Retailers searching for customer loyalty can look beyond freebies and reward points and involve shoppers in product and service creation, provide expert advice, and show authenticity, according to AMP Capital Shopping Centres’ 2014 Recommended Retail Practice Report (RRP).
More than half of shoppers say they are more likely to shop at a store where they experience a human connection. Specifically, 48 per cent ranked individual service, followed by being recognised, and a personal welcome, as reasons they were more likely to return to a store.
The top five service factors that keep shoppers returning to a retail store are:
A store that feels genuine and trustworthy (79 per cent)
Proactive customer service and assistance (70 per cent)
A store that surprises and delights through its service (64 per cent)
A store that is accessible both in store and online (59 per cent)
Unexpected in store samples and gifts (58 per cent)
“With an overwhelming amount of information now available to consumers, expectations on retail staff have shifted. Many shoppers are looking for that personal guidance and service when they visit their retailer and really value genuine, trustworthy and proactive assistance,” Hynes said.
The research found that loyalty cannot be earned through discounts, sales, and reward points alone, with honesty, excellent service, and passion also highly valued.
Respondents cited the following top six ways for brands and retailers to earn their loyalty are:
Honesty, regardless of making the sale (83 per cent)