Editor’s note: The information in the post is extracted from our “Loyalty: Up close and personal” report which shares how to increase customer loyalty. Download your copy below:
Creating and maintaining trust as an ecommerce retailer is key to healthy long term revenue and reputation.
More than half of UK consumers shop online and this is forecast to increase by 29.6% between now and 2024. There are fewer opportunities to build trust through the traditional bricks and mortar shopping experience, with physical retail in decline. The ecommerce experience you provide for your customers is the first and last place they will interact with your brand. It must be trustworthy, authentic and targeted specifically for each individual customer as much as possible.
For 80% of customers, feeling they can trust a brand to use their data in a helpful way will secure their loyalty.
76% of customers said that for them to be loyal to a brand, they need to trust that if they recommended it to a friend, they would have a good experience.
Today’s customers are wise to any brand that acts inauthentically. With the brand-customer relationship being established online, it’s important to build trust by using customer data responsibly and in a way that will enhance the customer’s experience.
With only one-third of consumers saying they trust the brands they buy from, there’s scope to set your store apart and build trust. After all, actions speak louder than words. Here’s how to increase customer loyalty:
It’s important to find out exactly who your customers are and how they’re using your site to deliver a unique experience.
Use your loyalty program to capture customer data to see where they engage with your program and to pinpoint where to build trust. Each customer will interact with you differently, depending on their age, gender and personal preferences. Some use social media to interact with you, some will prefer email newsletters and some will only ever come directly to your website.
If your customers follow you on social media as a way to earn loyalty points, target them with news or offers on their social media feeds.
You could also encourage these customers to return and engage by adding a bonus that gives them points for using your brand hashtag on Instagram.
To build trust with your customers you need to target them with the right content at the right time. Here are the three customer segments to begin targeting straight away:
Show customers you’re using their data to drive value for them. Providing a tailored experience is key to customer satisfaction. Segment your audience into relevant categories. This could be:
As an example, the underwear brand Lively uses loyalty data to filter their customer database into three distinct loyalty segments. This allows them to drill into their email marketing strategy and serve more relevant content to the right audience and deliver unique, one-to-one experiences.
For their most loyal customers, Lively send emails that encourage them to refer friends. These shoppers will be more willing to do so as they are already loyal and they already love the brand. Encouraging them to act as advocates is hugely beneficial. It demonstrates just how loyal other customers are and that Lively must be worth trusting.
By using these customer segments to deliver personalized experiences that build customer trust, Lively generated a 36% increase in customer spend.
At-risk customers don’t have a strong opinion about your brand, aren’t hugely happy, or perhaps feel a little ignored. What’s more, they’re close to shopping with your competitor.
Try running a “surprise and delight” campaign that makes at-risk customers feel valued. Use segmentation to move them into a hidden tier in your loyalty program where they can earn rewards unavailable to other customers.
Lively run targeted email campaigns to prevent at-risk customers from disengaging further. The brand sends personalized points balance reminders, including how many points the customer has accrued. The email also reminds them of the different ways they can earn points. These emails show the customer that they had previously trusted the brand and prompts them to return, engage and shop.
Send out a hyper-targeted campaign to remind churned customers why they liked and trusted you to begin with.
These could be double points, a free gift for a birthday or perhaps educational content around your product.
Lively also send loyalty emails around seasonal events, such as Black Friday, showing these customers why they should return. Their recent Black Friday email showed the free gifts the customer could get if they returned to make a purchase during the sales event.
They also used these emails to showcase their BFCM double point event where customers could get double the points per dollar spent.
80% of customers say that a brand using their data in a helpful way is more likely to secure their loyalty – going a little bit further to earn trust, pays off. Use the data from your loyalty program to engage with your customers on the platforms they prefer, while sending them timely and relevant offers based on their own individual interests and purchasing history. It’s not a one-way street and showing your customers the benefits they get by shopping with you is how to build trust.
To learn more about how to increase customer loyalty with trust-building, download the full “Loyalty: Up close and personal” report.
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