3 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty in Retail

For any large retailer, it can be a bittersweet trip down memory lane to recall the first group of customers that became loyal to your brand. As retailers grow and scale, it can be difficult to recapture that one-to-one intimacy you had with core customers early on, when the brand was just being introduced. Back then, you likely had more bandwidth to interact directly with individuals, and you took that intimacy seriously, as every customer interaction mattered to your brand’s success (or failure). With the growth of innovative marketing technologies and B2C solutions, it’s now possible, and even easy, for retailers to recapture this intimacy at scale.

1. Build One-to-One Relationships with Omnichannel Marketing

The secret ingredient to building these one-to-one consumer relationships on a larger scale is omnichannel marketing (which, keep in mind, is completely different to multi-channel marketing). Omnichannel marketing is a sales approach that strives for seamless customer engagement, But what does it have to do with building customer intimacy? When marketers engage customers across multiple channels, multiple devices, and multiple platforms, and leverage customer data to create personalized messages, customers are drawn back into an intimate relationship with the brand because they’re treated as unique individuals, not a batch-and-blast group.

Omnichannel marketing isn’t without its perks, either. In fact, according to Aberdeen, companies with well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategies in place achieve an average 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate, compared to those without. Clearly, this type of marketing has been proven to succeed, and the key to creating and delivering effective omnichannel marketing campaigns is to adapt innovative, cutting-edge marketing technologies to help scale that level of personalization.

2. Engage Customer Through Artificial Intelligence Marketing

Artificial Intelligence Marketing (AIM) solutions are just one example of a new type of marketing technology revolutionizing how marketers can truly excel at building and maintaining one-to-one relationships at scale. With big data and machine learning working behind the scenes to uncover important insights and key customer behavior trends, marketers can focus on creating powerful content and strategy to bolster these critical consumer relationships, while the AI marketing solutions and machine learning take care of the heavy lifting.

AI marketing solutions, along with marketing automation tools, are a great way to engage customers and build strong consumer-brand relationships. Automation tools provide marketers with the freedom to control various campaign aspects from a single location, and target customers based on predefined segments and profiles. AI marketing and marketing automation solutions help marketers keep their brand at the top of consumers’ inboxes, and at the top of their minds.

3. Personalization to Boost Campaign Performance

Today’s consumers expect some level of personalization from the brands with whom they interact on a regular basis, or even an infrequent basis. In fact, nearly 75% of online consumers get frustrated when web content appears to have nothing to do with their interests. Marketers are tasked with doubling down on these personalized anecdotes while pushing for increased clicks and conversions all the while. Personalization can be the missing piece between a good campaign and an incredible, high-performing campaign.

There is something to be said for marketers making every customer feel as though they are the most important consumer to interact with that particular brand. Marketers should constantly monitor social media platforms and answer consumer feedback, both positive and negative, to boost one-to-one communication and increase the feedback mechanism. It’s also a good idea to implement location-based personalization tools in order to tailor marketing messaging to specific locations or time zones.

Final Thoughts

While growth is obviously the goal of every e-commerce and retail organization, it’s important to not lose sight of what catalyzed this growth in the first place: impactful, one-to-one customer relationships. Consumers are trusting brands more than ever before, and loyal customers can make a huge impact. The rise of brand ambassadors and influencer marketing is taking social media by storm, but all the famous faces in the world won’t work if customers don’t already feel connected to a brand.

Thankfully, with the right solutions in place, and the right content in front of consumers, this intimacy is achievable at any scale, regardless of how large an organization has become or how complicated the messaging may seem. You can learn how Emarsys is helping leading retailers achieve their customer relationship goals with this on-demand webinar, Intimacy at Scale: Omnichannel Retail Marketing with IDC.

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Friday, 17 March 2017