Loyalty in a Consumer Squeezed Environment

The cost of living crisis means that consumers are being challenged to change their spending habits, and you might have been thinking about how this is impacting their loyalty to your brand.

The British Retail Consortium recently partnered with Google in a roundtable discussion about this very topic; Helen Dickinson (CEO of the BRC) was joined by Sophie Birshan (Industry Head Retail, Google), and senior representatives from across the retail industry took part in the call.

We are really pleased to bring you a recording of this session below:

A quick overview:

Google surveyed consumers about the cost of living crisis and found that 32% of respondents are being wary, 29% are making real changes and 28% are struggling.  Only 12% of participants reported a limited impact on their spending. Sophie (Google) did point out that there remains some people with the power to spend, particularly at the luxury end of the market, but this remains a minority.

  • Current environment – Google search data shows that people are shopping around more and that this is increasingly online and price intensive. Consumers are more likely to switch away from their first choice retailer, often making generic searches rather than being brand focused, and they are being attracted by alternative products, offers and promotions.  Reviews, recommendations and popularity are proving powerful in attracting buyers to alternatives, and even more so with retailers than product brands.
  • Sophie highlighted that responses often focus on loyalty schemes/mailings and website personalisation, but she felt a bigger opportunity was open to retailers from their own purchase and customer data.  She focused on three key questions, following them up with further detail and strategies for moving forward:
    • Are you plugging customer data gaps? Cookie changes mean that 20% of data is lost…
    • Are you making the most of your app (if you have one) to drive loyalty?
    • Are you using your data to target existing and potential customers holistically across all marketing channels? 

A Q&A followed touching on the alignment of teams, capability building and the lag between retail brands compared to product brands when it comes to the use of data.  

The video is well worth watching, and although it relates to wider retail there is much that is transferrable to our sector.  If you have anything to say about the challenges and strategies covered, or stories of your own successes, we’d love to hear from you.

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