Adrian Hado, head of insight and analytics at rewards programme operator, Avios, says brands should use behavioural and transactional data more effectively to deliver meaningful and relevant customer rewards and drive loyalty
In a challenging economic environment and a period of fierce competition, retailers must work even harder to win customer loyalty and ensure people return again and again.
Today’s consumers are increasingly taking steps to make sure every pound spent goes as far as possible. Whether it’s spending within a strict budget or ensuring they get something back from every penny spent, savvy shopping is on the agenda.
Recent research from Avios, one of the UK’s leading travel rewards programmes, found this year shoppers were more than ever carefully calculating their summer spending budget. For example, on average consumers planned to buy just four new clothes pieces, equating to only £20.00 per item. Half (46%) planned to spend even less.
Moreover, research from Ipsos Mori shows consumers are now more concerned with the cost of shopping over social and environmental issues with 44% preparing for the economy to worsen over the next 12 months.
Knowing your customer
At a time when consumers are putting so much thought into their spending decisions, retailers must also ensure they are doing all they can to get to know their customers and encourage loyalty in return.
Loyalty, of course, goes a long way. Reward schemes not only contribute to short-term profits, but help brands to retain custom and generate long-term value. In fact, the same research from Avios showed over half of consumers were making the most of their summer budget by collecting loyalty scheme rewards.
Loyalty should not, however, be viewed as something easily achieved. Brands need to make more of data insights to make rewards more relevant and meaningful.
In order to make loyalty schemes stand out from the crowd, it pays for retailers to invest in data capturing, which enables them to compile in-depth knowledge of their customer base. This includes identifying diverse audience segments, understanding transactional and behavioural patterns, as well as understanding consumers’ emotional attachment to brands. In addition, customers’ spending patterns, needs and concerns are of course always changing and need to be continually monitored to ensure retailers are keeping up with the trends.
Such knowledge of your consumer helps to create loyalty schemes that are genuinely simulating and rewarding. Quite simply, if reward schemes don’t truly resonate with your customers, they won’t keep coming back.
Tesco provides a good example of a retailer that does loyalty well. The supermarket chain has employed an insight-driven approach to loyalty segmentation, motivating consumers through money-off rewards at key spending peaks.
Going beyond the data
At Avios, we work hard to ensure we really get inside the minds of our customers to understand their emotional spending. It’s worth remembering sometimes what consumers report in data questionnaires differs from their true emotional spending patterns, or what really is important to them.
Avios offers both practical or rational incentives and offers as well as engendering an emotional connection between customers through aspirational travel rewards that inspire our customers.
As consumers are increasingly being bombarded by loyalty schemes, money-off vouchers and rewards programmes in an ever-changing retail environment, quick-fix offers will not sustain long-term custom. In other words, loyalty cannot be easily bought and – as Avios has found again and again – it really does pay to know your consumer.
To find out more about the UK Avios programme visit www.avios.com. If you are interested in becoming a partner of the Avios programme, please contact Tony Piedade.
Avios contact information: Tel: 0844 49 333 99 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Web: www.avios.com
(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)