2020 brought a wave of change in every industry, but retail was hit especially hard. With the decrease of in-person shopping and the rise of e-commerce, brand loyalty has become less and less prevalent.
Today, price and convenience are the most influential factors when buyers are looking for product substitutes. Buying habits are evolving and with them comes a new pattern in brand loyalty. Consumers are more divided between brands they trust and love and those that they hate. The brands that lay in the middle are disregarded by most and highly interchangeable. On the bright side, this gives sellers boundless opportunities to acquire new customers. The challenge will be to hold on to your existing clientele, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible.
Why is brand loyalty important in the first place? 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition and increasing customer loyalty by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%. The long and short of it is that developing a loyal customer base will save you money and energy.
Customer Acquisition and Conversion
Before diving into brand loyalty, we should first talk about a crucial metric in your marketing and overall business plan: your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), which is the cost of convincing someone to buy your product. The past few years have seen the CAC on paid marketing channels for E-Commerce continuously rising. It’s a high cost to acquire customers from paid channels, and time-consuming to get them via organic channels, so it’s essential to manage conversion and retention to get your ROI on Marketing. Hence why ensuring brand loyalty is of paramount importance when running your E-Commerce business.
To bring in new loyal customers and seek to not alienate your existing ones, make sure you understand where your non-converting customers drop off in the order journey. And invest time to understand retention: What makes your customers come back, what are they happy about, and what are points of friction that lead them to walk away from a sale at the last minute?
Of course, the major key when trying to build and reinforce relationships with customers is keeping track of them all. For your E-Commerce business, it would be beneficial to invest in a Contact Relationship Management System (CRM) to manage your customers. Growing the share of repeat customers (your repurchase rate) and providing familiarity and personalized service is one of the best and most cost-efficient ways to ensure brand loyalty.
There are several great open source and CRM systems out there, such as SuiteCRM, Odoo, or Vtiger, which allows you the flexibility to modify the code to fit your needs. If you want a more plug-and-play and free solution, you can look into Zoho, Hubspot, or Capsule CRM to name a few. This allows you to manage your marketing, sales, fulfillment, and customer support across multichannel, all from one dashboard.
One of the many perks of online shopping for a customer is how personalized and flexible the experience can be. Consumers can be targeted with ads, deals, and delivery options that are designed specifically for them. Utilizing this ability and increasing site usability is a great way to build brand loyalty.
Before tackling personalization, make sure your site is easy to navigate and as hassle-free as possible. You want to avoid any churn or give a potential customer any excuse to drop out of the purchasing process. This step is crucial before moving on to making a unique experience because without the basics your buyer won’t stick around. With the data stored in your CRM, which incidentally is often overlooked, you can find ways to attract, delight, and retain website consumers. Once the first conversion is made you can then retarget to buyers and build a lasting relationship.
Omnichannel personalization is yet another resource that can be leveraged to build personalized shopping experiences. Omnichannel personalization stretches from retargeting buyers on social media to offering unique shipping options. Creating a unified experience for buyers on every platform will build loyalty and also help you to collect more crucial information. Finally, offering your customers competitive delivery times or the option to pick up products from local distribution centers will make their shopping experience seamless.
Brand Loyalty Programs
Creating a loyal customer base takes time and energy on the part of the retailer. There has to be an incentive for buyers to return to a company again and again. Loyalty programs such as Talon One or Fivestars in the Asia Pacific offer marketing strategies designed to reward consumers for their continued support of a business. It is a win-win situation because it makes the buyer feel valued while also encouraging them to spend more money with your company. When customers feel good about their purchases you gain a competitive advantage against the competitors.
Some of the best loyalty programs are accessible on mobile devices, offer points for purchases, early access to sales, and special discount codes. These benefits will be a cost to the company but the rewards will be worth the investment. 75% of consumers say they are more likely to make repeat purchases at a company where they can earn rewards and as we said before, retention is cheaper than acquisition.
With the vast number of e-commerce sites available today it is crucial to have competitive shipping rates and times. More often than not, buyers will abandon their carts at checkout due to a lack of shipping information. Using the right shipping technology can save those sales and build brand loyalty. While the e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Lazada, and Shopify have extremely fast shipping times, they will never have the personal connection smaller sellers can create. The key is to make sure your rates and times are competitive, while also offering great customer service if there are any delays.
Transparency is key when it comes to providing shipping information. Always display the delivery date at check out and notify buyers of any delays before they make the purchase if possible. Having options to track packages and choose delivery times are positive incentives for potential buyers to go through with their purchases.
When it comes to buying products online, it is important to the consumer that the seller has a hassle-free return policy. E-Commerce sales often require a lot of returning and re-ordering, if your return policy is a hassle the buyer will not hesitate to go to another site. Be sure to include a return label in every order, while it will be an incurred cost, it will raise revenue and pay for itself.
How LOCAD Can Keep Them Loyal
Managing so many aspects of your E-Commerce business can be challenging, but we are here to help. LOCAD offers a supply chain platform as a service for multi-channel fulfillment, on-demand warehousing, and distribution. Our product is an easy-to-use technology that can manage your infrastructure and help mitigate some of your greatest E-Commerce pain points, so you can focus on giving your clients the best possible experience.
We work across all aspects of your business in order to assess and consolidate inventory so that you have access to everything in real-time; sales, inventory, and KPIs. As well, we offer a robust on-demand fulfillment network, so you can ensure that your products arrive on time, every time. So you’ll never have to worry about alienating a possible repeat customer with the dreaded “out-of-stock” label or lose the ability to track a shipment and delivery in real-time.
Let us help you achieve your most profitable and effective business, and take away some of the more stressful elements. After years of experience with E-Commerce sellers, entrepreneurs, and Enterprise level clients, we have developed a highly scalable, easy-to-use solution for your business needs. We also offer:
- Supply and Demand Planning.
- LOCAD’s Control Tower Dashboard for real-time visibility into inventory.
- Flexible terms and variable fulfillment pricing with no lock-in commitments.
- Workflow Automation.
- A distributed fulfillment network to bring stock closer to consumers, shortening the last mile, and making delivery faster and more cost-efficient.
- Integration with the platform or marketplace of your choice.
- Contracted rates with many courier companies (saving you money).
- Sales, inventory, and KPI analytics to flag non-moving stock and give you access to real-time statistics
Contact us to learn more about how we can manage the backend and ensure that you deliver on your promises every time and keep your customers coming back for more.