Consumer loyalty. We all strive for it, no matter what the size of our business.
We all know how important it is because our success and stability rely on it.
Loyal customers lead to repeat business: these are the people that are so content with the emotive user experience you provide that they are happy and willing to make multiple transactions.
Not only that, but loyal customers are also your biggest brand advocates. They don’t head for the hills if you increase prices. Indeed, they tell their friends about you. Plus, they want to hear from you.
Yes, having an army of loyal customers screams ‘we made it’. Loyalty is royalty.
But if you don’t already have it, what can you do to secure customer loyalty? Is securing it tantamount to looking for a needle in a haystack? Or is it something we can all find? And can we garner any inspiration from those that get it right?
The leader of the pack…
Amazon. Unless you’ve been on safari or hibernating in the rainforest of North Western Brazil, you have most definitely heard of them (yes, pun intended).
They are the online retail giant that, as of yesterday – when its market value soared above $685 billion – became bigger than Microsoft.
That’s right. In the top gun stakes, they now only trail Apple and Alphabet (the owner of Google).
And they are on a roll with so much momentum that it is likely to catapult them into the stratosphere. Stock has already soared 21% this year, which is way ahead of Microsoft and Alphabet. And Apple’s stock has actually declined.
If that’s not enough, last October, Amazon’s leader, Jeff, Bezos, overtook Bill Gates to become the wealthiest person on the planet.
Considering I don’t know Bezos personally, I don’t begrudge him. That was clearly one hell of idea he had in 1994. I only wish I’d thought of it in 1993!
Too big to fail…
Quite frankly, I can only see good things on the horizon for them.
Because, let’s face it, people love Amazon.
Off the top of my head, I can only think of two people I know that have never ordered anything of Amazon.
One was my Gran, who passed away a decade ago at the ripe old age of 101 and had never used a computer in her life.
The other is my 88-year-old neighbour. I don’t think I need to explain to you the pattern that’s emerging here.
There’s no doubt about it. Amazon’s consumer satisfaction and loyalty is sky high.
For almost every shopping activity experience they need, people turn to Amazon.
They don’t release a lot of their figures and haven’t given exact membership numbers but it’s believed (and hinted) that an estimated 70-90 million people signed up for Prime membership.
They did actually report, however, that in 2017 they shipped more than 5 billion items worldwide via Prime and signed up more, new paid members than ever before.
What’s the secret?
The question is, what makes people choose Amazon as their go-to destination for a lot of their shopping needs?
Consumers in general – and Prime members in particular – trust Amazon.
And it is pretty addictive: apparently 85% of Prime shoppers visit the site at least once a week.
It’s a one stop shop, providing consumers with access to everything they want and you don’t get more of a positive user experience than that.
Ok, so people pay for Prime, but Amazon still makes it feel like you are getting free shipping (because you’re paying for membership, not shipping, right?!) And more often than not, you get your goods in super quick time too. And we all love getting something for free.
For your membership, you also get unlimited Prime movie and TV show streaming, library type services for Kindle users and special, exclusive discounts.
Going the extra mile, Amazon also knows what we want, collecting data on us and tempting us with products that we may be interested in based on our browsing history.
It seems like they are adapting an old-fashioned, one to one shop-keeper and customer relationship, but on a mass scale. They use data and insights to tailor their proposition. And it works.
Amazon users also like the site because they are, apparently, savvy. They use the site to compare prices and over 50% of users also read the complete product description. The reviews are also important, giving consumers extra confidence to buy if star ratings are high.
Furthermore, the company adapts its technologies continuously and has been at the forefront of the change in buying and browsing behaviour as people shift their attentions to mobile shopping.
Hitch a ride….
Depending on the nature of your business you could, of course, hitch a ride on the Amazon train by partnering with them as a third-party seller.
It’s the perfect platform to access a pool of dedicated, loyal and truly committed customers. After all, as a small business, there’s chance you are already in competition with Amazon anyway. It’s an extremely attractive proposition.
Of course, not all businesses are suitable bedfellows for the online giant. But that doesn’t mean you should take your eye off them, because we can certainly learn a thing or two and follow their lead.
Some traits we should adopt are, of course, glaringly obvious. Strong company values and excellent customer service are must haves. It’s also important to earn a reputation for being consistent and reliable.
Exceeding expectations helps too. (Same day delivery on that item I need in a hurry Amazon? Don’t mind if I do!)
It’s also important to delve a little deeper. Ask for customer comments and user feedback. Talk to your customers, treat them as an individual and find out what they want. Give them valid reasons for wanting to come back for more.
Chat to us at The Monachie Project and let us help you understand your business from a consumer perspective, so you can tailor your strategies to better meet their needs, so that the only way is up for you, too.