Shopify Ecosystem

Customer Loyalty Index 2022: A Review Of Australia Consumer Attributes Impacting Loyalty To Retailers, Brands, And Stores

customer-loyalty-index-2022:-a-review-of-australia-consumer-attributes-impacting-loyalty-to-retailers,-brands,-and-stores

Customer loyalty: it’s something we, as marketers, speak about often. But what do consumers think about loyalty? How do they choose which brands are worthy of their loyalty? And what do they want marketers to know when it comes to earning their loyalty?

In August 2022, Emarsys sought to answer these questions and more, so we asked 2,044 general consumers in Australia all about loyalty. We wanted to find out how, from a consumer’s perspective, marketers can drive loyalty in 2023 and beyond — and they delivered.

Our Customer Loyalty Index 2022 contains the results of these inquiries, and it tells us a lot about what loyalty looks like in today’s world of digital-first retail, always-on commerce, and increasingly in-control consumers. It also reveals how the past few turbulent years have impacted which brands consumers are loyal to, and how they demonstrate their loyalty.

Loyalty By Type

Last year, we conducted our first Customer Loyalty Index and identified five key types of customer loyalty (i.e., the different ways customers are loyal):

Ema Customer Loyalty Key Types Cli22 Blog Global En American 3

But following a year of pandemic recovery that led to global inflation and increased cost of living around the world, the way customers express their loyalty is shifting.

Australia: Loyalty In 2022

In Australia, overall loyalty has increased, but on a smaller scale when compared to increases in customer loyalty globally. 67% of Australian respondents agreed with the statement “I am more loyal to retailers that offer me discounts, incentives, and rewards” — which is up 14% from 53% in 2021. Globally, as of 2022, 76% of consumers around the world consider themselves loyal to one or more brands — an increase of 9% from 67% in 2021.

The research shows that Australian customers still value personalized experiences from brands, regardless of economic turbulence, and business leaders should continue investing in CX strategies to better position themselves for success post-recession. Here are a few stats that show just how vital exceptional CX and personalization are to customers:

  • 84% of consumers are more loyal to retailers that offer them discounts, incentives, and rewards, provide great customer service, and market to them in a personalized way that accounts for their unique needs. 
  • Almost half (49%) have switched from a brand they were loyal to due to a bad experience, underlining the importance of delivering exceptional CX.
  • 64% of respondents ranked “making the shopping experience difficult,” “halting free returns,” “treating existing customers poorly,” and “not offering discounts for customer loyalty” as reasons a brand would lose their loyalty. 

In addition to this overall trend, this year’s report also reveals how individual attributes – income, age, geography, and ethical values – can affect customer loyalty differently. 

The Impact of Inflation

Inflation is another factor that impacts customer loyalty in Australia, and this impact differs between men and women when it comes to their loyalty to brands.

Inflation and/or the cost-of-living crisis has made me leave brands I have previously been loyal to in order to save money.”*

Male Female
“Agree” 54% 70%

*Statistics from Emarsys (an SAP Company) Customer Loyalty Index 2022, a study of 2,044 consumers in Australia.

Age Impacts Ethical Loyalty

Although “price” is generally a higher determinant of customer loyalty (54%) than “alignment with values” (31%), age is a decisive factor on how people weigh a brand’s alignment with their values, and the age group that people fall into largely influences overall sentiment across various decision-making drivers.

“I am more loyal to retailers that prioritize sustainable business practices.”*

Response Age 25-34 Age 35-44 Age 45-54 Age 55+
“More Likely” 27% 24% 22% 20%

I have switched from a brand I was loyal to because of their sustainability practices.“*

Response Age 25-34 Age 35-44 Age 45-54 Age 55+
“Agree” 43% 35% 27% 16%

I am more loyal to retailers that have strong moral or ethical values.“*

Response Age 25-34 Age 35-44 Age 45-54 Age 55+
“Agree” 33% 26% 26% 28%

“I have switched from a brand I was loyal to following a controversy with a key stakeholder (e.g., a CEO or Founder).“*

Response Age 25-34 Age 35-44 Age 45-54 Age 55+
“Agree” 27% 24% 22% 20%

*Statistics from Emarsys (an SAP Company) Customer Loyalty Index 2022, a study of 2,044 consumers in Australia.

