As the inflation rate in the United States hits a 40-year high, it’s no secret that consumers are feeling the spillover effects of price increases on their staples. From groceries to gas pumps, the reality of the situation is clear – US household budgets are extremely tight. Although consumer price index (CPI) growth slowed significantly over the summer, economists still expect inflationary pressures to continue for the foreseeable future.
How long? Only time will tell, but despite that, the margin of error for retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) is narrower than ever. The rate of inflation coupled with shortages in the supply chain has hit brand loyalty the hardest. According to a report cited by The Wall Street Journal, nearly 70% of US shoppers said they bought a new or different brand before the pandemic, while brands with existing products low or inventories from 72% to 85% decreased by 0.7 percentage points. wallet share average.
In turn, retailers and CPG companies must ensure that no risk occurs as they continue to face market volatility. The massive volume of data generated by e-commerce loyalty programs offers an opportunity to leverage digital transformation as a powerful tool to forge new avenues to profitability. With the uncertainty ahead, now is the perfect time to reevaluate brand loyalty strategies. With the right program in place, they can take proactive steps to maximize the impact of their eCommerce customer data for sustainable growth and success.
Actionable data insights for a seamless and personalized experience
Loyalty programs are essential for customer retention and brand commitment. Our 2022 Omnichannel Retail Index shows that 70% of retailers offer loyalty programs, but many of these are not fully optimized. A recent Salesforce Connected Shoppers report found that 3 in 4 consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand with a loyalty program, but only 22% said they are satisfied with the level of personalization these programs offer. This disconnect can be mitigated by moving away from one-size-fits-all approaches and static point programs in favor of a unified, data-driven loyalty ecosystem.
Loyalty is not purely transactional; It’s about building relationships with customers. A multi-cloud ecosystem combined with AI-powered tools can enable businesses to deliver exceptional loyalty programs at scale by personalizing interactions to create connections. Emotions with customers drive repeat purchases. For example, a cloud-based loyalty solution can be integrated with a multi-cloud solution that combines sales, service, marketing, CDP, and other commerce-related platforms.
With a unified loyalty ecosystem, businesses can combine information from multiple sources to create a 360-degree view of their customers, allowing them to create data-driven, loyalty offers personalized beyond points and general discounts. The multi-cloud ecosystem tracks many types of customer data, such as brand interactions, loyalty points, omnichannel conversions, shopping habits, service support, and more. With this vital information, marketing teams can send the right offers for the right products at the right time.
Data-driven visibility provides a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of customers’ unique needs, enabling organizations to deliver connected and relevant experiences across all points of contact for higher sales and retention rates. For example, service agents can access customer data on a loyalty program member’s profile to provide better and faster service. This shows customers that their needs are heard and appreciated, creating an emotional connection that elevates the brand above industry competitors.
Unified loyalty data ecosystem to grow customer lifetime value
Adding an effective loyalty program to a multi-cloud ecosystem provides another source of data to help businesses create a 360-degree view of their customers. And with CDP in this ecosystem, brands will avoid barriers by consolidating customer data touchpoints across multiple platforms and channels, from marketing and service to in-store sales and actual sales. An increased level of internal alignment improves connectivity and visibility across the organization so that each department can apply data-driven insights to specific functions and workflows. their bodies in real-time.
It also helps build trust and engagement as loyalty program members feel like they’re part of an exclusive community with unique touchpoint treatment. Special member benefits such as early access to products, VIP services or other innovative rewards or promotions that will make customers feel unique and special, fostering deep relationships lead to repeat purchases. These unique and meaningful experiences will also turn loyal customers into invaluable advocates that help build brand awareness.
UK-based shoe retailer Schuh is a prime example of OSF Digital’s customers who have reaped the benefits of an effective loyalty program that drives long-term value, loyalty customer success and engagement without disrupting existing technology. Using the cloud-based Salesforce Loyalty Management solution, the company successfully implemented a customer-centric loyalty program that was integrated into the existing business landscape and Streamline loyalty-related messaging.
A loyalty program will not be as successful as a simple, one-size-fits-all solution. It should be integrated into the company’s business strategy and ecosystem to deliver personalized experience-based rewards and benefits. A multi-cloud approach with a CDP capable of providing the data and insights needed will help companies get the most out of their loyalty program to increase ROI and customer lifetime value.
It’s time to apply
With inflation and customer expectations at record highs, businesses are expected to adopt digital to support their loyalty program initiatives. Integrating a loyalty strategy into a multi-cloud commerce solution is more important than ever. The average American consumer is switching brands at a rapid rate, which shows that businesses need to prioritize maintaining loyalty at every touchpoint. Leveraging unified data for a 360-degree customer view enriches programs with the right incentives to build lasting relationships and drive growth for years to come.