With recession looming, retailers and consumers alike are feeling the pressure of rising costs with new sets of priorities emerging.
According to research released by Emarsys, an SAP company, today’s reported priorities from consumers vs. retailers revealed that the two parties aren’t quite seeing eye to eye — and for business, the disconnect could mean losing out on much-needed repeat business.
The key takeaway from the research, said the authors of the report, is that “rewarding loyalty” is the top priority for consumers, coming in at second place for retailers. This finding, Emarsys’ researchers said, is key as stricter budgets have led many consumers to take more time to shop around for the best value purchase. By offering loyalty plays, like incentives, rewards or unique offers, customers will keep coming back. Emarsys’ survey found that 30 percent of consumers said they “want to feel valued by retailers I shop with, not just another sales statistic.”
Importantly, however, wanting to feel valued by a retailer does not mean wanting to hear from them too consistently. While 61 percent of retailers surveyed said they believe customers want to hear from them multiple times a week, in reality only 31 percent of consumers agreed, saying they prefer to see contact once a week or less. Almost a sixth (15 percent) of consumers expressed that they strictly wish to be contacted in the event of a deal or special and 12 percent said they do not wish to be contacted at all — only 5 percent and 2 percent of retailers respectively were aligned with this demand.
“In today’s uncertain economic times, meeting customers where they are means everything,” said Meghann York, global head of product marketing at Emarsys. “Retailers in 2023 need to be brave with their communications, undergoing a process of ruthless prioritization that leaves only the most meaningful, curated communications at the heart of their marketing. If you get your message right, your customers will not only want to hear from you, they’ll want to engage with you. This is only achievable through an obsession with the customer — understanding exactly what they want to hear, at exactly the right frequency, and delivering that personalization everywhere they go.”
In terms of building trust with the consumer, Emarsys’ report found a huge opportunity in how retailers handle customer feedback. According to the company’s research, while 82 percent of retailers surveyed say they “always review customer feedback in full and make adjustments accordingly,” only 30 percent of consumers believe this to be true, with 16 percent believing that “although feedback is read, no real changes are made.”
For those retailers making changes by listening to customers, great trust can be earned from simply communicating these actions. Emarsys suggests building on this by letting their most loyal customers know they are valued by asking for VIP feedback and rewarding them for doing so.