show interest in trying AR experiences.

This sentiment is especially prominent among buyers of high-ticket items, like cars and furniture, where buyers are often deterred from making an online purchase before seeing the product in person.

But the technology is equally as desirable in the FMCG sector, with 74% of personal care shoppers expressing an interest in trying AR.

The beauty industry was already making use of AR features pre-COVID, but the pandemic has accelerated this trend, with MAC reporting a threefold increase in engagement with its AR try-on over a 2 months period.

Testing products physically may not be viable due to hygienic reasons, especially in the beauty and cosmetics industry. For these reasons, AR has the potential to go fully mainstream this year.

AR is now an accessible solution for smaller D2C brands too, following the introduction of the new “YouCam Makeup” app in Shopify.

What brands should do: If AR was a nice-to-have feature prior to the pandemic, it’s now solving real pain points for consumers and businesses – and it’s in demand from both sides. Brands shouldn’t miss out on building that extra layer of interactivity in the shopper experience; not for the sake of it, but if it provides real value for the customer.

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Conclusion

Each of these steps alone might bring brands closer to fostering customer loyalty, but it’s the combination of all of them that will create an exceptional customer experience worth coming back to. Ultimately, brands need to think creatively and act quickly to showcase the value of their products online in a way that separates them from the noise.

Thank you and best regards.

Leadee.Ai Team

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