The Peaceful Transition of Customer Loyalty: Part II
I hope my first post shed some light on ways to engage millennials and increase customer loyalty within our generation. Below, is my attempt to bring our journey full circle. I believe – with the support of my company – the industry will see a massive shift in this direction in the years to come.
4. Retention: We demand a seamless experience.
“74% of millennials agree – tech has made it easier than ever before to take our business elsewhere.” Quotes like this are misleading and make millennials sound spoiled. Let me translate: I believe tech has made it “easier than ever before” to simply keep shopping. Occasionally we buy, but we never get to the next phase – loyalty. Showing customers RELEVANT products is the key. You must deliver that need. If you can get us to buy because you really “know” us, we are likely to come back and stay with you. I don’t need a study to prove that. But still, so many miss the mark. The result? 50% of your customers are likely to switch brands.
As millennials jump from online to in-store, “66% of us demand the transition to be seamless.” Gosh, the language in these studies is brutal. What does this really mean? Simply put, we expect to find the same products and price – with any discounts – to be branded the same way in-store as they are online. Brand cohesion is hugely important. So important that it dictates what stores to which we return.
Likewise, if you don’t adhere to our mobile-run lives we’re likely to not keep coming back. Compared to baby boomers, millennials are more than twice as likely to say that mobile devices are necessary across every phase of the purchasing lifecycle. Further, millennial consumers are 2.3x more likely to consider not purchasing again from a company if it didn’t offer a mobile app in comparison to other generations.
5. Loyalty: Our customer loyalty is still up for grabs. As long as we’re the center of attention.
Despite the majority of businesses that say millennials lack of loyalty is their number one concern, our allegiance is not in short supply – provided we feel valued as customers.
A customer-centric shopping experience is one tailored to the wants and needs of a shopper. I don’t want to make this more confusing than it needs to be. I simply don’t want to be shopper 23563. I want you to do better. Not in the whiny or needy way. But because it is good business to care. And technology allows you to care more than you ever thought you could and ultimately, win our customer loyalty.
73% of millennials are in agreement that companies must understand us – and demonstrate that understanding. You can do that by providing intelligent, informed, and personalized communications. How should retailers do this? According to 80% of millennials, companies sending personalized or exclusive offers and discounts have a major or moderate influence on their customer loyalty. But don’t stop there. We want more of the same when we shop in-store. 68% of consumers say it’s absolutely critical or very important for customer service agents to know their service history. Our perceived value diminishes every time we have to recap our preferences and history.
Don’t think it will have that much of an impact? In just 6 months after an omnichannel experience, we logged 23% more repeat shopping trips and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends. Flip to the opposite side of the coin, 73% of consumers say they’re extremely or somewhat likely to switch brands if a company provides inconsistent levels of service as they jump from channel-to-channel.
By the year 2020, millennials will have an annual spending power of $1.4 trillion, representing 30% of all retail sales. With the future success of businesses riding on a single generation, the importance of adaptation has never been higher. Collectively, our expectations will no longer be an option, but a necessity. To reflect customer demand, retailers need to customize their offerings across channels in the ways millennials want, which typically boils down to providing better, faster, more memorable service.