The importance and influence of customer loyalty impact almost all key metrics when running a business. New customer acquisition tends to cost more, and new customers have a lower average spend than loyal, repeat customers. According to Forrester, a new customer could take up to five times more cost to convert than the existing loyal customers.
Physical retailers are adopting new technologies and techniques like omnichannel commerce and personalisation to combat competition with online retailers. The loyalty program of an e-commerce platform is exceptionally automated and personalised; this reduces the customer churn rate, it is not as easy for a physical retailer to attain the same level of efficiency in a brick and mortar setup.
Software automation allows eCommerce companies to increase customer loyalty. Likewise, a physical retailer can use in-store automation to drive loyalty. Grocery retailers are using sensors, crowd detection technology and predictive analytics to predict the number of cashiers required in the store at a particular time. Retailers can evolve from fulfilling essential customer needs to creating memorable experiences which make shoppers keep coming back, thus increasing loyalty.
Location and CRM-based automated marketing can add value to the loyalty programs by adding discounts and savings. This allows the sending of automated and personalised communication like premium discounts and relevant products promotions based on their location in-store and shopping behaviour.
Loyal customers are the best advocates; they inadvertently spread the word about the product or services. Retailers can get marketing done free of cost. Creating these loyal customers isn’t a one size fits all model. Creating a customised experience for every customer will build a loyalty base. Loyal customers tend to spend more with brands they interact more often.
The obvious example is the Amazon Go store. They use computer vision, deep learning and sensor fusion technology to automate the payment and checkout process, which means customers can enter the store, pick-up items and leave without a queue or check out. Krogers using digital price tags that can integrate with mobile shopping lists and alert customers what items to look for next. These ways, personalised in-store automation can add value to the customers driving loyalty.
There are many forms of loyalty, brand, vendor and store to name but a few. In particular, store loyalty is essential for a retailer as it a positive attitude to a specific store and determines the likelihood of purchase. Enhancing the customer experience and satisfaction through store automation can improve the revenue generated per customer. Loyalty is more than just returning to the store, driving word-of-mouth, opposition to change and inspire others to use the service is just as vital in the long run.