Are Infrequent Shoppers More Loyal? Ask Your Retail Sales Software
When you want to reward your most frequent shoppers and loyal customers, run the data through your retail sales software — you may be talking about two very different groups. Building good relationships with your best customers requires understanding and a personal touch, as well as a data foundation.
A new study from Cardlytics suggests that frequent customers and loyal customers have fundamentally different buying behaviors. Cardlytics looked at “whole wallet” spending across five retail channels: restaurants, apparel, grocery, general retail, and gas and convenience. It concluded that people who shop frequently at specific retailers are often heavy “category spenders,” which means they also frequently buy from other retailers in the same channel. Loyal customers, on the other hand, tend to shop less frequently in a given category, but typically shop at the same stores.
This insight is important for mid-market retailers to take into account when creating customer loyalty programs. In the apparel world, 53 percent of customers shop at the same store most of the time. But 75 percent of these loyal customers are relatively light shoppers; the heavy category spenders are far less loyal (15 percent), according to the survey.
Even though loyal customers shop less frequently, they have high value to retailers. They not only come to your store, but they also tell their friends where they shop, either in person or via social media, and encourage others to do business with your store. It’s important to understand that loyalty and reward it with appropriate incentives. Loyalty programs might do well to focus on making customers feel involved and providing them with special offers for referring their friends.
A good loyalty program has many facets for a retailer to consider — it’s not just a dollars-and-cents proposition. What kind of culture does your loyalty program create? Do your customers feel appreciated? Retailers first need to make an impact on their customers by giving them something that they remember, such as a loyalty card or a valuable coupon. Then you’re well prepared to move on to incentivizing those loyal customers to shop with you more frequently and place higher-value orders.
Of course, the key to making your loyalty programs truly work for your business is to integrate them with your retail sales software, including your customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms. With an integrated system, your CRM system tracks and measures marketing efforts, including customer loyalty programs, and may also automate workflows to schedule follow-ups and other actions. Looking further ahead, this marketing data may in turn be used by the ERP system to improve your inventory management and other operations.
In the end, customer loyalty is about creating an emotional connection as well as financial incentives. It’s also about investing time and resources into nurturing relationships with key customers who are willing to serve as evangelists for your brand or company. This process requires thoughtfulness and people skills, as well as a solid foundation of retail sales software to keep all of the pieces in order and working together optimally.
Author: Tina Terrezza, Business Development Manager at ArcherPoint