Older Age Groups Are More Price-Increase Sensitive

Older age groups tend to be more likely to cease purchasing in response to an increase in pricing compared to younger generations.

“If my favorite brands increased their prices by 25%, I would stop buying from them.”

Industry Sector Age 25-34 Age 35-44 Age 45-54 Age 55+
Airlines 45% 43% 43% 54%
Alcoholic drinks 49% 47% 46% 56%
Automobiles 49% 48% 52% 57%
Beauty and skincare 42% 47% 47% 62%
Clothing and fashion 43% 47% 45% 55%
Energy 44% 44% 44% 55%
Food 32% 41% 41% 50%
Food delivery 58% 54% 54% 64%
Furniture / homeware 48% 49% 48% 60%
Medicine / pharmaceuticals 34% 43% 40% 47%

Statistics from Emarsys (an SAP Company) Customer Loyalty Index 2022, a study of 2,044 consumers in Australia.

Not All Industries Are Created Equal When It Comes to Loyalty

Survey respondents were asked to identify which industries the retailers they are most loyal to are in. Here’s what the research revealed:

Ema Top 7 Industry Australia Cli22 Blog Regional Au En

The generational loyalty divide also plays out by industry – especially when it comes to clothing and fashion, food, beauty and skincare, and food delivery. For example, younger generations show the most loyalty to clothing and fashion retailers, while older generations are more inclined to be loyal to brands in the food industry.

In which industries do the retailers you are most loyal to exist?

Industry Age 25-34 Age 55+
Clothing and fashion 68% 38%
Food 44% 60%
Beauty and skincare 49% 18%
Food delivery 16% 7%

Statistics from Emarsys (an SAP Company) Customer Loyalty Index 2022, a study of 2,044 consumers in Australia.

Broad agreement on “made in Australia” products, differing opinions on “made someplace else.” 

In Australia, “made in Australia” still means something, and loyalty has a direct tie to this, with 78% of Australian respondents saying they are more likely to be loyal to Australian-made brands. Generational divides widened, however, when looking at other countries of origin.

Ema Made In Australia Age Cli22 Blog Regional Au En

The City You Call Home Impacts Decision Making

The city people call home also determines where they stand on brand loyalty as it relates to product origin.

“To what extent are you more or less likely to be loyal to a brand if their products are made in Australia?“*

HOME CITY Sunshine Coast Melbourne Sydney
“More Likely” 89% 82% 78%

To what extent are you more or less likely to be loyal to a brand if their products are made in China?“*

HOME CITY Sunshine Coast Melbourne Sydney
“More Likely” 0% 11% 17%

To what extent are you more or less likely to be loyal to a brand if their products are made in the US?*

HOME CITY Sunshine Coast Melbourne Sydney
“More Likely” 32% 38% 39%

To what extent are you more or less likely to be loyal to a brand if their products are made in the UK?“*

HOME CITY Sunshine Coast Melbourne Sydney
“More Likely” 42% 40% 44%

*Statistics from Emarsys (an SAP Company) Customer Loyalty Index 2022, a study of 2,044 consumers in Australia.

Loyalty In Different Countries

Click below to find out what loyalty looks like for consumers in different countries, including breakdowns for global, American, British, French, and German respondents.

The Omnichannel Difference 

As we continue to dive deep into customer loyalty research, one thing is clear: To drive customer loyalty, it’s not enough for brands to be customer centric — they must be customer obsessed.

In May 2022, Emarsys commissioned Forrester Consulting to research which companies were using omnichannel strategies to effectively deepen customer relationships to drive business growth. The results and insights are revealed in The Omnichannel Difference: How the Most Customer Focused Companies Deliver The Value of Omnichannel, where you will learn all about customer-obsessed companies, and how to put the customer at the center of your business.

Statistics from the Emarsys, an SAP Company, Customer Loyalty Index 2022, a study of 2,044 consumers in Australia.

The Emarsys Customer Loyalty Index, in its second year, is based on a survey of 1,043 nationally representative respondents in Australia between August 26th and August 31st, 2022. The survey was conducted by Opinion Matters, which abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, based on the ESOMAR principles.

Special thanks to our friends at Emarsys for their insights on this topic.
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