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In 2022, two thirds of retailers focused on building out their loyalty programs as one of their most critical retention strategies. If you don’t already have a program launched, you’re already behind. But don’t worry, here’s some help from the loyalty pros.
In the latest CN webinar, we asked Gautam Kanumuru, Co-Founder and CEO of Yogi, to share his knowledge about the importance of customer loyalty and what retailers can do to improve marketing their product. Then, a panel of senior-level executives from Hanky Panky, FGX International and Ten Thousand discussed different methods of gaining consumer loyalty and offered advice for creating a community of passionate customers.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
- One simple way to gain loyal customers is to be empathetic towards their wants and needs.
- Supporting your biggest supporters helps build passion and identity.
- It is vital to not just know what your customers want, but actually work to implement it.
- Sabrina Cherubini, SVP Brand & Digital, Hanky Panky
- Elias Soussou, Senior Director, Global Consumer & Market Insights, FGX International (EssilorLuxottica)
- Jason Nickel, SVP Marketing, Ten Thousand, Inc.
- Gautam Kanumuru, Co-Founder/CEO, Yogi
- Moderated by Allan Dick, Co-Founder, CommerceNext
Watch the full recording or continue reading for the webinar’s three key takeaways.
1. Earning Loyalty By: Showing Empathy
The state of the economy is incredibly stressful for consumers, causing many of them to adopt a recessionary mindset. Because customers are having to budget more carefully, they are becoming pickier with what they choose to buy. Having a strong ecommerce loyalty program is vital in getting them to choose your brand over competitors.
One way to stand out among the crowd is to be empathetic to your customers’ struggles, financial or otherwise. Hanky Panky strives to show compassion to their customers and help them become who they want to be. Instead of offering an abundance of discounts or spending time worrying about things out of their control, the team is instead focusing on helping their customers feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin. Their goal is to stand out from their competitors by being a brand that is emotionally attuned to their customers and is understanding of any challenges they may be facing in their lives.
Genuinely connecting with your customers through clear brand goals and a strong social presence will allow you to create a bond and two-way sense of loyalty between your brand and your customers. If you are empathetic and build trust with your customers, they will be more likely to choose your brand over others because of the sense of stability in this uncertain time.
2. Earning Loyalty By: Championing the Champions
While customer loyalty is the ultimate goal, affiliates, influencers and other brand advocates going above and beyond should be rewarded, too.
Ten Thousand has implemented this through their ecommerce loyalty program, which promotes the most enthusiastic advocates of their brand in their social media campaigns. The highest level of the affiliate program, the Captains, have become the face of the brand and are invaluable when it comes to customer support and product development.
Encouraging people to be enthusiastic about your brand and products is key to building a passionate and loyal customer base. You don’t just want to make a good brand; you want to be a brand that is so amazing that your customers feel compelled to tell their friends and family about you.
3. Earning Loyalty By: Catering to Customers
Learning your customers honest thoughts about your product is crucial, but actually implementing improvements is even more important.
According to Yogi, by analyzing customer reviews for both your brand and competing brands, you can adapt your product to better fit their wants and needs. The shopping landscape is constantly evolving and in order to stay competitive, it is vital to be attentive and accommodating to your customers.
This is not an easy or quick process either, but the investment of time and effort are well worth it. Over the course of 4 and a half years, Ten Thousand have changed the design of their Interval Shorts 7 times. Hanky Panky have been improving the comfort of their lingerie for over 16 years. The team at FGX International strives to always try to listen to consumers through reviews, identify their needs and cater to them to ensure that their product is the best that it can be. With each new evolution of your product and ecommerce loyalty program, your customers become more and more satisfied, and thus, evermore loyal to the brand that listens to their personal feedback.
2023 is shaping up to be a difficult economic year, and this year will be marked by those brands who invest in retention strategies focused on building a loyal customer base. Listen to your customers and determine how you can best appeal to them. A strong ecommerce loyalty program is one of the sure ways brands can stay alive in a state of economic turmoil—don’t be late to the game
Want to learn more marketing tips and strategies for customer loyalty from 120+ of the industry’s top executives? Register for the CommerceNext Ecommerce Growth Show today!