Brands are treading a fine line in the post-pandemic world, and, with VIP status and rewards no longer cutting it, consumers now demand “emotional loyalty” from the companies they buy from; but put a foot wrong and they are likely to run into the arms of rivals.
That is according to Yotpo’s fourth Annual State of Brand Loyalty, based on the answers from 3,800 respondents across the UK, US, Australia, France, and Germany.
The report highlights that nearly nine out of ten (87%) UK shoppers say they are increasingly drawn to brands whose values align with their own – this jumps to 96% among Gen Z UK customers.
But this loyalty would soon evaporate if companies are found to engage in bad business practices related to the mistreatment of workers or the environment.
Consumers are also increasingly concerned by the way their personal information is being handled, with 81% of global consumers stating data transparency is important to them. However, 68% of global consumers stated they are willing to share personal information with brands they love in exchange for more personalised loyalty experiences and rewards, including email address (81%), date of birth (70%) product preferences, like clothing styles (55%) and product specifications, like clothing sizes (50%).
Additional findings show two-thirds (65%) would be willing to sign up for a loyalty programme, while if a product was out of stock, 59% would wait until it was back in stock rather than defect to a competitor.
Even so, more than two-fifths of consumers (43%) said that brands that send too many marketing messages would lose their loyalty, while nearly a third (30%) admitted they would also ditch a brand for posting awkward or “cringe-worthy” social media content.
Yotpo GM of loyalty Jordan Gutman believes long-term loyalty takes time and repeated positive interactions with a brand go far beyond points, tiered rewards or even VIP access.
He added: “While rewarding customer behaviour is one piece of the puzzle, gaining emotional loyalty can have an exponential effect on ecommerce growth.
“Every customer touchpoint, from website to email to text message, presents a huge opportunity for brands to engage in a meaningful way and loyalty programme data can take those interactions to the next level.
“As marketers continue to shift their focus to customer retention, a strategic loyalty programme will deliver hyper-relevant, personalised experiences that keep shoppers coming back.”
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