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Keeping up with Retail Marketing Trends
26th October 2017

What’s hot in marketing (particularly for retailers) is constantly evolving to keep up with customers and technology, and sometimes trends come and go in a relatively quick fashion. However, unlike many of its predecessors, marketing based around building customer loyalty is here to stay – so if you haven’t gotten started yet, the time has arrived.

Before you Decide, Get the Facts

Picture this: a fictional retailer has had an incredible online and in-store presence, starting with a great product and continuing with an assortment of digital and traditional marketing efforts. However, recently, their in-store sales have started to drop, a similar fate as many since the birth of Amazon and other major online players. And so, like so many others, our fictional retailer increased their marketing and sales efforts; more social media campaigns, more emails, more buzz. They also strengthened their in-store offering, tempting potential customers through face-to-face interactions and exclusive products and sales. And it works. But it feels a little disjointed. Lots of new customers and lots of work to get them. There must be a better way.

And there is. Rather than spending hours chasing after new customers, why not focus your strategy to keep the ones you have? Studies have shown that it costs 5x as much to obtain a new customer rather than keeping the one you have . This means that even though such efforts might feel a little expensive in the beginning, the ROI makes it well worth any initial pressure.

To do so requires building a strong relationship with your customer, not a sales relationship. Personalization offers a great place to start with this, whether in the body of your emails or in the messages that your customers can have sent to their smartphones or devices. Using social media can also be effective for relationship building, but be sure to take your efforts to the next level by monitoring and listening to the conversations that your customers are having with your brand amongst themselves. A thorough analysis can help you to identify issues that they may be having. Remember, it is OK to make mistakes, but it is not OK to ignore or deny them.

What Else Can I Do to Improve Loyalty?

  • SMS and email surveys to help gauge customer satisfaction and provide actionable insights
  • Choose an internal dashboard that employees can use to readily access important reports
  • Include a proximity-based beacon interface that allows for the sending of personalized offers to your mobile app for when users are close by
  • Be thorough in your after-sale process. If your customer has a problem, make it straightforward and painless for them to solve it

An added bonus? Each time you get to interact with your customer along the way, you learn a little more about them and about your buyers in general; meaning you can alter your product and strategy in ways that allow you to become more successful. This can also help you to create an effective ‘after sales’ strategy that takes first-time buyers and turns them into the biggest advocates of your brand. Because really, who are your potential customers more likely to believe? Your marketing campaigns or the opinion and experience of their friends?

Loyalty Programs: Customer Retention in Action
We already know that the cost of maintaining a happy customer is much lower than the cost of obtaining a new one, and loyalty programs, when executed correctly, can be an excellent way to do so. If you’re considering a loyalty program, make sure to keep these three key considerations in mind:

  • Be very careful how you structure your rewards so that you can balance benefits for both customer and brand
  • Promote your rewards program, or better yet, create incentives for your buyers to promote your program
  • Make it fun! This will help raise the value of the overall experience for customers and improve the effectiveness of your program

By keeping these considerations in mind when designing your loyalty program, you increase the odds of having a successful and ongoing relationship with your customers.

Conclusion

Loyalty driven marketing is an intrinsically efficient and effective ways to take “meeting your customers where they are” to an entirely new level. By customizing your online and in-store experiences to reflect the changing and growing demands of a sophisticated audience, you are making the most out of every interaction that you can have. If you’re interested in learning more about how loyalty driven marketing can help to grow your retail business, make sure to write us an email atmarketing@levtechconsulting.com.



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