A recent report from Boston Retail Partners entitled “Loyalty – Rewarding the Customer Experience” presents survey data from 500 retailers revealing the mindset related to customer loyalty. The primary findings of the report include:

  • 62 percent plan to allocate increased funds toward their loyalty programs this year.
  • 47 percent of those surveyed do not currently offer a loyalty program to their consumers.
  • 46 percent state that a structured loyalty program is a top priority for their brand.
  • 76 percent list enhanced customer experience and engagement as a top brand priority.

We sat down with Clutch’s Chief Operating Officer, Brad Marg, to discuss these findings and how these trends are impacting the overall customer loyalty landscape.

Q: Brad, what stood out to you most in this most recent loyalty report?

The trend of brands realizing their established customers are critical to their long-term success continues to grow. The biggest eye-opener is despite 76 percent of brands saying customer experience and engagement are a priority, both of which are largely driven by personalization and loyalty that nearly half – 47 percent – of brands are still sitting on the sidelines. That is a real disconnect (and opportunity) for those businesses.

Q: What does the 47 percent of brands not engaging customer loyalty say to you?

That they are falling behind. A recent poll showed upwards of 80 percent of consumers now expect brands to personalize their engagements and experiences. The ‘one size fits all’ marketing approach being rejected by today’s consumers. Yet nearly half of brands are opting to essentially ignore this. These brands are handing their competitors a huge opportunity with their own customers.

Q: What are you seeing with customer loyalty related to the brands you work with?

The concepts of customer, intelligence, loyalty and personalization are being increasingly embraced across an array of industries, many of which are not necessarily front of mind when you talk about customer personalization and loyalty. What we’re experiencing really reflects the general findings of this report. Brands like Meineke and Rawlings are leading the charge in their traditional industries to identify, understand and motivate their customers. This approach is strengthening their leadership positions through enhanced customer engagement, which earns the trust and loyalty of consumers and even cultivates evangelism. This will yield not only ongoing spend but less tolerance of price changes, more forgiveness for any issues and increased advocacy for the brand.

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