Price is the main factor driving Australian customer loyalty with 85% of consumers looking for good value and competitive pricing, according to a report by Salmat.
The second annual Salmat Marketing Report (SMR) found creating customer loyalty remains a significant challenge to marketers with 40% of Australian consumers ignoring brands while shopping.
The research revealed one in five consumers claims to be loyal to only one or two specific brands, while two in five consumers ‘buy the products they need without taking much notice of the brand’. Two-thirds, (65%) of consumers said they like to try new products if they're on sale, or if they receive a discount or points for purchasing.
The findings reveal a considerable disconnect between consumers’ shopping habits and the perceptions and tactics used by marketers to create brand loyalty. While the majority of consumers are motivated by price, nearly half of all marketers (47%) are focused on delivering customer service, creating trust, respect and promise (45%), and developing quality products (40%).
Meanwhile, consumers rank quality of the products (80%) and customer service (76%) as most important brand attributes to maintain loyalty, after price (85%). Consumers also view positive online reviews (61%) and samples, free trials and discounts (48%) as important factors for maintaining brand loyalty.
Andrew Lane, head of sales & client engagement at Salmat, said, “Winning customer loyalty is almost impossible to do today. Instead, the opportunity for marketers is to focus on ensuring they are getting the best price for their products in front of consumers via the right channel."
“Marketers are under a lot of pressure to increase brand loyalty and the recent research shows that if brands can remain competitive on pricing, and communicate that to consumers through the right cost-effective means like catalogues, search and email, they have a higher chance of increasing sales.”
Technology and data collection are viewed as important to creating better relationships with customers, with 86% of marketers believing technology can help collect better customer insights and customer analytics, however, 68% said the process was challenging.
Lane said, “When it comes to technology, marketers should focus on using the right tools to understand the vast amounts of data they are faced with. By understanding the data, they will be able to use it in the most effective way to reach consumers on the channel they want to be reached on, at the time of day they are most receptive, and with the products most relevant to them. It is these personalised experiences that will help drive loyalty considerably amongst customers.”