In this new climate, retailers need adapt their ways of working to deliver personalized interactions that lead to sticky, lasting relationships with these more digitally focused customers.
And while there are other factors that influence loyalty, a differentiated customer engagement strategy will be critical for retailers to maintain brand relevance and cultivate stronger allegiance with these new customers, through 2021 and beyond.
Let’s stay together
How retailers can drive customer retention for the long term.
When many retailers think about customer retention, it’s generally in the form of one-size-fits-all communications and promotions. This is distinctly different from the experience customers receive in a best-practice digital channel.
Retailers that don’t specifically engage with their new digital customers are blowing a golden opportunity to retain these new customers by turning insights into action and providing an experience that recognizes their value.
A surge in digital customers is creating huge opportunities for retailers to review and adapt their customer engagement strategies.
Three waves of retail customer engagement
In our experience, retailers are spread across the customer engagement maturity curve, which has three distinct waves.
Wave 1: Know thy customer
Retailers are just starting their digital journey, with a primary focus on understanding the customer. Most retailers are in this wave.
Wave 2: Begin to take action
Retailers are deliberately structuring their data and insights engines to fuel personalized action.
Wave 3: Full personalization for each customer
Retailers deploy one-to-one personalized journeys in a seamless and automated way at scale, often running on cloud-based systems.
Here are five steps to set retailers on the path to wave three:
1. Understand where you are today
Assess whether you are adapting to consumer behavior by using analytics and making data-informed decisions.
2. Align on customer strategy and gather insights
Put in place the right KPIs and analytics to measure truly customer-centric and retention-focused behaviors and activities.
3. Assess your technology and partner strategy
Determine current gaps in the technical architecture and how best to close these, such as using partners for speed to value where appropriate.
4. Turn insights into action, at scale
Summarize insights into key themes and outline specific actions that different business teams can own and act upon.
5. Establish clear governance
Assign clear ownership and incentives to equip your organization to deliver on the customer strategy.
The transformation required to sustain customer loyalty is substantial. But retailers that master individually personalized interactions at scale will be best positioned to capture the hearts and minds of consumers for sustained growth.