LOS ANGELES—Consumer brand loyalty has reached a record high with 97% of Americans indicating they have brand loyalties in 2021, up from nearly 90% in 2019, according to new research from Savings.com.
In 2021, people feel most connected to food and beverage brands, with 62% pledging their allegiance to a specific one. Fifty-seven percent of respondents tended to stick to a specific fashion or apparel brand as well. People were less rigid when it came to home and garden and home improvement brands, with less than 30% reported loyalty to certain ones.
Today in the midst of a pandemic, consumers are forced to make tough decisions regarding the ever-evolving shopping experience. With many stores either temporarily or permanently shutting down in 2020, there has been a massive shift toward online shopping. From 2014 to 2021, the number of digital buyers worldwide increased from 1.32 billion to 2.14 billion. Now, three in 10 Americans have stopped shopping at one of their favorite stores over the past year because the store doesn’t have an online storefront, and nearly the same amount stopped because the store’s online user experience was poor.
For business owners looking to hold on to customers in fiercely competitive marketplaces, brand-based loyalty programs may be an effective strategy to keep clients interested, engaged and eventually loyal toward a company’s products or services. Many food and beverage companies have effectively rolled out these kinds of programs, and sellers across all verticals could benefit from the continued rise in consumer loyalty by implementing other types of loyalty-generating programs, such as subscription services.
Store closings play a part, too. If consumers don’t have access to a specific store’s products, loyalty falters, and even if online shopping is an option for that particular item or brand, many consumers are disinterested due to poor user experiences. Since 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, Savings.com says businesses should focus on creating or updating their e-commerce platform, especially considering the societal trend toward purchasing products at the push of a button.
Some loyalties have been lost, while others have stood the test of time. As companies continue to invest in digital efforts, along with the already large influx of shoppers going digital, customer loyalty will continue to be put to the test. In a post-pandemic world, keeping loyal customers engaged is a must until they return to brick-and-mortar stores.
Overall, consumers are more upbeat about a COVID-19 recovery. A new survey found that more people are ready to shop in stores. Recently, Convenience Matters also discussed how the care and nurture of a brand leads to success. And part of that brand is tied into the online shopping experience. To learn more about how online shopping has been impacted by COVID-19, read “Online Grocery Shopping Continues to Surge” in NACS Daily.
Be sure to read “Rebuilding the Brand” in NACS Magazine to discover more on how a brand relays a company’s identity to consumers.
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