Despite spending billions each year on loyalty programs and initiatives, retailers are struggling to effectivelyuse theirdata to differentiate the customer experienceand retain sales. This is one of the findings froman EY survey of 130 C-suite-levelretail executives from North America, Europe and Asia,that reveals the challenges retailers face in today’s disrupted environment.
Whilethe majority ofretail leaders surveyed (87%) said a loyalty strategy is critical to their business success, just 27% are confident that their current loyalty initiatives have a positive effect. Moreover, only 5% of retailers think that their customers are loyal.
Pinakiranjan Mishra, Partner and National Leader, Retail and Consumer Products, EY, says: “The relationship with the consumer has becomeincreasingly transactional. With consumer expectations changing at a rapid pace in India, retailers need to create loyalty to drive business results and achieve return on investment with accuracy. Few retailers arefully embedding loyalty across core operations and customer touch points. Companies in India need to carefully monitor loyalty program metrics, retention rates, analytics and targeted marketing campaign outcomes to see the true value for loyalty programs and thereby, meet customer expectationsat every turn.”
Executives believe there is much work to be done with few having real confidence in their own capabilities to embrace new technologies that might unlock loyal customers. The survey found that just 19% of retailers are able to leverage their data and systems to understand individual customer needs; only 35% can capture real-time insights frequently;and a mere 30% have the ability to use technology to personalize the offer and experience for a customer every time.
Patrick Moriarty, EY Executive Director, Retail Customer Experience & Loyalty,says: “Legacymethods of creating and maintaining brand loyalty are failing. Many retailers are capturing data, but struggling to generate and activate insights in ways that help them stay relevant. Driving personalized offers, capturing real-time insights, understanding individualized customer needs and maintaining their trust are all key for success.”